Powell Radomsky, PLLC

Spousal support sparks additional litigation in contentious case

While the divorce process is typically portrayed as being filled with bitterness and anger, many couples in Virginia have found that it is possible to resolve issues with their spouse without this anger. However, in some situations, couples are unable to work together to come to agreement on spousal support and other issues. In fact, one couple in another state is now revisiting their original agreement after certain incidents led the woman to believe that her husband's financial situation had changed.

The couple filed for divorce in 2008. The man reportedly worked as a retirement planner, while his wife stayed home and cared for children. Five years later, their divorce was settled. As part of the proceedings, a judge found that the wife had sacrificed a career to care for children and her need for monthly spousal support was just under $3,000. However, the judge determined that the ex-husband was only able to pay $1,500 a month; he was also ordered to pay the woman $87,000 for payments missed during divorce proceedings.

Since then, the woman moved into a small place on the property of a friend, arguing that was all she could afford. However, her ex-husband announced his intention of running for the Florida House of Representatives. However, a $79,500 donation that he made to his own campaign and claims that he intended to donate his salary if elected reportedly caught the attention of his ex-wife, sparking additional litigation.

He claimed that he received the money as a one-time bonus from a client. Court papers indicate that he has not earned more than $40,000 a year since the time of the divorce. However, he reportedly offered to settle the renewed proceedings by paying his ex-wife $150,000; she declined the offer as she seeks the amount owed her plus interest. Additionally, she wants her spousal support payments to be increased to the amount the judge previously determined was her need.

The husband was recently held in contempt of court after he stopped making spousal support payments. The ongoing nature of this contentious divorce dispute has caught media attention, but most couples in Virginia can avoid similar issues. An attorney with experience can help someone going through the divorce process by negotiating on their behalf and ensure that their side is accurately and fairly presented if litigation becomes necessary.

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