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BEDARD v. BEDARD (unpublished)

BEDARD v. BEDARD (unpublished)

JULY 1, 1997
Record No. 3199-96-1




V. Thomas Forehand, Jr., Judge
Present: Judges Bray, Annunziata and Overton


(Barry Kantor; Christie & Kantor, on brief), for

No brief for appellee.

Theresa Louise Bedard (wife) appeals the decision of the
circuit court denying her spousal support. Wife contends that the
trial court erred in (1) denying her spousal support where there
was no bar to support and she received a divorce from Michael
Scott Bedard (husband) on the grounds of desertion; and (2)
failing to reserve her right to spousal support in the event of a
change in circumstances. Upon reviewing the record and opening
brief, we conclude that this appeal is without merit.
Accordingly, we summarily affirm the decision of the trial court.
Rule 5A:27.

Spousal Support

The evidence was received by a commissioner in chancery, who
recommended that the parties’ respective requests for spousal
support be denied. The commissioner noted that the parties were
married for less than five years, that wife had supported herself
prior to the marriage, and that there was no change in her
standard of living prior to, during, or after the marriage. The
parties’ monthly net incomes were $1,907 and $1,215,
respectively, for husband and wife. The commissioner noted that
he had considered the statutory factors and husband’s desertion
of wife.

The trial court reviewed the commissioner’s report and heard
argument on the parties’ exceptions. The court found that the
evidence supported the commissioner’s recommendation that both
parties be denied spousal support.

In awarding spousal support, the chancellor must consider the
relative needs and abilities of the parties. He is guided by the
nine factors that are set forth in Code ? 20-107.1. When the
chancellor has given due consideration to these factors, his
determination will not be disturbed on appeal except for a clear
abuse of discretion.

Collier v. Collier, 2 Va. App. 125, 129, 341 S.E.2d
827, 829 (1986). We cannot say the court’s denial of spousal
support to wife was a clear abuse of discretion.

Reservation of Support

Wife contends that the trial court erred by failing to reserve
her right to seek spousal support in the future. She admits she
did not request a reservation of support in her bill of
complaint, but argues that the request was implied in her request
for spousal support. We disagree. Nowhere in wife’s initial bill
of complaint, in her exceptions to the commissioner’s report, or
in her motion to rehear did wife request a reservation of
support. While wife asserts that she requested a reservation
during oral argument on the exceptions to the commissioner’s
report, we have no transcript of that hearing. Wife included in
her exceptions to the court’s final decree "the refusal of
the Court to grant [wife] an award of spousal support, or at
least a reservation of right to receive an award of spousal
support upon a change of circumstances," but nothing in the
text of the order refers to wife’s request for a reservation of

Wife bears the burden to establish her affirmative request for
a reservation of support by record proof. Nothing in the record
before us indicates that wife made a timely request. The court is
not obligated to reserve support sua sponte. See
Thomasson v. Thomasson, 225 Va. 394, 397 n.1, 302 S.E.2d
63, 65 n.1 (1983); D’Auria v. D’Auria, 1 Va. App. 455,
462, 340 S.E.2d 164, 168 (1986). Therefore, wife has not
demonstrated that the trial court committed reversible error in
failing to reserve spousal support.

Accordingly, the decision of the circuit court is summarily




[1] Pursuant to Code ? 17-116.010 this
opinion is not designated for publication.