Fairfax Child Support Lawyer
Defining Child Support in Northern Virginia
When parents divorce, it is expected that each parent will provide for his or her child. This is also true when the parents have never been married. In most cases, this means that one parent will pay a monthly amount to the other parent to be used for the child's needs. In Virginia, this amount is usually determined through the use of the child support guidelines. The factors included in the support calculation are the gross incomes of each parent, any spousal support paid between the parents, the cost of work related child care, the cost of health insurance premiums for the child, and how often the child is with each parent. In addition, there are situations where it appropriate to deviate from the child support guidelines.
In general, child support continues until each child turns eighteen, or, if the child has not graduated from high school, until the child graduates or turns nineteen, whichever first occurs. In addition, there are circumstances where child support can continue beyond these ages, if your child is disabled. Regardless of how support is determined – through a court order in litigation or through mediation, Collaborative divorce or negotiation - child support is always modifiable where there is a change in circumstances.
Child Support Enforcement
The court can require each parent to support his or her children when the parents live separately. A parent seeking support can obtain a court order which requires monthly child support payments. A child support order is enforceable by the court. If payments are not made, the order can be enforced in one of several ways.
The most common form of enforcement is an income deduction order, which is what some people refer to as wage garnishment. When a parent is behind on support payments or continually makes late payments, a court order may be obtained to have the payments automatically deducted from their wages by their employer. This withholding of wages can be accomplished for past-due payments, as well as current payments. Another form of child support enforcement is the withholding of tax refunds, where the parent's refund is seized in order to make past due payments. Also, a parent's driver's license or other license issued by the state can be suspended until they catch up with their delinquent child support payments. These are just a few of the most common forms of child support enforcement.
If you need legal assistance in determining child support in a divorce case, or if you need to obtain a court order to have child support enforced, please call us. Contact a Northern Virginia divorce attorney from ShounBach today to see how we can help you fight for the support that your child deserves.