Our legislature has stepped up to the plate and enacted new child support laws and guidelines. The new guidelines will mark the first amendment in over 25 years. Highlighted below are two significant changes to the Virginia Child Support laws:
Child Support Guidelines
If you look at the current Virginia Child Support Guidelines statute (Va. Code 20-108.2), you will see a long table with presumptive monthly child support obligations, based on the combined monthly gross incomes of the parents–aptly titled “Schedule of Monthly Basic Child Support Obligations”.
This table will be different in July 2014 when the amended statute takes effect. If you look at the revisions (here: HB 933), you will immediately notice the differences. The most notable:
- There are new minimum amounts for the lowest income range, and the support figures change depending on the number of children.
- The new guidelines have specific support figures for combined gross incomes over 10,000, all the way up to 35,000.
Should you file to amend your current order based on these new child support guidelines?
- Possibly! Depending on the circumstances, the new law may substantially increase or decrease the support amount in your case. We would strongly suggest that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine whether the new law would lead to a deviation from the current amount that is significant enough to warrant the filing of a motion to amend your support order.
Unreimbursed Medical Expenses
The current law requires that the custodial parent foot the bill for the first $250.00 in “reasonable and necessary unreimbursed medical or dental expenses” for each child who is the subject of the support order (unless the parties otherwise agree, or good cause is shown as to why this should not be the case). After the first $250.00, the parties typically divide additional unreimbursed expenses in proportion to their gross incomes. See Virginia Code 20-108.2(D).
The new law removes the $250.00 threshold. This means that, absent good cause or an agreement to the contrary, the parties will proportionately divide all reasonable and necessary unreimbursed expenses. This is a significant change for custodial parents—especially those with 2 or more kids who have currently been obligated to pay $500+ each year in unreimbursed expenses, before the other parent even becomes responsible for a portion.
Should you file to amend your current order based on this change in the law?
- If you are the custodial parent and your order requires you to pay the first $250.00 of unreimbursed medical expenses, you should contact a Virginia family law attorney to discuss your options. It may be worthwhile to pursue an amendment to your order.
The Virginia trial lawyers at BoykoNapier practice family law throughout the Richmond area, including Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover and the surrounding localities. If you are considering a review of your child support order, contact BoykoNapier today at (804) 658-3418, or contact us via email.