A proposal that would update Virginia’s child support guidelines for the first time in 26 years advanced by a 15-5 vote in the House Courts of Justice committee today.

House Bill 933, sponsored by Del. Vivian E. Watts, D-Fairfax, would specify monthly child support amounts for those who earn a gross monthly income of up to $35,000, with an additional amount for gross income above $35,000.

Virginia is one of only seven states that have not updated their guidelines since their implementation in 1988.

The bill would also remove the current $250 threshold on reasonable and necessary unreimbursed medical or dental expenses that are required to be paid by each parent in proportion to their gross incomes.

Under current law, the custodial parent pays for any such cost below $250. By removing this threshold, parents would split the cost right away.

The committee also passed a proposal by Del. A. Benton "Ben" Chafin, R-Russell, that would make it easier for grandparents of divorced children to get visitation.

It also backed a measure by Del. James M. LeMunyon, R-Fairfax, that would streamline child custody proceedings by allowing that issues of custody or visitation be included in a single petition in juvenile and domestic relations district court and that such issues may be included in a single petition involving two or more children - if such children have the same parents or legal guardians

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