Solomond v. Ball, No. 0953-95-4

Docket NºNo. 0953-95-4
Citation22 Va.App. 385, 470 S.E.2d 157
Case DateMay 07, 1996
CourtCourt of Appeals of Virginia

Page 157

470 S.E.2d 157
22 Va.App. 385
John P. SOLOMOND
v.
C. Louise BALL.
Record No. 0953-95-4.
Court of Appeals of Virginia,
Alexandria.
May 7, 1996.

Page 158

[22 Va.App. 387] John P. Solomond, pro se.

C. Louise Ball, pro se.

Present: COLEMAN, WILLIS and OVERTON, JJ.

[22 Va.App. 388] COLEMAN, Judge.

This domestic relations appeal involves the obligation of a noncustodial parent to pay an amount of child support in excess of the amount provided by the presumptive guidelines under Code § 20-108.2. The trial court ordered the increase in the noncustodial parent's child support, which deviated from the guidelines, to enable the parents' two children to transfer from one private school to a more expensive private school of the custodial parent's choice. We hold that the trial court erred by increasing the noncustodial parent's monthly support obligation because no showing was made on the record of an adequate reason to further deviate from the presumptive amount of support.

In addition, the father appeals the trial court's holding that he was $100 in arrears for his January 1995 support payment. We affirm that holding.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

John Paul Solomond and C. Louise Ball were divorced in 1988. The divorce decree granted Ball custody of their two sons, Phillip McCown Solomond and Matthew Brady Solomond. In 1994, Ball filed a motion to increase child support because Phillip and Matthew had been accepted at Corpus Christi School, a private Catholic school. Prior to the fall of 1994, both children had attended public school, where they had performed well academically.

As a result of the 1994 modification hearing, the trial court held that Phillip's and Matthew's acceptances to attend Corpus Christi were material changes in circumstances that justified modifying the existing child support order. The court determined that the presumptive amount of child support that Solomond was expected to pay according to the guidelines was $1,171 per month, based upon Solomond's actual monthly income and Ball's actual and imputed income of $1,952 per month. However, because the children incurred substantial additional educational expenses by attending Corpus Christi, and because Ball's actual annual income was only $18,000, the [22 Va.App. 389] trial court held that the presumptive guideline amount would be "unjust and inappropriate." Specifically, the court stated that it was deviating from the guidelines because it would be in the children's "best interests to take advantage of th[e] educational opportunity" offered by attending Corpus Christi. Consequently, the court ordered that Solomond "should pay 70% of all school-related costs, including but not limited to expenses of tuition, uniforms, books, transportation, supplies, registration and testing fees, and field trips as such expenses and costs are due." In addition, the

Page 159

court held that "if the children succeed in gaining entrance to another school whose tuition is higher, this would constitute a sufficient change in circumstances to re-evaluate the percentage each parent would be required to contribute." Solomond objected to the court's 1994 modification order, but he did not appeal from it.

In March 1995, Ball filed a motion to increase child support by adjusting the percentage of tuition that Solomond would be required to pay because Phillip had been accepted to St. Stephen's, another private school, for the 1995-96 school year and Matthew had been placed on the school's waiting list. 1 Because the tuition at St. Stephen's is "considerably higher" than the tuition at Corpus Christi, Ball petitioned the court to increase the percentage of the children's educational expenses to be paid by Solomond.

Solomond responded by requesting that the trial court vacate the August 1994 modified child support order that required him to pay seventy percent of the children's educational expenses, and he also requested that the court enter an order limiting his child support obligation to the presumptive amount under the guidelines. Solomond argued that the evidence did not show that it was necessary or justified for the children to attend private school, much less to transfer from Corpus Christi to St. Stephen's. Furthermore, he asserted that his income and financial resources were inadequate to [22 Va.App. 390] send the children to private school, particularly to pay the increased expenses to attend St. Stephen's.

The trial court held that Phillip's admission to St. Stephen's and Matthew's placement on the waiting list constituted a material change in circumstances, and that it would be in the "best interests" of the children "to take advantage of this educational opportunity." Accordingly, the court modified the child support order to require Solomond to pay, in addition to the presumptive amount provided by the guidelines, the children's yearly educational expenses in the amount of seventy percent of the first $8,000 in expenses and fifty percent of expenses exceeding $8,000.

PRIVATE SCHOOL EXPENSES

Solomond asked the trial court to vacate its 1994 support order, which deviated from the guidelines and ordered him to pay a percentage of all private school expenses. A trial court...

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14 practice notes
  • Shoup v. Shoup, Record No. 0098-00-4.
    • United States
    • December 27, 2001
    ...contemporaneouse events. Keyser v. Keyser, 2 Va.App. 459, 345 S.E.2d 12 (1986). It may not award support prospectively, Solomond v. Ball, 22 Va.App. 385, 470 S.E,2d 157 (1996), including upon the emancipation of one of many children. See Johnson v. Johnson, 1 Va.App. 556 S.E.2d 788 330, 333......
  • Shoup v. Shoup, Record No. 0098-00-4.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • February 27, 2001
    ...law, the court cannot order prospective modification of child support upon the occurrence of a future event. See Solomond v. Ball, 22 Va. App. 385, 470 S.E.2d 157 (1996) (reversing support decree which ordered father to pay a percentage of children's education expenses, rather than a specif......
  • Lesesne v. Zablocki, Record No. 0334-06-4 (Va. App. 1/9/2007), Record No. 0334-06-4.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • January 9, 2007
    ...guidelines, when there is a Page 14 demonstrated need for the child to attend private school and the parent has the ability to pay. See 22 Va. App. 385, 391, 470 S.E.2d 157, 160 (1996). Among the factors that are relevant to determining whether there is a need for private education, the cou......
  • Joynes v. Payne, Record No. 1556-00-2.
    • United States
    • August 28, 2001
    ...and the parent has the ability to pay." Ragsdale v. Ragsdale, 30 Va.App. 283, 295, 516 S.E.2d 698, 704 (1999) (citing Solomond v. Ball, 22 Va.App. 385, 391, 470 S.E.2d 157, 160 (1996)). In making this determination, the trial court must consider "factors such as the availability of satisfac......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Shoup v. Shoup, Record No. 0098-00-4.
    • United States
    • December 27, 2001
    ...contemporaneouse events. Keyser v. Keyser, 2 Va.App. 459, 345 S.E.2d 12 (1986). It may not award support prospectively, Solomond v. Ball, 22 Va.App. 385, 470 S.E,2d 157 (1996), including upon the emancipation of one of many children. See Johnson v. Johnson, 1 Va.App. 556 S.E.2d 788 330, 333......
  • Shoup v. Shoup, Record No. 0098-00-4.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • February 27, 2001
    ...law, the court cannot order prospective modification of child support upon the occurrence of a future event. See Solomond v. Ball, 22 Va. App. 385, 470 S.E.2d 157 (1996) (reversing support decree which ordered father to pay a percentage of children's education expenses, rather than a specif......
  • Lesesne v. Zablocki, Record No. 0334-06-4 (Va. App. 1/9/2007), Record No. 0334-06-4.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • January 9, 2007
    ...guidelines, when there is a Page 14 demonstrated need for the child to attend private school and the parent has the ability to pay. See 22 Va. App. 385, 391, 470 S.E.2d 157, 160 (1996). Among the factors that are relevant to determining whether there is a need for private education, the cou......
  • Joynes v. Payne, Record No. 1556-00-2.
    • United States
    • August 28, 2001
    ...and the parent has the ability to pay." Ragsdale v. Ragsdale, 30 Va.App. 283, 295, 516 S.E.2d 698, 704 (1999) (citing Solomond v. Ball, 22 Va.App. 385, 391, 470 S.E.2d 157, 160 (1996)). In making this determination, the trial court must consider "factors such as the availability of satisfac......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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