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Alexandria Family Law Blog

When is the time to request a child support modification?

When you receive the final court order for child support in Virginia, it is important that you understand it is not actually permanent. You can request a modification later if a need arises. Modifications are allowed by law. They must be done through the court, though. If you try to modify your payments outside of court, between you and the child's other parent, then you will run into issues with the state, which collects fees on all your payments. 

According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, you have a right to request a modification of child support if you are receiving or paying the support. The state automatically allows for a review of your case every three years. At that time, a modification may be made if circumstances have changed for either of you. 

Understanding the benefit of a postnuptial agreement

Like many of those in Alexandria City that we here at Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates have assisted over the years, you may have been so caught up in the love and affection you felt for your spouse during your engagement that the thought of your marriage ending never even crossed your mind (much less seeing the need to have a prenuptial agreement). Even now, the possibility may seem remote. So why consider delineating your personal assets at all? There actually may be a number of very good reasons. 

You might be thinking that this entire thought process is a moot point anyway, given that you are already married. Yet consider the state law defining the right for married couples to enter into finance and property settlement agreements. In Section 20-155 of Virginia's Code outlining domestic relations, it says that any such agreements between couples become effective immediately upon there execution. Notice how no mention is made as to when such agreements must be put in place. This opens up the door for postnuptial agreements. 

How to get through the holidays as a two-home family

After a divorce, life changes dramatically. The children have to adjust to two households. This can be challenging on a normal day, but when the holidays come around, it can become very stressful. It is tough to ensure everyone can have a good holiday celebration without any parent or extended family missing out on time with the children.

Operation: Parent suggests planning ahead well in advance to ensure the holiday schedule works for everyone. This includes mapping out who will be where and when. It means letting the kids know what will be happening so they can feel less stressed and more relaxed about the whole situation. Also, parents must be willing to be flexible. Not everyone will get the kids when they want them. It is likely compromises will have to be made. This is just part of the deal once parents divorce.

3 ways to divide the Thanksgiving holiday

The Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner, and with that, it's possible that you're dealing with a dispute about how to handle your custody arrangements. It's difficult for a child to be in two places on the same day, and for your family, Thanksgiving is a day of significance. What can you do to make sure your scheduling works best for you, your ex and your child?

There are various parenting plans you can choose for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are a few to consider in advance, so you don't have to argue about where your child will end up.

What to do when vaccinations cause co-parenting problems

Co-parenting after a Virginia divorce is not always easy. Parents often disagree on the different aspects of raising a child. One area where parents may find a major issue is when it comes to vaccinations. While the majority opinion is that they are good for children and society, some parents may be completely against vaccinating their children. If one parent is an anti-vaccine advocate and the other wants his or her children vaccinated, it can become a major point of contention.

In a divorce situation, the court assigns parental rights. Typically, both parents are given an equal say in how their children are raised. This includes whether they are vaccinated or not. According to NBC News, some parents may disagree over specific vaccines instead of not vaccinating in general. These cases can often be resolved easily through talking with the medical provider and getting more information about the vaccine.

How are military pensions handled in a divorce?

How are military pensions handled in a divorce?

Military life is never easy, but if you or your spouse is in the military and you are thinking about getting a divorce in Virginia, your life can become even more complicated, especially with regard to issues surrounding the military pension. The Virginia State Bar explains that the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act allows state courts to treat military pensions as marital property for purposes of a property settlement, but only in certain situations.

Alimony in a military divorce

A divorce can sometimes be more complicated if one of the spouses is in the military. Many Virginia couples may have questions about alimony and how it works for military families.

Although alimony is usually awarded in many divorces, it may be seen as a requirement when a service member divorces. The American Bar Association says that this is because the armed forces place a heavy emphasis on financially supporting military families. This means that if a state court does not establish alimony payments, the serviceman's branch of the military will usually set them up. If the military establishes these payments, the serviceman's rank usually determines the amount.

What are some facts about child support?

If you have a child and are no longer in a relationship with your child's other parent, you may be dealing with child support. Child support is a payment made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help pay for the child's needs. According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, when figuring child support, the court considers many factors, such as childcare expenses, health insurance expenses, the number of children and the incomes of both parents.

You will get child support until your child turns 18 in most cases, but there are some situations where you may continue to receive it even after your child turns 18. It depends on what is stated in your court order, and state law says support must continue to age 19 if the child is still in high school. It also depends if back support is owed. That obligation does not go away when a child turns 18. In addition, if you have more than one child, the support may not automatically go down when one child turns 18. Support may also stop if parental rights are terminated for any reason, such as adoption, but this is not always automatic and is up to the court to decide.

Is your prenup invalid?

Before you wed in Viginia, you may have entered into a prenup agreement and assumed that your rights and assets would be protected if your marriage ended in divorce. Many people are surprised to find that their premarital agreement may not be as sound as they believed it to be. We at Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates can not only assist you as you establish a prenup before you are married, we can also help you determine if your existing agreement is valid.

According to Findlaw, there are several reasons why your prenup could be considered invalid in the eyes of the court. If either of you did not fully disclose all of your liabilities, assets or income, your agreement may be void. 

Should I choose a divorce attorney or a mediator?

If you and your spouse are Virginia residents contemplating divorce, you can choose to each hire an attorney or you can together hire an impartial mediator to help you resolve your issues and arrive at a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. In its Divorce Handbook, Fairfax County explains that mediation addresses the economic and parenting issues you face, such as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of marital property.

One of the advantages of mediation, however, ultimately can become its greatest disadvantage as well. That is the fact that you and your spouse are in control. The mediator can help you negotiate with each other, but cannot force you to reach agreement. Should you fail to arrive at a mutually satisfactory divorce settlement, including custody, visitation, and support of your children, you will have wasted your time and money and have to start from scratch with private attorneys.

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Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates
124 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

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