No matter which way you cut it, there is no question that raising children is expensive. If and when a third party steps up and receives custody of a minor child, that custodian often has new and unplanned expenses. Often times, the custodian will want or need financial support from the child’s parents, but they don’t know how to begin going about receiving support. Do they seek assistance from both parents, or just one? Will the custodian’s own income play a role in determining how much support is received?
If you are a third party custodian of a minor child, you can receive child support. Assuming you and the parent(s) of the minor child all reside in Virginia, you may obtain financial assistance as follows:
Petitioning for Child Support
First, your attorney must file a separate child support petition against each parent. Your attorney should request that these petitions be docketed together.
Calculating Amount of Child Support
Second, once the petitions are docketed, the parents will be required to exchange and provide the court with their income information. Once this has been completed, the court (or in some cases your attorney) will calculate the amount of support for the child according to Virginia’s child support guidelines.
The first calculation will determine the amount of support that Parent 1 would owe Parent 2 under the guidelines if Parent 2 had custody. This would be Parent 1’s financial obligation to you as the custodian.
The second calculation would be the child support obligation that Parent 2 would owe to Parent 1 if Parent 1 had custody of the child. This would be Parent 2’s obligation to you.
*Note that neither of these calculations is based on your income, and you will not be court ordered to share in the child support obligations (although you may obviously use your own income to supplement the child support you receive from the parents).
Also note that establishing each parent’s income can be tedious and time consuming. An experienced family law attorney can help to ensure you request and receive all the right information and documentation regarding each parent’s income.
Submitting Child Support Orders
Lastly, your attorney will prepare two separate child support orders reflecting the amount owed by each parent and submit them to the court. Once the orders are signed by the judge and given to the parents, you should begin receiving child support payments from each parent, separately, according to the court orders.
By taking responsibility for the custody of a minor child, you are and should be entitled to child support from the parents. While this process can seem difficult, a qualified family law attorney can help ensure that correct and complete information reaches the court in your case in the fastest way possible. If you are the third party custodian of a minor child seeking child support or involved in any other family law case, the qualified attorneys at DiPietro Law Group are here to assist you. Call us today at (888) 530-4374.