Virginia Child Support Guidelines
During a divorce, if the couple can’t agree on a fair division of assets, the Judge will decide for them. Child support, however, is not left up to chance. The Virginia child support guidelines are used to determine how much child support is awarded.
Virginia Child Support Laws
Child support varies from state to state. The Virginia child support guidelines are outlined in Virginia Code 20-108.2. This mathematical formula is used to determine the child support obligation for each case. The particular formula to be is used depends on the custody arrangement the parents have. There are three types of child support guidelines. They are:
- Sole Custody Guidelines. The child stays with one parent for the majority of the year.
- Shared Custody Guidelines. The child stays with each parent for at least 91 days out of the year.
- Split Custody Guidelines. This occurs when a couple has two or more children, and each parent has custody of at least one child for a majority of the year.
[Related: Co-Parenting During COVID-19]
Virginia Child Support Guidelines
Child support guidelines in Virginia are based on the total income of the two parents. First, the gross income of both parents is combined to determine the family income. A parent’s gross income may be adjusted for things like alimony/spousal support, child support for other children, and certain government benefits.
The state table outlines how much parents at different monthly income levels should put aside for child support obligations for households of one to six children. If the combined family income is greater than $35,000 per month, it falls outside the table and support will be based on a percentage of income. This is 2.6% for one child up to 5% for six children. The cost of health insurance and work-related childcare expenses are included in the support calculation.
The final child support obligation is apportioned between the two parents based on their respective incomes. For example, if one parent makes 60% of the total family income, they would pay 60% of the child support expenses. Who makes the payment depends on the child custody arrangement. The non-custodial parent will pay their child support figure each month to the custodial parent. That same parent is also responsible for a portion of any reasonable and necessary unreimbursed medical and dental expenses.
[Related: Cohabitation and Child Support]
Shared Custody and Split Custody
Custody arrangements will impact child support figures. In shared custody arrangements, each parent’s custody “share” is used to adjust the final figures. Furthermore, when there is split custody, the courts will calculate sole custody for each parent and then make the appropriate adjustments to the final figure.
Deviations from Guideline Child Support
While the Virginia laws aim to create the most equitable solution possible, in the best interests of the child, each situation is unique and a Judge has the power to increase or decrease a child support award if they find that a deviation from the child support guidelines is warranted.
After a child support figure is calculated, a parent has the right to ask the court to raise or lower that award based on certain factors. Including:
- Obligations to children from another relationship
- Special needs or expenses required by the child
- Legally allowed deductions
Child Support Modification
Either parent can also ask the court for a modification to the child support order based upon a change of circumstances. This could be due to either parent having a change in their financial situation, to include a change in income, child care expenses, or health insurance costs.
Child Support Attorney in Virginia
Divorce is a difficult thing to navigate andhild support in Virginia can be a complicated process. Having an experienced child support attorney is a crucial part of the process. Our family law attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience with divorce, child support, child custody and more. Give us a call today to get started.