(BA, MBA, JD)
Attorney at Law
Lieutenant Robinson, U.S. Navy Flight Instructor, 1992
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 1999 by Ronald Robinson.
Some Virginia Code Sections on Modification of Orders
§ 20-74. Support orders to remain in effect until annulled; modification.
Any order of support or amendment thereof entered under the provisions of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect until annulled by the court of original jurisdiction, or the court to which an appeal may be taken; however, such order of support or terms of probation shall be subject to change or modification by the court from time to time, as circumstances may require, but no such change or modification shall affect or relieve the surety of his or her obligation under such recognizance, provided notice thereof be forthwith given to such surety. No support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party.
§ 20-88.39. Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify child support order.
A. A tribunal of the Commonwealth that has issued a child support order consistent with the law of the Commonwealth has and shall exercise continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its child support order if the order is the controlling order, and:
1. At the time of the filing of a request for modification, the Commonwealth is the residence of the obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit the support order is issued; or
2. Even if the Commonwealth is not the residence of the obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit the support order is issued, the parties consent in a record that the tribunal of the Commonwealth may continue to exercise its jurisdiction to modify its order.
B. A tribunal of the Commonwealth that has issued a child support order consistent with the law of the Commonwealth may not exercise continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify the order if:
1. All of the parties who are individuals file consent in a record with the tribunal of the Commonwealth that a tribunal of another state that has jurisdiction over at least one of the parties who is an individual or who is located in the state of residence of the child may modify the order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction; or
2. Its order is not the controlling order.
C. If a tribunal of another state has issued a child support order pursuant to this chapter or a law substantially similar to this chapter that modifies a child support order of a tribunal of the Commonwealth, tribunals of the Commonwealth shall recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of the tribunal of the other state.
D. A tribunal of the Commonwealth that lacks continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify a child support order may serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of another state to modify a support order issued in that state.
E. A temporary support order issued ex parte or pending resolution of a jurisdictional conflict does not create continuing, exclusive jurisdiction in the issuing tribunal.
F. The support enforcement agency of the Commonwealth is not authorized to establish or enforce a support order for spousal support only.
§ 20-108. Revision and alteration of such decrees.
The court may, from time to time after decreeing as provided in § 20-107.2, on petition of either of the parents, or on its own motion or upon petition of any probation officer or the Department of Social Services, which petition shall set forth the reasons for the relief sought, revise and alter such decree concerning the care, custody, and maintenance of the children and make a new decree concerning the same, as the circumstances of the parents and the benefit of the children may require. The intentional withholding of visitation of a child from the other parent without just cause may constitute a material change of circumstances justifying a change of custody in the discretion of the court.
No support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party.
Any member of the United States Armed Forces Reserves, Virginia National Guard, or Virginia National Guard Reserves, who files a petition or is a party to a petition requesting the adjudication of the custody, visitation or support of a child based on a change of circumstances because one of the parents has been called to active duty, shall be entitled to have such a petition expedited on the docket of the court.
§ 20-109. Changing maintenance and support for a spouse; effect of stipulations as to maintenance and support for a spouse; cessation upon cohabitation, remarriage or death.
A. Upon petition of either party the court may increase, decrease, or terminate the amount or duration of any spousal support and maintenance that may thereafter accrue, whether previously or hereafter awarded, as the circumstances may make proper. Upon order of the court based upon clear and convincing evidence that the spouse receiving support has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year or more commencing on or after July 1, 1997, the court shall terminate spousal support and maintenance unless (i) otherwise provided by stipulation or contract or (ii) the spouse receiving support proves by a preponderance of the evidence that termination of such support would be unconscionable. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all orders and decrees for spousal support, regardless of the date of the suit for initial setting of support, the date of entry of any such order or decree, or the date of any petition for modification of support.
B. The court may consider a modification of an award of spousal support for a defined duration upon petition of either party filed within the time covered by the duration of the award. Upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection E of § 20-107.1, the court may increase, decrease or terminate the amount or duration of the award upon finding that (i) there has been a material change in the circumstances of the parties, not reasonably in the contemplation of the parties when the award was made or (ii) an event which the court anticipated would occur during the duration of the award and which was significant in the making of the award, does not in fact occur through no fault of the party seeking the modification. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to suits for initial spousal support orders filed on or after July 1, 1998, and suits for modification of spousal support orders arising from suits for initial support orders filed on or after July 1, 1998.
C. In suits for divorce, annulment and separate maintenance, and in proceedings arising under subdivision A 3 or subsection L of § 16.1-241, if a stipulation or contract signed by the party to whom such relief might otherwise be awarded is filed before entry of a final decree, no decree or order directing the payment of support and maintenance for the spouse, suit money, or counsel fee or establishing or imposing any other condition or consideration, monetary or nonmonetary, shall be entered except in accordance with that stipulation or contract. If such a stipulation or contract is filed after entry of a final decree and if any party so moves, the court shall modify its decree to conform to such stipulation or contract.
D. Unless otherwise provided by stipulation or contract, spousal support and maintenance shall terminate upon the death of either party or remarriage of the spouse receiving support. The spouse entitled to support shall have an affirmative duty to notify the payor spouse immediately of remarriage at the last known address of the payor spouse.
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