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Fairfax Virginia Family Law Blog

When grandparents step in for parents who fall prey to opioid abuse

The opioid crisis has had many impacts here in Virginia and the rest of the United States. This includes major impacts within families. When parents are struggling with opioid addiction, their children could be at risk of not getting the solid parenting they need. In some instances, such children end up going into the foster system.

In some families, grandparents are stepping up when their grandchildren aren’t getting the parenting they need due to a parental opioid addiction. As a recent CBS News article noted, there are plenty of instances these days of grandparents taking up the role of raising their grandchildren when parents aren’t able to due to opioid abuse struggles.

The effect of other divorce issues on child support

Generally, when setting child support in divorce cases, Virginia courts use the state's child support guidelines. Many things impact what sort of child support arrangement will end up being reached under these guidelines. This includes what happens with other major issues in a divorce.

Today, we will go over the impacts three common divorce issues can have on child support calculations under the guidelines.

Important financial considerations for single parents

Post-divorce life can involve many things. For some, this includes being a single parent. There are many worries single parents can have following a divorce. This includes concerns about financial issues.

For one, they may be worried about whether they will have the resources necessary to properly meet their children’s needs. Having a fair child support arrangement in place can be of considerable help on this front. So, child support issues are among the things it can be wise for parents to give appropriate attention to during and after a divorce.

What forms can spousal support take in Virginia?

In some Virginia divorces, courts order one spouse to pay alimony to the other. Spousal support can vary greatly in amount. It can also vary in form. Today, we’ll go over the different forms of alimony that courts can grant under state law.

What happens with the family home in a divorce?

A wide range of property division issues arise in divorces. For many divorcing couples, one of the biggest to address is the matter of what to do with the family home.

There is not one uniform way that homes are handled in Virginia divorces. There are many different arrangements that could be reached when it comes to such property.

August: Starting school and ending marriage

August marks the end of summer and the children's impending return to school. It is also likely that if you're going to divorce this year, it will happen this month.

Research from the University of Washington found a biannual trend of divorce filings in March and August. The school of thought behind what researches believe motivates divorce during these times is that couples give it "one last try" through the winter holiday season or a summer vacation with the children. If their hopes for reconciliation or improvement aren't met, they choose to end the marriage.

Does length of marriage matter in a divorce?

Some couples get divorced relatively early in their marriage. Others end a marriage decades after it started. However long a person has been married prior to a divorce, what happens in his or her divorce can have significant impacts on his or her future.

This does not mean, though, that length of a marriage is irrelevant in Virginia divorces. On the contrary, it can have significant ramifications on important divorce issues. Take, for example, asset division.

Student loans can be a factor in divorce

Many people have student debt here in the United States. Reportedly, there is currently around $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the nation. The average outstanding student loan balance is estimated to be over $34,000. So, it is not uncommon for couples to enter marriage with one spouse or both spouses carrying a fair amount in student loans.

A recent survey indicates it is also not uncommon for the financial stress of such debt to be a factor to divorces. The survey, by Student Loan Hero, was of over 800 divorced individuals. Around 13 percent of the respondents cited student loan debt as a factor in their divorce.

A spousal support tax break is coming to an end

For over 70 years, Americans paying spousal support have received significant tax breaks, especially in cases involving a large wage gap between former spouses. This break is coming to an end in 2019. A recently developed law will remove tax breaks on spousal support payments that are finalized after December 31, 2018. Both individuals paying and receiving support will be affected.

A race to finalize agreements

Under the current law, individuals paying spousal support can deduct the payments from their income. Payments are also counted as income for individuals receiving spousal support. Starting in 2019, spousal support, also known as alimony, will no longer be deductible.

Does custody impact parental access to records?

In a divorce, many things could happen with child custody. It could end up being given jointly to both parents. Another possibility is one parent being given sole custody, with the other getting visitation time.

What child custody arrangement comes out of a divorce can impact many things. This includes the amount of time each parent gets with a child and what decision-making power each parent gets regarding the child.

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