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Leesburg VA Divorce Law Blog

What to know about wage garnishment in Virginia

A wage garnishment is an order for an employer to withhold a certain portion of an employees paycheck. The money that is withheld goes to a creditor, a tax authority or any other entity that is owed money. Typically, wage garnishment is used to repay tax debt or other debts owed to the government. Wage garnishment is regulated in part by Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

The terms of the act stipulate how much of a person's paycheck can be garnished. It also protects employees from being terminated if wages are only being garnished to pay a single debt. However, this act does not say anything about matters unrelated to how much is being garnished or if an employee is terminated for having wages garnished. The law applies to anyone with personal earnings such as wages or salaries.

Primary caregivers and child custody

When deciding on child custody matters during a divorce, a judge will often give physical custody to the parent who serves as the primary caretaker of the child. Any Virginia resident who is seeking custody of his or her child will benefit from understanding how being a primary caregiver can affect a child custody decision.

The inclination to choose a primary caregiver as the primary custodial parent is an aspect that is rooted in psychology. Psychologists place significance on the relationship and emotional bond between a child and his or her caretaker. The continued presence of both is necessary for the proper development of the child. When making decisions regarding child custody, the family court judge will make a decision based on the overall best interests of the child.

Child support and credit in Virginia

According to NPR, Americans owed over $113 billion in child support in 2015. Typically, child support debt is reported to credit agencies by the agency responsible for collecting the debt. Therefore, failing to pay could have consequences for an individual's credit report and score. This also means that paying child support on time could improve an individual's credit situation.

The exact impact of missed payments depends on state laws. For some, a late payment is only reported to credit agencies if they hit a days late or amount owed threshold. This means that there may be some leeway for those who miss a payment to take action. It is important to note that a missed or late child support payment may have the same impact as missing a credit card or mortgage payment.

Divorce can reveal lack of financial skills in one partner

Many Virginia residents have heard at least one divorce horror story. Typically, one spouse leaves the financial decisions and tasks to the other. When the marriage ends, one person does not get the financial settlement that was expected, especially when the couple had a lot of assets. Advisers recommend that spouses play an equal role in handling money. In the event of a divorce, the participation of both people in their joint financial life could build the foundation for a fair and equitable resolution.

The funding of retirement accounts represents one area where both spouses should participate. Individual financial planning like this could reduce problems during a divorce, but a couple should not fixate on the potential for splitting. The spouses should see it as a way to plan successfully for a future together.

Reality stars headed to court for child custody case

Virginia residents who follow reality shows might have heard of the series that takes places in South Carolina called "Southern Charm," and those who are unfamiliar could still be interested when wanting to know about family law issues as the latest drama surrounding two stars of the show involves a custody battle. Various media outlets are reporting that 54-year-old Thomas Ravenel is filing a suit regarding a custody agreement about his two children with 24-year-old Kathryn Dennis.

It seems that these parents do not have a court-ordered custody agreement in place and that Ravenel wants to go to court to obtain one so that he can see his children, a 2-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son, but Dennis claims that Ravenel has not made any recent financial contributions for their children. She also says that he has not seen them in nearly three months and that she is essentially a single parent as Ravenel is not involved in the children's lives.

Modifying child support when circumstances change

Some Virginia parents who are ordered to pay child support may find it difficult to make payments. If the parent has experienced a major change in financial circumstances, it may be possible to seek and obtain a modification of the ordered amount to reflect the change in income.

Changes in income or in a person's financial circumstances normally result when they get a new job or become unemployed. A child support modification may be made on either a temporary or permanent basis. Common reasons to file a modification might include losing a job, becoming disabled, either parent going to jail or prison, either parent having a substantial income increase or if a child becomes more dependent on certain needs.

Issues with child custody

Divorce and child custody disputes can be difficult for both Virginia parents and their children. While the children need to know that they are loved and cared for, the parents may be too wrapped up in their own drama to always recognize this. If parents are not on good terms, one or both may not abide by the parenting schedule, which could put the children in a tenuous situation.

Even worse, some parents may show up on some designated transfer days and not show up on others. This may create confusion on the part of both the parent expecting the other to pick up the child as well as the child who may be left feeling unwanted. In some cases, parents who fail to show for scheduled visits may be fined or given the opportunity to make that time up.

Divorce mistakes to avoid

Virginia couples who are ending their marriages may want to make certain they are taking a logical and smart approach to the process. Doing so can save a person thousands of dollars both during and after the divorce.

A common mistake people make is engaging in protracted and bitter litigation. This drives up legal expenses while drawing out the process. Litigation may also make it more difficult to get along later, which may be important if a couple shares children. There are alternative methods available that are designed to help couples resolve outstanding issues and reach an accord, including mediation and collaborative divorce.

The pluses, and minuses, of uncontested divorce in Virginia

If you or your spouse (or both of you) are considering divorce, there are probably problems in your marriage that, try as the two of you have, cannot be overcome. Perhaps only one spouse is ready to move on, which could make negotiating a settlement difficult.

But if you and your spouse both agree that divorce is the best option, you may be able to save a great deal of time and money compared with the traditional, confrontational divorce path. In Virginia, many couples are able to take advantage of uncontested divorce instead.

Ex-husband gets 4 years for hiding marital assets overseas

Getting an equitable share of your marital assets in your divorce can be difficult when you do not know how much there is to split up. Some couples share in all financial planning, so each spouse has a good idea of what assets they own and what they are worth. Other times, one spouse handles all the finances and earns all he income, leaving the other spouse largely in the dark about money matters.

Uncovering the size and value of the marital asset pile becomes even more complicated when one spouse is dishonest. Unfortunately, some high-income people going through divorce try to hide assets from their ex and the court, to keep those valuable assets for themselves -- even though the ex deserves a fair share too.