The times they are a changin’; or so the song goes. In the area of Family Law; there are several changes which take effect July 1, 2020, of which we want all the members of our Holcomb Law tribe to be aware.
Probably the biggest change has to do with the area of adultery in Divorces. Formerly, a person accused of adultery in Virginia would be advised to “plead the 5th” in any deposition, hearing, or in the answering of any discovery requests in their divorce case. Until July 1, 2020, the Court could not take that to mean anything bad for that person (in legalese, the Court could not take a “negative inference”). Now, if you refuse to answer a question regarding that accusation, and avail yourself of a proper Constitutional protection not to incriminate yourself; a divorce Court in Virginia may legally take that to mean that you have something to hide. Perhaps even take it as a tacit admission to the accusation of adultery.
There are also changes to the manner in which the law treats child daycare records, the child tax exemptions and credits, the costs of child health insurance coverage, the standards and practices of court-appointed guardians ad litem (lawyers for children in custody and visitation cases), the calculation of pendente lite (temporary) spousal support guidelines, and the dissolution of protective orders.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list of the new laws affecting Family Law in the Old Dominion; call the professionals at Holcomb Law today to make sure you aren’t operating under old assumptions.