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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118175
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Just talked to an attorney to represent me in a

Customer Question

Just talked to an attorney to represent me in a separation/divorce case and have additional questions, but I called the office and can't reach him until Thursday. This is in the state of VA.
(1) My gross income is $70,000 a year. Her's is $45,000/yr. We have two children. He told me my child support would be an estimated $900 a month, and spousal support to be a little over $900/month (total was $1863/month). After taxes, 401K, medical, etc. I bring home $1693 every two weeks, so this would be over half of my income. I checked online calculators and found that the formula is (payor*0.28)-(payee*0.58), which in my case would be negative number or $0 in spousal support. Can you help confirm which is correct? What would be the expected child support payment per month?
(2) He wants to charge $5000 for the first year of litigation. Is this a normal rate for SW VA?
She has only filed custody paperwork and court is on Nov 11. He wants to move the case from JDC to Circuit cause I advised I want a divorce
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
1) For alimony in VA, you multiply the payor’s (your's) Gross Annual Income by 0.30, multiply the payee’s (her's) Gross Annual Income by 0.50 (called Fairfax formula). So yes, you are correct in that under the VA court formula you are likely not going to be paying alimony or at the worst you would be paying very little. But attorneys generally guess high on alimony and support so that when the awards are final their client is not angry because the attorney low balled them and the attorney rather be initially high than low on support estimates.
2) Actually, $5000-$10,000 is the average going rate depending on the initial complexity of the case in VA and surrounding area.
He is correct about filing in Circuit court though for the divorce.