Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Child support/custody & care questions

Just a few quick questions. Will try to keep it very simplified.

1. Divorce was done in VA - neither parties live there anymore. Can case be transferred to state currently residing in?

2. Joint custody - however mother and children moved with new husband overseas for 5 year military term - should full c/s be paid since he is not seeing his children?

3. Since mother has chosen not to work anymore - should c/s be adjusted or would paying father end up paying more for her choice to not work?

4. Full c/s is being pd monthly and on time. We are getting notes from teachers that the kids are coming to school dirty and smelling very badly on a regular basis. They have talked to their mother about this several times and nothing has been done to change this. Can and should this be reported as child neglect?

5. One child is failing in school and getting in trouble constantly. We are trying to get him to live with us (as that is what he wants anyways) What is the legal age for a child to decide this on their own? Do we need to go through VA to do this, or can we start paperwork here?

Any input or suggestions is very much appreciated.

Asked on 4/25/06, 12:46 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Tiziana Ventimiglia Tiziana Ventimiglia, Attorney at Law

Re: Child support/custody & care questions

1.Even though the divorce was done in Virginia, if neither party is residing in Virginia changes to the current child support order and custody can be initiated in the State where the CHILDREN currently reside.

2. Ability to see the children and child support are not linked. Non custodial parent does not pay child support in exchange of the ability to see the child. You are paying child support for the rearing of the child.

3. I do not believe that her choice not to work will, in this case, impact your child support amount.

4. I think that this problem is serious and it needs to be addressed through the court if she is not willing to discuss it or fix it.

5. There is no set age. The court will look at the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, not at what parents or children may want necessarily. The children's wishes are taken into consideration, but it is only one of the many factors involved: school, friends, extracurricular activities, distance from other siblings, suitability of new house, uprooting and so forth are very strong factors.


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Answered on 4/25/06, 7:36 am

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