Spousal support awards based on formulas has been the topic of much discussion in the American Bar Association, Wall Street Journal, etc. Virginia adopted a formula in Va Code
§ 16.1-278.17:1 for determination of pendente lite (temporary) spousal support that provides: “If the parties have minor children in common, the presumptive amount of an award of pendente lite spousal support and maintenance shall be the difference between 28% of the payor spouse’s monthly gross income and 58% of the payee spouse’s monthly gross income. If the parties have no minor children in common, the presumptive amount of the award shall be the difference between 30% of the payor spouse’s monthly gross income and 50% of the payee spouse’s monthly gross income.”
This formula, however helpful, is not required to be used in all cases and is not required to be used for long term, post divorce awards.
It is important for you to know what are your absolute needs and what are your reasonable needs based on your marital standard of living. Completing a budget form to help you understand your expenses and your income sources should be done sooner rather than later.