Changes to Virginia Child Support Guidelines May Affect Existing Obligations
Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 18, 2014 – Virginia child support laws are undergoing their first significant changes in nearly 20 years.
Effective July 1, 2014, the Virginia Child Support Guidelines have been revised to account differently for higher levels of combined gross income between two parents. This change alone may allow some support recipients and payors to revisit child support judgments, even in the absence of other changes to their financial circumstances.
A local divorce attorney explained the ways that the new guidelines differ from the old and the ramifications of the change.
“Prior to these revisions,” said attorney Lisa McDevitt, “the Virginia Child Support Guidelines named specific baseline child support figures for combined gross income up to $10,000 per month. Beyond that, figures were adjusted simply by adding a percentage of the gross income. Now, the guidelines account directly for combined income up to $35,000 per month. The result is that many higher-income support payors will pay significantly more than they would have under the old guidelines.”
McDevitt explained that this change to state law may affect both future cases and existing child support obligations.
“Under ordinary circumstances, a party seeking to modify an existing obligation needs to prove that his or her financial circumstances have changed substantially. This is important – it keeps courts from being flooded with baseless requests for modifications. However, Virginia case law suggests that a change in child support guidelines may itself be enough to warrant a modification if the applicable changes are significant.”
McDevitt encouraged all Virginians who are concerned about the change and its possible effects on past and future child support obligations to speak with their family law attorneys.
Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181
- Prenuptial agreements can help couples protect separate assets
Asset preservation has become an increasingly important factor in marriage as well as estate planning, particularly as divorce and blended families become more common realities in the United States. The rising popularity of prenuptial agreements is a notable reflection of the changing matrimonial landscape in this country. In an October 2013 survey of 1,600 members […]
- When filing for a divorce, finding fault is not always necessary
If there was ever an appropriate circumstance, divorce proceedings would seem a prime candidate for an exercise in finger-pointing. However, legally speaking, there are situations in which spouses parting ways should seek what is known as a no-fault divorce. Traditionally, some sort of misconduct has formed the grounds for a divorce. But modern divorce laws […]
- As circumstances change, ‘Last Will and Testament’ may not be final word on an estate
“Last Will and Testament” is a popular title for the document in which a person, known as a testator, names one or more people to manage his or her estate and provides for the distribution of his or her property after death. But when a person’s life circumstances change, a “Last Will and Testament” may […]
- When a couple divorces, debts as well as property must be equitably divided
Marriage can be likened to a business contract, and when that contract is dissolved during a divorce the division of assets is an important and often contentious matter. But debts are an equally important matter to resolve when any contract, including marriage, terminates, as any debts a couple holds will also be allocated between the […]
- IRS offers holiday season tidings on tax exclusions estate planners should remember
The holiday season upon us, meaning that the remainder of the year will see a significant amount of purchasing and bestowing gifts. The spirit of giving is not lost upon the federal government, particularly regarding those gifts with significant valuations, or those bequeathed by an estate. Accordingly, the Internal Revenue Service has announced its gift […]
- Parental communication helps pave the way for a reasonable visitation schedule
When couples with irreconcilable differences end their marriage through a divorce, the bonds between the spouses are effectively severed. Each party can proceed with his or her life separately. However, if a soon-to-be-splitting couple has children, some level of communication between the parents will necessarily linger, particularly once child custody has been determined and reasonable […]