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New child support rules proposed

Child support regulations are meant to ensure that no child goes without at least the basic needs. For some parents, the noncustodial parent does not always live up to the financial obligations and therefore the children suffer when the custodial parent cannot make ends meet. This is another area where the guidelines are important; to help keep that from happening.

Fairfax readers might already know that Virginia's child support laws are antiquated and in need of updating. The current regulations have been on the books since 1988 and are based on financial guidelines from the 1970s. That needs to change since financial needs have changed significantly.

Another issue that needs addressing is the fact that the regulations are still skewered toward the traditional relationship paradigm where the woman gets custody and the man is the one with the child support obligation. The current guidelines do not take into account that both parents might work, the father might be the custodial parent, or that the parents might not be married. The proposed new guidelines would make the obligation more equitable, such as who is required to pay for medical expenses, and splits the financial obligation down the middle when both parents work and make similar amounts.

Instead of making legal professionals work around the antiquated regulations, it would make more sense to revamp the guidelines to meet the current needs of Virginia parents. By doing this, all parents would be protected, and it would be in the best interests of the child. For anyone who needs help with collecting child support or feels their obligation to pay child support is not quite fair, speaking to a legal professional can help either parent receive fair treatment.

Source:  TimesDispatch.com, "Burshem: Time to update Virginia's child support guidelines" Craig M.Burshem, Feb. 01, 2014

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