When Virginia parents go through a divorce, the non-custodial parent will often be ordered by the court to pay child support to the custodial parent. Although Virginia has established guidelines that calculate an amount bases upon certain listed factors, courts have some discretion in this regard, and in some cases a share of private school tuition might be added to the basic award.
Based on a May 2 decision by the Virginia Supreme Court, same-sex relationships in the state will be given the same status as heterosexual relationships. Although gay marriage has been legal in Virginia since 2014, two lower courts had ruled that a man had to continue paying spousal support to his ex-wife despite the fact that she was engaged to a woman who she was living with.
An estimated 40 percent of children are born to unwed mothers. Furthermore, a quarter of all children under the age of 18 are raised by their mother alone. Therefore, child support payments can be a critical source of income to stay financially stable while raising a child. To obtain child support, a mother must first establish that a man is the legal father of the child.
President Barack Obama has announced a new policy that will allow imprisoned fathers in Virginia and nationwide to stop making child support payments without penalty while they are behind bars. The policy, which will not be enacted until 2017, has been met with criticism from lawmakers concerned it could force more single mothers onto welfare.
Virginia residents who are about to get married might not think that a prenuptial agreement is for them, particularly since people often think only the very wealthy need them. However, a prenup can be a good idea for any couple who is about to get married, whether they are already wealthy or not.
Some Virginia couples choose to include 'lifestyle clauses" as part of their cohabitation or prenuptial agreements. These clauses usually concern nonfinancial matters and are reportedly popular with celebrities and wealthy individuals. Some of the lifestyle clauses that rich and powerful people have allegedly included in their relationship contracts include agreements for spouses to maintain a certain weight, restrictions on gambling and drinking and agreements to spend a certain amount of time together.
Even those who aren't interested in Hollywood power couples may want to take note of the pending divorce between Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. The couple's recent divorce filing may be impacted by the fact that it occurred slightly more than a decade after their marriage, which may be important under California family law.
Virginia couples planning on marriage may benefit from signing a prenuptial agreement to specify their financial arrangements in the case of a divorce or the death of one spouse. Creating a prenuptial agreement can be a straightforward process, and it is recommended that both parties have their own attorney. Full disclosure of finances on behalf of both parties is also an important and required part of the process.
Virginia residents who are looking to protect their separate assets in their marriage may be interested in some ways to accomplish this. Even without a written agreement, this separation may be achievable for the most part.
Although many ex-spouses in Virginia may think they have taken care of all important matters in a divorce, they should also change their beneficiaries after their divorces, unless they wish for their ex-spouses to receive their life insurance money. They must wait until the divorce is completely finalized because they cannot go through the process of changing their life insurance policies while they are going through divorce proceedings. If they fail to change their beneficiaries, their benefits could automatically go to their ex-spouses, even if they leave everything to other people, such as their children or new spouses.