Let’s say you’ve just lost your job.
This is not a far-fetched idea for most people. In the past four years, the United States has gone through the longest period with so many unemployed for so long since the Great Depression.
Let’s say you were earning $140,000 a year as a consultant before being let go. You lived comfortably with your family in an affluent neighborhood in an excellent school district.
Let’s also say that now you’re in the process of a divorce from your wife of 15 years. You have two young children and she’s always been their primary caretaker. She has two years of post-high school education, and worked as a salesperson at the local mall until you had kids together. Then she became a stay-at-home mother, and it was agreed that you would be the sole breadwinner until the children … Read More »
Many parents say the moment that they learned they were going to be parent is pure joy and unforgettable. But those men who are not married, and sometimes men who are married, can wonder about the certainty of paternity and what would happen if they are not the father.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued an interesting ruling related to this issue. Like Virginia, Iowa has a firm rule that a father who is court-ordered to pay child support cannot recoup monies paid if it is later learned that he is not the biological father. But the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a father who provides support without a court order then later learns the child is not his can sue civilly for monies paid, under the theory of fraud.
The point remains, however, that if you are a man who finds that … Read More »
Why You Probably Won’t Get Community Service If You Don’t Pay
On May 29, 2012, a California court found Dennis Rodman, best known for his basketball career and outlandish antics, guilty on four counts of contempt for not paying previously court-ordered spousal and child support. The judge ordered Rodman to 104 hours of community service and probation. Reading about such a light sentence for a flagrant violator of court-ordered support might discourage a parent from filing a court action, or may give false comfort to a parent who is failing to pay court-ordered support. Whichever side of the case you are on, you should realize that such a community service sentence is not a punishment to be expected in Virginia courts.
The state legislature and courts across Virginia are firm in the belief that child support is for the benefit of the child, … Read More »
This past Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 4282, which puts the the United States one step closer to the easier and more effective collection of child support payments from parents living abroad. The International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act of 2012, passed unanimously by the House, provides key language that will allow the U.S. and individual states to implement the terms of the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.
As reported by WTOP and other outlets (via the Associated Press):
The 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance has been signed by the United States, the European Union and several other mostly European countries, including Ukraine, Albania, Norway and Bosnia and Herzegovina. So far, only Norway has ratified it.
Under federal law, ratification of … Read More »
Is there anything you can do when you want your child to have a private education, but your ex doesn’t want to help pay the bill? It depends.
This is how child support works in Virginia: there is a presumptive amount of child support that is due to the primary custodial parent that is calculated using the gross incomes of the two parents. This presumptive amount of child support can be rebutted upon findings of fact, as required by Virginia Code Section 20-108.1(B), that justify a deviation from the guidelines.
Will a court deviate from the guidelines– order more child support than stated in the guidelines– to allow the custodial parent to send the child to private school? To answer this question, the Virginia Appellate Court has written that “a parent may be required to pay for private education expenses, even though … Read More »
Virginia Code Section 20-103 provides that in any case where spousal support or child support is in dispute, a Virginia court may enter an order of temporary support pending the conclusion of the suit. Section 20-103 applies in suits for divorce, annulment, and separate maintenance and also in spousal support and child support proceedings brought in the juvenile and domestic relations district court (“JDR Court”).
Such a “pendente lite” order of support will last until the conclusion of the case, at which time the court may order more or less support, or no support at all, depending upon the facts of the case.
For child support, the statewide guidelines, which establish a “presumptively correct” amount of support, apply equally at both pendente lite and final hearings.
For spousal support, a JDR Court that is determining a request for pendente lite spousal support must … Read More »
In alimony or child support cases, Virginia law allows the court to find a party is “voluntarily underemployed” and to calculate support based on a higher income than he or she is actually earning. As the Virginia Court of Appeals has written, “[a] court may under appropriate circumstances impute income to a party seeking spousal support. This conclusion logically flows from the principle that one who seeks spousal support is obligated to earn as much as he or she reasonably can to reduce the amount of the support need…. A spouse may not choose a low paying position that penalizes the other spouse.”
Virginia Code § 20-107.1 directs the trial court to consider as a spousal support factor each party’s earning capacity. For child support, imputed income is a deviation factor listed in Virginia Code § 20-108.1(B)(3). The court must first determine the presumptive guidelines amount, … Read More »