Serving the Needs of Virginia Families for over 25 years
Child support in Virginia is calculated in accordance with the mandatory Virginia Child Support Guidelines. The application of the guidelines results in the presumptively correct amount of child support to be awarded whether the parties have shared physical custody or one parent has primary physical custody of a child. The gross income of each parent is used in calculating the presumptive amount, and the costs of medical insurance for the child and work-related child care are also included in the calculation. The shared custody guidelines apply if both parties have 90 full days (24-hour periods; half-days include overnights) per annum. The courts can now calculate child support for split custody cases as well, which is where each party has one child or more on a primary custody schedule.
Where spousal support is being paid by one party to the other, the payor's income is reduced by that sum and the recipient's income is increased. A deviation from the guideline may be imposed by the court after considering a number of factors including: custody arrangements; imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed or voluntarily under-employed; any court-ordered direct payments; special needs of the child or either parent; and independent financial resources of the child. Generally, child support in Virginia is paid until the child is eighteen (or until high school graduation if still 18), but it may be ordered to be paid thereafter for a disabled child.
When one parent fails to pay child support as ordered, the court may use its contempt powers to hold the non-paying parent in contempt for failure to abide by its court order. Failure to pay court-ordered child support is serious and can result in severe penalties, including incarceration. The court can also order that child support be paid through an income deduction order. Such an order authorizes the Virginia's Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) to collect child support payments directly from the paying party's employer. Support payments are then transferred by DCSE to the other party, typically by direct deposit.
Child support can be modified upon a showing of a material change in circumstances that justifies the modification of child support. Such changes in circumstances can include an increase or decrease in income of either party, a change in the child care or health insurance costs related to the child, and a change in the custodial arrangement.
As child support lawyers, we can run various child support guidelines so that the client has some idea of what each party will owe or receive in child support. It is best to bring income tax returns and recent pay stubs, as well as work-related child care and health insurance costs, to your initial meeting.
Contact us at (703) 691-3066 to learn more and discuss how you may need legal counsel and representation for child support in Reston, VA.