2006 Code of Virginia § 20-88 - Support of parents by children

20-88. Support of parents by children.

It shall be the joint and several duty of all persons eighteen years of ageor over, of sufficient earning capacity or income, after reasonably providingfor his or her own immediate family, to assist in providing for the supportand maintenance of his or her mother or father, he or she being then andthere in necessitous circumstances.

If there be more than one person bound to support the same parent or parents,the persons so bound to support shall jointly and severally share equitablyin the discharge of such duty. Taking into consideration the needs of theparent or parents and the circumstances affecting the ability of each personto discharge the duty of support, the court having jurisdiction shall havethe power to determine and order the payment, by such person or persons sobound to support, of that amount for support and maintenance which to thecourt may seem just. Where the court ascertains that any person has failed torender his or her proper share in such support and maintenance it may, uponthe complaint of any party or on its own motion, compel contribution by thatperson to any person or authority which has theretofore contributed to thesupport or maintenance of the parent or parents. The court may from time totime revise the orders entered by it or by any other court havingjurisdiction under the provisions of this section, in such manner as to itmay seem just.

The juvenile and domestic relations district court shall have exclusiveoriginal jurisdiction in all cases arising under this section. Any personaggrieved shall have the same right of appeal as is provided by law in othercases.

All proceedings under this section shall conform as nearly as possible to theproceedings under the other provisions of this chapter, and the otherprovisions of this chapter shall apply to cases arising under this section inlike manner as though they were incorporated in this section. Prosecutionsunder this section shall be in the jurisdiction where the parent or parentsreside.

This section shall not apply if there is substantial evidence of desertion,neglect, abuse or willful failure to support any such child by the father ormother, as the case may be, prior to the child's emancipation or, except asprovided hereafter in this section, if a parent is otherwise eligible for andis receiving public assistance or services under a federal or state program.

To the extent that the financial responsibility of children for any part ofthe costs incurred in providing medical assistance to their parents pursuantto the plan provided for in 32.1-325 is not restricted by that plan and tothe extent that the financial responsibility of children for any part of thecosts incurred in providing to their parents services rendered, administeredor funded by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation andSubstance Abuse Services is not restricted by federal law, the provisions ofthis section shall apply. A proceeding may be instituted in accordance withthis section in the name of the Commonwealth by the state agencyadministering the program of assistance or services in order to compel anychild of a parent receiving such assistance or services to reimburse theCommonwealth for such portion of the costs incurred in providing theassistance or services as the court may determine to be reasonable. If costsare incurred for the institutionalization of a parent, the children shall inno case be responsible for such costs for more than sixty months ofinstitutionalization.

Any person violating the provisions of an order entered pursuant to thissection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall bepunished by a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment in jail for a periodnot exceeding twelve months or both.

(1920, p. 413; 1922, p. 544; 1928, p. 745; 1942, p. 406; Michie Code 1942, 1944a; 1952, c. 510; 1954, c. 481; 1962, c. 557; 1968, c. 665; 1970, c. 278;1974, c. 657; 1975, c. 644; 1982, c. 472; 1984, c. 781.)

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