Keep Up With the Latest Developments in Virginia Family Law

Spousal Support

When there is an order for spousal support, the point at which the payor spouse reaches retirement age will now be treated as a “material change” in circumstances. Any person subject to a spousal support order may apply for a modification of the support order when the payor spouse has reached retirement age. The law sets out a list of factors to be considered by the court in this circumstance, including the assets or property interest of each of the parties from the date of the support order.

A request to modify a spousal support order by stipulation or contract alleging a material change in circumstance can no longer be denied based on the language of the stipulation or contract, unless there is a prior stipulation or contract contains specific language that the support will be nonmodifiable.

Relatedly, while not yet in effect until January 1, 2019, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes one major change to spousal support. Beginning January 1, 2019, spousal support will no longer be tax deductible by the payor, and taxable to the recipient as income under divorce or separation agreements. Instead, there will no longer be any deduction, with the payor being responsible for the taxes.

Child Support

Two new laws address child support. Courts are now required to give a copy of any guideline worksheet used to calculate child support to the parties of the case. In addition, new methods were developed to calculate child support when there are multiple custody arrangements between the parents of children subject to child support orders.

Privacy

Ordinarily, unless sealed, court case files are public records. With the new law, the case files for child and spousal support will now have limited access. Certain persons and agencies will have access, but all others will be required to show a good basis and obtain a court order in order to have access.

Do you have any questions about these developments and how they might relate to your situation? Contact us here to set up a consultation.

DISCLAIMER. The material contained on this Website is not offered, nor should it be construed, as legal advice. The material on our Website has been prepared and published for informational purposes only. You should not act or rely upon information contained in these materials without specifically seeking professional legal advice.

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