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Challenges to child support award unpreserved

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//August 6, 2023

Challenges to child support award unpreserved

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//August 6, 2023//

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Where father challenges the trial court’s order regarding child support and related expenses, and an attorney fee award to wife, his failure to object in the trial court precludes appellant review.

“‘No ruling of the trial court … will be considered as a basis for reversal unless an objection was stated with reasonable certainty at the time of the ruling, except for good cause shown or to enable this Court to attain the ends of justice.’ Rule 5A:18. …

“The written statement of facts approved by the trial court does not demonstrate that father objected to the court’s decision regarding child support, child care expenses, or the award of attorney fees to mother.

“Before the hearing scheduled on Monday, February 7, 2022, father filed a letter on Friday, February 4, 2022, in which he claimed generally that mother’s ‘income figures on the calculated order’ were not supported by the evidence; however, father did not offer any details other than to allege that mother had falsely stated she did not work on weekends.

“Father stated his intention to present evidence at the February 7 hearing supporting his claim, but the statement of facts does not reflect that he presented such evidence or that the trial court considered such an argument.

“In his February 4 letter, father also argued that the income attributed to him through his Uber and Lyft jobs was ‘not based on evidence,’ but the record does not indicate that he made this argument at the hearing.

“On appeal, father cites certain exhibits admitted at the hearing as the place in the record where he preserved his arguments, but the exhibits do not reflect the arguments father presented to the trial court.

“Father’s only objection to the trial court’s decision in the record is his motion to reconsider; however, because the trial court did not rule on his motion, there is nothing for this Court to review.”


Abuede v. Wszolek, Record No. 0359-22-3, July 18, 2023. CAV (unpublished opinion) (per curiam). From the Circuit Court of Henrico County (Harris Jr.) Godday O. Abuede, pro se. Benjamin S. Tyree for appellee. VLW 023-7-278, 6 pp.

VLW 023-7-278

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