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
- Disregard their ambiguous names: living wills and powers of attorney are clearly key documents
Legal terminology can sometimes seem confusing, even misleading, to the layman. The names of some legal documents can suggest one meaning while actually operating as something else. Within estate planning law, for example, living wills and powers of attorney are two well-known but often misunderstood staples. A living will is not actually a will at [...]
- Never-married parents face extra steps when establishing child custody
In Virginia, unmarried parents have the same rights and responsibilities to their children as married couples do. However, parents who were never married may face some additional steps when they establish child custody after a breakup. Paternity frequently complicates the process of determining custody in cases where the parents were never married. If either party [...]
- Varied approaches to divorce offer couples different structures and tones
Adversarial divorce is perhaps the most visible type of divorce in pop culture. With this approach, both parties hire a divorce lawyer to hash out the divorce in court. This is a lengthy process that can lead to fighting over every detail of the settlement. The adversarial approach usually leads to a trial in court. [...]
- Proper estate planning includes tracking a will’s location
A properly executed will is always high on the list of essential documents in sound estate planning. The decision to write a will is fundamentally important, but so are the choices made in storing the paper document once it has been produced. Somewhat surprisingly, it has been estimated that only 30 percent to 50 percent [...]
- Women Have Usually Trumped Men in Child Custody, But More Men May Win custody Cases
In divorce cases, child custody and child support (its possible financial corollary) have, traditionally, been skewed heavily in the mother’s favor. But changing legal doctrines, social mores and economic factors have been changing the balance. Statistics from recent decades show that women were consistently awarded custody of children from 1993 through 2007 — 83 percent [...]
- 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 [...]