Curran Moher Weis Signs on as Main Sponsor for 2019 Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice

 

For the 7th consecutive year, Curran Moher Weis will sponsor the Annual Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice 5K – and in 2019, serve as the main, Superhero-level sponsor of the event.

This will be a milestone year, marking 10 years that the Fairfax Law Foundation has hosted the race, which supports pro bono legal service programs for Fairfax County residents who could not otherwise afford representation. The Foundation’s program also provides legal education programs and interactive activities for area students.

Curran Moher Weis has sponsored the event every year since our inception in 2012, as part of our effort to give back to the Northern Virginia community we serve. Our exceptional attorneys and staff will be out in full force at the event – running, volunteering and cheering on race participants.

Stop by the Curran Moher Weis booth for even more fun, including games and activities to keep children – and adults – occupied before and after the race! And follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/curranmoherweis) or Instagram (instagram.com/curranmoherweis) for the latest news, and photos, leading up to and on race day.

 

More Information:

Fairfax Law Foundation Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice 5K

Sunday, April 7, 2019 (Kids’ Fun Run: 8:30 a.m. | 5K: 9 a.m.)

Fairfax Corner (4100 Monument Corner Drive | Fairfax, VA 22030) | Course Map

Register to run, or sign up as a volunteer.


Divorce, Custody, and Child Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs (Part I)

By: Demian J. McGarry, Esq., and Nicole Grejda, Esq.

This is the first in a series of blogs Curran Moher Weis attorneys will be publishing on divorce and child support involving children with special needs. We invite you to bookmark our blog and check back regularly for further input on this important topic.

If you have a child with special needs, you already face a great deal of unique challenges. Those challenges become increasingly complex if you are also navigating a divorce and/or a child custody, visitation, or child support determination in Virginia.

At Curran Moher Weis, we believe that when a marriage or partnership involving children dissolves, it is of the utmost importance to consider solutions that benefit the child(ren) – especially those with special needs. That starts with ensuring you have an experienced family law attorney who understands the complexities of these issues and can help you understand them as well. This blog series will shed light on this special area of focus for our firm.

Custody and Visitation of Children with Special Needs 

In divorce cases in Virginia, the court is asked to determine a custody and visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the child.  When a child has special needs, several points of consideration factor into the court’s decision.

One factor the court must consider is “the age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s change developmental needs.” This means the court will consider how experienced and knowledgeable a parent is regarding the administration of medication to the child, how involved a parent is in the child’s necessary services, such as individualized educational programs (IEPs) and occupational, physical, or mental health therapy, and how much time a parent can devote to the daily care of the child.  If parents are conflicted about how to care for a child, the court may consider which parent has acted in the child’s best interests to that point, and which parent articulates the best plan for the child going forward.  The court will also consider how prepared and able each parent is to have the child with him or her.

Child Support Involving Children with Special Needs 

The court is commonly asked to determine the appropriate amount of child support payable by one parent to the other for the benefit of the child, under “guidelines” set forth in Virginia Code Section 20-108.2.

The amount of support calculated with those guidelines is presumed correct unless there is relevant evidence that a deviation would be in the best interest of the child based on factors set forth in Section 20-108.1(B). One factor that must be considered pursuant to Section 20-108.1(B)(8) is “any special needs of a child resulting from any physical, emotional, or medical condition.” A court may consider, for example, the cost of medication, medical equipment, nursing services in the home, medical transportation, and the cost associated with treatment plans.

Although child support typically terminates when a child reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates, for a special need child, child support can be extended for significantly longer.  For example, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 20-124.2(C), the court may order that child support continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is: (a) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, and such disability existed prior to the child reaching the age of 18 or the age of 19 […]; (b) unable to live independently and support himself; and (c) residing in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support.

While we’re sharing these codes of Virginia law as information to know about these issues, don’t worry about remembering them.  That’s our job.

Special Needs Trust/ABLE Account 

The court may also order that child support payments be paid to a Special Needs Trust or an ABLE account.

Special Needs Trusts are often created to address the unique needs of the child and to ensure that child support payments or other funds are used to meet those unique needs. Special Needs Trusts also provide an additional benefit: if money is held in a Special Needs Trust for the benefit of the child instead of being paid directly to the child to meet his or her living expenses, then the child is not deemed ineligible to qualify for government benefits such as social security income and/or Medicaid. A child will therefore be able to receive support from the Special Needs Trust in addition to any applicable government benefits.

An ABLE account is a tax-advantaged savings account for a person who becomes disabled prior to the age of 26. As long as the funds held in the ABLE account are used for “qualifying expenses,” then the earnings on the account investments are not taxed. Similar to a Special Needs Trust, funds in an ABLE account do not risk the child being deemed ineligible to qualify for government benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 

Divorcing parents of children with special needs, or those navigating a child support matter, also need to be aware of the numerous public resources that may be available to them.  Parents may receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on behalf of their physically and/or intellectually challenged child.  SSI:

  • Is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and
  • Provides financial assistance to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Parents also need to be aware that in Virginia, a custodial parent’s receipt of SSI benefits for a special needs child does not entitle the non-custodial parent to a credit or reduction in their child support. SSI benefits received for a child are designed to supplement other income, not substitute for it.

Medicaid Waivers 

Medicaid waivers can be a critical element in the care plan for a physically and/or intellectually challenged child. A Medicaid waiver is a provision in Medicaid law which allows the federal government to waive rules that usually apply to the Medicaid program. The intention is to allow individual states to accomplish certain goals, such as reducing costs, expanding coverage or improving care for certain target groups. Thanks to these waivers, states can provide services to their residents that wouldn’t usually be covered by Medicaid. For instance, in-home care for people who would otherwise have to go into long-term institutional care.

In Virginia, there are six different Medicaid waiver programs, three of which are relevant to minors:

  • the CCC Plus Waiver;
  • the Intellectual Disability Waiver; and
  • the Individual and Family Support Waiver.

Coverage under these waivers may provide for in-home attendant care, respite care and nursing care at various levels.  Attendant care is direct support in the home and community with personal assistance, activities of daily living, using the community, taking medication and care of other health needs. They can either be provided by an agency or by consumer-directed services. Consumer-Directed Services offer the individual/family the option of hiring workers directly, rather than using traditional agency staff.  Respite care services provided for unpaid caregivers (e.g. parent) of eligible individuals who are unable to care for themselves that are provided on an episodic or routine basis because of the absence of or need for relief of those unpaid persons who routinely provide the care.  To put it simply, respite care provides the much needed physical and mental health breaks for the caregiving parent so they can leave the home.

Parents should maximize benefits available to them under the waiver as coverage can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket unreimbursed medical expenses that they may otherwise be obligated to pay under a child support order. The scope of the unreimbursed medical expenses statute contained in Virginia Code §20-108.2(D) is broad enough to cover attendant and respite care.

Make Sure Your Attorney Has Expertise in Special Needs Cases

Special needs issues in divorce, custody and child support situations continue to increase. Often, these issues create a mine field for families trying to navigate this very complicated and niche area. Consultation with a family law attorney who is familiar with special needs issues can ensure that your interests are protected and objectives maximized.

Curran Moher Weis attorneys are dedicated to supporting parents of children with special needs, and have decades of experience successfully guiding them through these complex matters. Contact us to set up a consultation, and stay tuned for future posts, as we help you learn more about this important topic.


CMW’s Jason Weis to Serve as Expert Panelist on Adultery Webinar

On Thursday, April 19, Curran Moher Weis’ partner Jason Weis, Esq., will serve as a panelist on the webinar, “Discovering and Dealing with Adultery,” hosted by the D.C. Bar Family Law Community.

The webinar will address the emotional and legal implications couples face when infidelity is discovered. Mr. Weis will serve as the family law expert panelist – sharing his legal knowledge and expertise on adultery in Virginia, Maryland and D.C., and helping to educate fellow attorneys, counselors and investigators about how the different jurisdictions currently handle adultery in divorce and family law cases. Other panelists include a private investigator and mental health professional. The webinar will be broadcast live from 6-7:45 p.m. EDT.

Click here for more information on joining the webinar. Read more about Mr. Weis’ expertise in adultery and other family law matters here, or request a consultation with him. Keep up with the latest news from Curran Moher Weis through our blog, or follow us on Twitter.


Curran Moher Weis Sponsors Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice for 6th Consecutive Year

Curran Moher Weis is dedicated to the Northern Virginia community in many ways – from the core of our business in supporting clients through the challenges of divorce and important family law matters, but also by giving back to communities we serve. For the sixth year in a row, Curran Moher Weis will sponsor the Annual Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice 5K.

The event, which this year will be held Sunday, April 15, supports pro bono programs that provide legal services to Fairfax County residents who could not otherwise afford them, as well as legal education programs and interactive activities, such as mock trial experiences, for local students. Curran Moher Weis has proudly served as a major sponsor of this event every year since our founding in 2012, including serving as the headline “Superhero” level sponsor. See more about last year’s event, including input from our esteemed founder and managing partner Grant Moher, Esq., in this Fairfax Times article.

We encourage you to come join the event as a runner or as a volunteer to help ensure a safe, fun experience for the adults and children in attendance. Learn more about volunteer needs here and/or sign up as a volunteer through this form.

What: Fairfax Law Foundation Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice 5K

When: Sunday, April 15, 2018 (Kids’ Fun Run: 8:30 a.m. | 5K: 9 a.m.)

Where: Fairfax Corner (4100 Monument Corner Drive | Fairfax, VA 22030) | See the Course Map

As always, the Curran Moher Weis team will be in full force with firm members, friends, and family members volunteering and running. We hope to see you there!


Curran Moher Weis Welcomes Steven Goldman as Partner

We are proud to announce Steven Goldman, Esq. as partner at Curran Moher Weis, P.C. Steve joined our firm in 2014 and has since become one of our star attorneys and a leader both within the firm and among the legal profession as a whole.

Outside of serving as a supportive and steadfast advocate for his clients, Steve is actively involved in several organizations to support the local community and enhance and advance the family law profession. Currently, he serves as Membership Chair of the Collaborative Professionals of Northern Virginia, and a volunteer with the Fairfax County Bar Association.

Our senior partner Gerald Curran, Esq. weighed in on this exciting announcement: “Steve is by far one of the best domestic relations attorneys in the Northern Virginia area. He has quickly and effectively established himself as a successful and strident advocate for our clients, and as a leader within our firm and among the legal profession at-large. We couldn’t be more pleased to associate with him as our partner, to recognize his accomplishments and to know that he will, for years to come, continue to make significant contributions not only to our firm but to the legal community as well.”

Check out news of Steve being named partner at Curran Moher Weis in the Washington Business Journal and the Washington Post, and see the official press release here.

Follow the latest news from Curran Moher Weis through our blog, and by following us on Twitter.

 


Curran Moher Weis Contributes to Record Year for Heroes vs. Villains 5K

On April 23, the Curran Moher Weis team was out in full force, participating for the 5th year in a row in the Fairfax Law Foundation’s Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice! It was an incredibly successful year, with 450 registered runners and a record level of sponsorship money raised. Here are just a few of the ways our firm supported and engaged in this important event:


Curran Moher Weis Sponsors Heroes vs. Villains Run for Justice for 5th Consecutive Year

While our firm focuses primarily on helping local families navigate the difficulties of divorce and family-related legal issues, we also recognize the importance of supporting and giving back to our community.