Posts Tagged ‘Support’

What Is An ‘Uncontested Divorce’?

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

I often have potential clients come into my office saying that they want an ‘uncontested divorce’, that quickly evolves into a ‘contested divorce’ instead.  Most of the time that is because the client really doesn’t understand what is meant by an ‘uncontested divorce’.

It is more than just an agreement that the marriage should be ended.

At least one of the Circuit Courts in this area has detailed exactly what they consider to be an ‘Uncontested Divorce’:

(a) All of the issues regarding the division of property have been agreed to by the parties; and

(b) The grounds are separation for the statutory period (no-fault); and

(c) Child support, spousal support, custody, and/or visitation are not requested; or if they are requested; there is a written and signed agreement between the spouses.

Of course, there is often no signed agreement when you first come to the attorney’s office for a consultation, but in order to have a true uncontested divorce, you need to have full agreement between the husband and wife about the important aspects of the property division and matters concerning the children.

I suggest that the husband and wife should write down what they understand to be in the agreement, so both parties have a copy of what is going to be put in the final agreement drafted by the attorney.  Once the details are given to the attorney, he or she can put those details into the proper form.

If any of the above are not true, then you probably do not have an uncontested divorce.  This does not necessarily mean that the divorce has to be contentious or that we can not quickly get to an agreement, but it will take at least a minimum of time and effort.

Usually, if the other spouse has retained an attorney for anything other than to just prepare or review some paperwork, the divorce is considered contested.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at

The basics of child support

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

The Commonwealth of Virginia has determined that the legal parents of a child are responsible for supporting that child.  The Commonwealth also believes that a child should share in the lifestyle of the parents.  What this means is that a family with a monthly gross income of $1,000 per month will pay much less than a family with a monthly gross income of $8,000.

Virginia makes the determination of child support very easy.  Section 20-108.2 of the Code of Virginia actually has numbers which serve as the presumed amount that should be paid in child support.  Parents can argue that they should be allowed to deviate from these figures, but this is where the discussion needs to start.

To use this ‘chart’ to determine child support, you first take the gross income of the mother and the gross income of the father and add them together to get the gross income of the family.  Gross income is the amount before any deductions are taken for taxes, garnishments etc.  In the case of military personnel, the gross income includes any amounts for BAH, BAS etc.  You go down the far left column of this chart until you come to the row that holds the value of the gross income of the family (the rows are in $50 increments, so if your income is between rows, you might need to do a little adjusting).  Now that you have the correct row, you go across that row to the column that indicates the number of children.  Note that the support for two children is not double the amount for one child.

As an example, if Dad has a gross income of $3,000 per month and Mom has a gross income of $1,000 per month, the family income is $4,000 per month so you go to the row for $4,0o0.  Assuming there are two children, you go to the column for two children and the presumed correct child support amount is $861 per month.   This is the amount that the parents together should be providing for the support of the children.

Since our example has Dad making $3,000 out of the family gross income of $4,000 he makes 3/4 (or 75%) of the family income and Mom makes 1/4 (or 25%) of the family income.

You take the number in the table, $861 per month and multiply that by 3/4 to get an amount of $645.75 that is the responsibility of Dad and 1/4 of $861 to get the amount of $215.25 which is the responsibility of Mom.

If the kids are living with Dad, Mom will pay Dad $215.25 per month.  If the kids are living with Mom, Dad will pay Mom $645.75 per month.  Of course, if the family is all living together, there is really no need to even consider this!

There might be other adjustments to these figures, but this always the starting point, and when you go to court you always need to have the guideline numbers available for the judge to review.