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Can I get a better custody arrangement?: We divorced in WA 5 years ago (finalized 4 years ago). We had a 50-50 custody agreement (our daughter was only 1 when we divorced) because I didn't work so she was with me every day. After a year, I moved to VA for work and we had 2 sets of agreements: one until the father moves to VA, and one after he moves. He moved after a year and a half. The agreement amounted to our daughter being with him 5.5 out of 14 days, but he has never respected the agreement because the first year, he was living with his sister and "couldn't" have our daughter over much. The second year, he moved out but was constantly going out of town (for work or pleasure), so I've been very accommodating and allowing him to constantly change the schedule, including often on a last-minute basis. He now suddenly wants to go to 6 out of 14 days, "as agreed in Seattle." He lives 11.5 miles from her school (25-45 mins) and I live across the street. He has averaged 5.9 days a month with her in the past 2 years (I have a detailed record). The amount of his child support is based on the original agreement. Can I legally change his time with her to 5 or 4 out of 14 days?

Asked 9 months ago in Child Custody

Brandon’s answer: In order to change the support amount you can either re-examine based upon a change in income, or a change to the custody order. In order to change custody arrangement you must first show a material change in circumstances. There are multiple facts you have identified, which would allow you to do so: (1) a change in the status quo as to the visitation time father is exercising; (2) both parties have moved; and (3) the changing developmental needs of the child. Each of these would allow a court to re-examine the custody arrangement and potentially the support. (There could be independent reasons for changing support outside of what's been noted above). At this point the best advice would be for you to meet with a child custody attorney, and take your divorce documents to the meeting for that attorney to review.

Answered 9 months ago.


Does child support stop in Virginia if the child has dropped out of school and no long lives with the mom: My husband and I have been paying his ex-wife child support for the now 17 year old son they share. The order was through Division of Child Support, but nothing through the courts. As we've been told it was only an admin order. About a year ago we received a letter stating they were closing her case because they couldn't locate her, she kept moving state to state. Last week she advised us that their son dropped out of school last year. So he hasn't been going to school. On top of that, they were living in Florida and apparently last week moved back to VA. The mother advised that the child may be going to live with a friend in NC. Number one, does the support end of the child dropped out of school? And if the child doesn't even live with the mother any longer?

Asked 9 months ago in Child Support

Brandon’s answer: The brief answer is No. Support does not automatically terminate when a child is no longer enrolled. Nor would it end, without court order, if the child is temporarily residing with someone else. You will need to obtain an order vacating the support, if the admin order is still in place and being enforced. However, based upon your question, it appears the order is no longer in place or being enforced by DCSE. I would suggest meeting with a child support attorney in order to more clearly determine what if any obligations there maybe for support.

Answered 9 months ago.


If my ex girlfriend admits to having a verbal 50/50 custody to the judge will I be granted that?: Im not the biological dad. The child calls me dad and only knows me as dad. Ive been in her life since she was 1. She is now 6yrs old

Asked 9 months ago in Child Custody

Brandon’s answer: The answer to this question will depend on what the position of the biological father is in regards to custody. It would also depend on the extant to which you have "been in the child's life." Virginia law does allow persons who stand in loco parentis - in place of a parent, to exercise parental rights such as custody, visitation, etc. Ultimately, you need to meet with a child custody attorney and discuss more details about your relationship and the other parties to provide a full answer.

Answered 9 months ago.