The most significant case decisions regarding family law issues in Virginia this year are those cases involving the preemptive effect of federal law on equitable distribution issues. These cases held that federal law preempts state law when beneficiary provisions of certain insurance policies and retirement plans are being determined. Other important decisions struck down the self-executing provisions of property settlement agreements regarding the payment of child support. Additionally, a decision by the Court of Appeals of Virginia would have abrogated all property settlement agreements endorsed prior to 1998 were it not for a subsequent statutory modification.

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