Child Support Questions and Answers
Talk to our Northern Virginia child support attorney!
Do you have questions about
child support and
child custody for your
divorce case in Northern Virginia? Our legal team has the insight and advocacy
you need to obtain favorable solutions. Do not wait any longer to call
our Northern Virginia divorce lawyer - we have the answers you need! Below
are several questions and answers regarding child support:
How is the amount of child support calculated?
Most, if not all, states have developed guidelines that help parties establish
the appropriate amount of child support. Virginia, Maryland and the District
of Columbia are no exception; each has its own child support guideline.
Though the guidelines may vary from state to state, all are based at least
in part on the parents' incomes and the expenses and/or needs of the
children such as work-related childcare and health insurance costs. Often,
the guidelines are set out in a chart-type format that calculates the
child support amount as a percentage of the paying parent's income
that increases with the number of children being supported and/or number
of days that parent spends with the children. Many of these guidelines
are also available on-line. The purpose of such guidelines is to aid the
judge and parties in determining the appropriate level of support. Judges
may deviate from the guidelines when there is good reason to do so. If,
for example, one child has higher than average medical expenses, support
for that child may be higher. Or, if the judge determines that a parent
is voluntarily earning less than he or she could, the judge may impute
income to that parent and calculate support using what the parent is capable
Once a court issues a child support order, can the amount of support be changed?
Child support may be modified under certain circumstances, but only through
a single method: a formal amendment to the previous support order. The
simplest method is for parents to agree to a change and incorporate that
change into a court order. When there is no voluntary agreement, however,
the party seeking the change must request a court hearing, where each
party may present reasons supporting/opposing the modification. In Virginia,
for example, a party seeking to modify child support must demonstrate
that a "material change in circumstances" has occurred and that
a modification of support would be in the child's best interest. Common
material changes in circumstances might include significant increases
or decreases in a parent's income, the cost of work-related childcare
or medical insurance, the children's needs, or number of days a parent
spends with the children.
What are parents' obligations to their children?
Every parent has the basic duty to provide his or her children with the
necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter. The Commonwealth
of Virginia does its part to ensure these necessities are provided by
mandating that parents provide financial support for their children. In
Virginia, this mandate usually terminates when the child is emancipated
(e.g. turns eighteen (18) and graduates high school or turns nineteen
(19)), but it can extend beyond that point if the child is unable to support
him or herself.
What other factors are generally considered in child support proceedings?
In Virginia, the courts for the most part follow the child support guideline.
The following factors may also be considered in establishing support:
- Any special needs of a child resulting from any physical, emotional, or
- Independent financial resources of the child or children;
- Earning capacity, obligations, financial resources, and special needs of
- Provisions made with regard to the marital property under § 20-107.3,
where said property earns income or has an income-earning potential
- Tax consequences to the parties including claims for exemptions, child
tax credit, and child care credit for dependent children;
- A written agreement, stipulation, consent order, or decree between the
parties which includes the amount of child support; and
- Such other factors as are necessary to consider the equities for the parents
- Work-related day care
- The incremental cost of medical insurance for covering che child or children
Child Support Lawyer in Northern Virginia
At our law firm, we have extensive experience in handling all types of
family law and child support cases throughout the community. We understand
that this time in your life may be filled with emotional unrest and may
make you feel uneasy - we are on your side. Our attorneys are here to
protect your rights and fight to ensure you obtain the most favorable
outcome. For more information regarding child support, please call our office!
Contact a Northern Virginia child support attorney
today for more information.