When dealing with spousal support cases in Virginia, inheritance can play a substantial role in the court's final decision. Here at DiPietro Law Group, we aim to help you understand these factors in a comprehensible and approachable way.
Inheritance as Income
In Virginia, income is an essential factor in determining the spousal support obligations. The court considers all income sources, and this includes any inheritance received by either party. It's essential to know that the total value of the inherited assets could impact the amount of support one party may have to pay or receive.
Digging Deeper into Spousal Support Calculations
Determining spousal support in Virginia isn't a simple mathematical calculation. The court gives careful consideration to a range of factors. Income is certainly a significant component, but it's not the only one. Age, health, and living expenses of both parties also play a critical role.
In fact, the court even evaluates the standard of living established during the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the contributions each party made (including homemaking). It's in this context that a substantial inheritance could influence the outcome. If one party receives a considerable inheritance, it could potentially adjust the balance of income, affecting the final spousal support decision.
Exploring the Differences Between Equitable Distribution and Spousal Support in Virginia
When it comes to divorce proceedings in Virginia, the law distinguishes between equitable distribution (property division) and spousal support. In terms of property division, inheritance is generally seen as separate property. This means it's typically not included when the court divides marital assets.
However, when it comes to spousal support, the waters become a bit murkier. Even though an inheritance is categorized as separate property and not divided during the divorce, the court may still consider its value when determining spousal support. Thus, an inheritance can indirectly affect the final distribution of resources between the parties.
Understanding the Role of Inheritance in the Ability to Pay Spousal Support
The court's goal is to ensure that spousal support is fair and equitable. One way it accomplishes this is by examining the ability of the paying spouse to provide support. If the paying spouse has received a significant inheritance, the court might see it as a change in their financial circumstance, potentially leading to an increase in their support obligations.
It's worth noting that the court doesn't just look at the size of the inheritance. It also considers how the inheritance is managed. For instance, if the inherited assets generate income, such as a rental property, the court may view that income as a factor in determining support.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Virginia
Understanding the impact of inheritance on spousal support determinations in Virginia can be complex. At DiPietro Law Group, we assist our clients in making sense of these nuances. Whether you're the one receiving an inheritance or it's your spouse, understanding your legal position is crucial. Consider calling us at (888) 530-4374 to speak to an attorney and learn more about how we can assist you. Request a consultation today.