Family Law Attorney Lisa McDevitt: House of Delegates Measure Would Raise Minimum Child Support Obligations
Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 6, 2014 – A new bill in Virginia would institute a new, costlier child-support payment schedule.
The new year could see a significant increase in Virginia’s child-support payment guidelines if a bill, introduced January 8 in the House of Delegates, becomes law. The measure has some policy advocates grousing that unmerited costs will be imposed upon non-custodial parents if it is enacted.
The bill, HR 933, was crafted based on recommendations from the Child Support Guidelines Review Panel and would raise the basic child-support obligations of non-custodial parents. The amounts mandated by its new schedule would then be adjusted by statutory additions to arrive at the total obligation a non-custodial parent would face.
However, should the obligated parent’s income be equal to or less that 150 percent of the federal poverty level — as spelled out by the federal Department of Health and Human Services — then a court, at its discretion, may determine that the child-support obligation can fall below the statutory minimum, as long as that amount does not seriously impair the custodial parent’s ability to provide minimal adequate housing and other basic necessities for a child.
“The room for flexibility within the measure reflects the reality in Virginia that every child-support case has its own potential for mitigating factors,” said Lisa McDevitt, an attorney in Vienna and Fairfax who specializes in family law and divorce cases. “Each case is unique.”
Some conservative policy advocates assert that the costlier child-support schedule could spur many financially burdened non-custodial parents to decide not to pay. And a major sticking point for many is that the increased child-support schedule is accompanied by no financial offset for non-custodial parents for the $1,000 per child refundable tax credit, the personal exemption from tax attributable to a child and the earned-income tax credit that custodial parents may claim.
According to McDevitt, a skilled lawyer is necessary to determine what expenses are covered under Virginia law, regardless of whether this bill eventually becomes law. “A monetary value for all legitimate costs under the law that the custodial parent incurs must be carefully calculated in order to ensure the well-being of a child at the center of a divorce or separation,” McDevitt said.
Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181
Toll Free: 866-602-7850
- Watching for deception: Bitcoin may be used to conceal assets in divorce
Increasingly, divorcing spouses who wish to conceal their assets are turning to electronic currencies like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the most popular of a host of computer-generated currencies that are used to buy all manner of goods and services. It rivals cash in terms of its anonymity and surpasses it in its ease of transfer and [...]
- Extra estate planning support may be necessary for those with dementia
Disabilities that sometimes develop with age can inhibit long-term planning skills. If you deal with such a condition, you may need to adjust your plans for the future so that they can support you and adhere to your wishes under any circumstance. The best advice is simply to start early. If Alzheimer’s or another form [...]
- When estate planning involves minor children, a testamentary trust may be the best option
One of the advantages of a living trust is that the assets held within it are not subject to probate, which can be a complicated, drawn-out and costly process. As such, many people automatically choose living trusts as they plan their estates. But there is another type of trust: a testamentary trust. While probate is [...]
- Good estate planning depends on good communication with loved ones
Because estate planning involves preparation for the disposition of assets after death, people often feel uncomfortable discussing it. It can be especially challenging for people to face planning with their children. But serious challenges can arise from a lack of communication between estate grantors and their children (their most likely beneficiaries and executors) before death [...]
- When Mediation Is Not the Best Way to Resolve a Divorce
Divorce proceedings can be expensive as well as time-consuming and emotionally draining on the main parties involved. An array of issues, including the division of property, child custody, alimony and other items of contention can prove to be the catalyst for a contentious, drawn-out affair in court. Mediation is often suggested as a viable alternative [...]
- Where There Is a Valid Will There Is a Proper Way to File in Probate Court
The term probate may evoke foreboding thoughts among many who hear it, but essentially the word means the act of validating and recording the will of a deceased person with the court that has jurisdiction. In the case of the commonwealth of Virginia, that court is the Circuit Court, and it is the proper filing [...]