Custody and support provisions are matters commonly broached by couples looking to separate or divorce. More specifically, they typically bring these matters up with their lawyers. However, there are times when custody and support provisions in a separation agreement are unenforceable. In this blog, we will explore those circumstances. What does Virginia law dictate? Learn more by reading on.
Any changes in the family’s circumstances can allow for an alteration or modification of these provisions. These provisions are normally made as they pertain to child custody, child support, and visitation rights. Thus, one immediately unenforceable provision is one that stipulates that future modifications cannot be made.
What are Some Other Custody and Support Provisions We Can Take as Examples?
Future Child Support Payments Being Waived: Parents cannot waive their rights to request future child support payments. The reason for this is that children are still entitled to receive support and the parents cannot abandon their duty to financially support their children.
If this were possible, then Virginia would face an unenviable situation where assistance to families who need it will not be able to receive it. Given present circumstantial resources, though, families can agree to temporarily suspend child support payments, but they cannot agree to end them.
Custody Matters: As a family’s circumstances change, so too can custody matters. Depending on where the custodial parent relocates, custody could transfer from one parent to the other. Regardless, the court’s chief concern is the best interests of the child or children. Whatever promises or agreements the parents made with each other in the past, those pacts are not as important as what is in the child’s best interest. Thus, even if the parents make arrangements with regard to custody and visitation, if there is a material change in circumstances the court may modify the agreement if it is is determined by the Court to be in the child’s best interest.
Jurisdiction Over Custody and Visitation Rights in the Future: One last element of custody and support provisions which are unenforceable involve jurisdiction. Jurisdiction over custody and visitation rights in the future cannot be decided through a contractual agreement. In this case, jurisdiction refers to a very specific scenario. This scenario is one in which the state that holds jurisdiction over custody and visitation rights is given jurisdiction with no defined expiration date.
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