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One family law bill dies, another advances

The Virginia Family Law Coalition won one and lost one today in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

House Bill 14 would have allowed a judge to draw an adverse inference if a party or witness refuses, on the ground of self-incrimination, to answer a question about adultery or certain other sexual crimes that remain on the books in Virginia.

The committee voted 12-3 to pass the law by indefinitely, in effect killing it for the year.

On the other hand, the committee approved, on a 13-2 vote, HB 66, which would allow testimony by a vocational expert in cases involving child support, spousal support and separate maintenance when the earning capacity, unemployment or underemployment of a party is in dispute.

HB 66 cleared the House unanimously, but HB 14 squeaked by, 49-48.

By Alan Cooper

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