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Fredericksburg Family Law Blog

Legal help in Virginia with deviation factors in child support

Child support issues can be complex in Virginia. While there are numerous portions of child support that most people will understand and agree to, there can be other factors that can come up that might not be as familiar. Having legal assistance from the beginning of the case to the end can avoid any confusion with these matters. Included are the deviation factors.

With the deviation factors, it can be found that the amount ordered in child support based on the state guidelines might not be in the best interests of the parent, the child or both. If that is the case, the parent will have the right to issue a challenge to the guidelines. The court can deviate from the calculated amount if a rebuttal has been issued in opposition of the presumptive amount. Parents who are seeking modifications based on deviation factors need to know what this can be based on.

Wise strategies when considering divorce early in the year

There are certain junctures on the calendar when divorce is more prevalent than other times of the year. January is known to be a month in which more people decide that it is the right time for the end of a marriage. For Virginia residents, sifting through divorce issues needs to involve making an informed decision on when to file. Many times, the holiday season is deemed to be the final straw in people who are having a dispute in their marital relationship. Many legal professionals who specialize in family matters see a rise of as much as 30 percent in divorces in January. With the new year, it is wise to consider the factors that accompany this.

Tension and disagreements can come to a head during the holidays with the couple deciding to call it quits once the holidays are over. Filing for divorce when angry is often a mistake. Many couples take the step to get their children involved in the situation. Some people place the children in the middle and use them as tools in the desire to cause pain to the other. The longer and more contentious a divorce is, the costlier it will become. This includes legal fees and splitting the assets.

How military regulations can end medical coverage through TRICARE

Virginia couples with one of the spouses in the military will have many concerns if they choose to divorce. This is true whether they are retired or are still on active duty as military personnel. Health care is a hot button issue today and the non-military spouse must worry about how he or she is going to have health care in the event of a military divorce. There are times when the coverage will end for the military member based on the circumstances of leaving the military and this can affect the non-military spouse.

TRICARE provides the coverage to these individuals and their families and the rules for when the eligibility can end need to be understood when a military marriage is ending. If the sponsor separates from active duty, it means that the service member is leaving the military prior to retirement. With this, the service member and the spouse might be eligible for the Transitional Assistance Management Program. This will give six months of coverage after the service member leaves the military. TAMP is for those whose sponsor is leaving the military honorably, are National Guard members or reservists who are separating from a period of more than 30 straight days of active duty supporting a contingency operation, are leaving the service after a stop-loss, had agreed to stay on after voluntarily remaining to support a contingency operation, had a sole survivorship discharge or left active duty to be a Selected Reservist.

Dealing with divorce after a long marriage

Many divorces in Virginia involve people who were not married for an extended period of time. In these instances, it might have been a couple who decided that they were no longer compatible or the union simply did not work out. A growing phenomenon with the end of a marriage, however, is when people who are older and have been married for an extended period choose to divorce. This is sometimes referred to as a "gray divorce." There could be a number of reasons for this. Regardless, the statistics indicate the people who are 50 or older are getting divorced two times as frequently as they were in 1990. People over the age of 65 are divorcing at an even higher rate.

There are certain factors that people who are getting a divorce need to bear in mind. This is especially true when the people are older and have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. With finances, the longtime marriage could have various accounts, assets and other properties entwined. If the people have retired, there could be a fixed income. When the decision is made to end a marriage, property division must be taken into consideration and how each side will make ends meet in the aftermath.

Military benefits at the center of new law for 2017

Any divorce is difficult, but when a Virginia couple has a member of the military, the situation can grow even more complex and troublesome. There are different aspects to a military divorce than with a civilian one and these must be fully understood by military personnel as they prepare to start the process. Part of that is keeping up to date on changes that the federal government makes to how military benefits are divided in the event that a couple with a military member present or past chooses to part ways.

The U.S. Defense Department has made a change in how retirement benefits are split when a couple divorces. These are designed to improve the fairness to the military member and provide protection to the non-military spouse. A military pension is generally referred to as a marital asset and will be split in half when there is a military divorce. That is true whether or not the military member is still active or has retired. Currently, the split hinges on the value of the pension when retirement comes about. For example, if a service member divorces with 10 years in the military, the former spouse would still receive half of the retirement even if the marriage has been ended for another 10 years before retirement.

Virginia mother faces contempt of court in visitation dispute

A child custody dispute or disagreement over visitation in Virginia can take on a variety of different issues and circumstances. Some are relatively amicable; some are contentious; others can be life-changing. Those who are seeking visitation modifications or are trying to make certain that a child custody case does not spiral out of control need to make sure that they are protected under the law with assistance from an attorney. Situations that are particularly difficult involve international visitation.

A mother in Virginia is in the midst of a case in which she is facing the prospect of jail and her two-year-old son being placed in foster care if she does not adhere to an order to take the child to Africa to see his father. This order has to be followed by the middle of December. According to the mother, she has followed all of the judge's orders apart from this one. She is concerned that she will lose the child due to her failure to comply, but she says she does not have the funds to travel to Africa, nor can she get the vaccinations required for a month at minimum.

Important family law points for mothers regarding paternity

For unmarried couples in Virginia who share a child, paternity is one of the issues that often comes up as a matter of family law. Mothers who are concerned about the establishment of paternity and whether or not it is important need to understand certain points regarding this. Knowing the facts about paternity, how it influences child support, and what to do in the event of a dispute are all imperative.

Regarding paternity, the father agreeing to sign a form known as the Acknowledgement of Paternity and negotiating an amount to be paid to support the child must have a notarized form filed with the Office of Vital Records. A father who is not willing to sign this form or to provide child support will require that the mother sign a petition to the court or let the Division of Child Support Enforcement know. There must be a form that names the person who the mother believes to be the biological father. The DCSE can contact the man and ask that paternity be admitted voluntarily or there be a test to determine whether or not he is the father. DCSE can also assist with gathering evidence for a hearing.

Military family law matters, paternity and UIFSA

Former and current military personnel and their former spouses or people with whom they were in a relationship in Virginia might have a vague understanding of Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. However, there are various subsets to the law that need to be understood based on the individual circumstances. The one-state lone arm action and the two-state action are two subsets that are important when there are family law matters surrounding the establishment of paternity.

Paternity can be established under UIFSA in two different ways. An alleged father who has had minimum contacts in a particular state even though he might not reside there will be subject to long arm jurisdiction. With this, the state court or agency will have the right to determine paternity. The mother will have the ability to take legal recourse in an attempt to establish paternity in the state she resides regardless of whether the alleged father lives in that state. An example could be if the alleged father lived in the state and provided payments for certain services the mother used or if the couple had intercourse in the state that might have led to the child's conception. For the court to hear the case, it must be found that the alleged father had personal contacts in the state and received notice that the legal action was being pursued.

Legal help is key with visitation concerns in Virginia

Parents who are ending their marriage in Virginia might be relieved that they are finally parting ways and ending an unhappy marriage. However, they may also have concerns about what will happen to their children during and after the divorce. This will include determining who has primary child custody and who has visitation rights. Whether the case is settled and a parent is seeking modifications to the agreement, or the case is still in motion and they are hoping to get the outcome they desire, legal assistance is one of the most important factors in any child custody and visitation case.

With visitation, parenting time and custody, it can be a contentious circumstance, with many accusations and bickering back and forth. Of paramount importance is to make sure that the children are cared for, but that can get caught up in the disagreements as the parents are doing battle. Often, the preferable option is to have shared custody. In such a circumstance, the parents will both take part in the child's life. That will include education, medical care and participation in extracurricular activities.

Family law issues and possible benefits of mediation in Virginia

Considering the frequency with which family legal issues in Virginia spiral out of control, it is advisable to know the different ways they can be settled. While going to court to settle the dispute is one option, there are others that might be less time-consuming, contentious and costly. For example, mediation might be a viable choice to those whose circumstances fit the necessary criteria. With that in mind, it is important to know what mediation is, what its advantages are and what cases are not appropriate for it.

Mediation is a negotiation that is simplified with help from a neutral observer. It provides the parties with an opportunity to discuss what they deem to be important. It is a method to maintain control that would otherwise not be available in a courtroom. Mediation is voluntary and confidential. It can lead to a binding agreement that all parties are satisfied with.

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