Like most family law issues, child support is often a very emotionally-charged matter. At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, we recognize that child support laws are intended to provide for the child of two divorced or separated parents—not create a windfall for one of those parents. That being said, it is crucial that your child receives the financial support they need to continue living as he or she did before the divorce or separation.
Whether you are the custodial parent seeking child support or have been ordered to pay child support to your former spouse, our firm can help. We understand the legal complexities involved, as well as the sensitive nature of these cases. Our Fairfax child support attorneys can help you understand your options as they work to meet your individual needs and goals.
Contact us online or by phone to get started with your initial consultation.
How Child Support Is Determined in Virginia
In most cases, child support is awarded to the custodial parent, or the parent that has primary physical custody of the child. The non-custodial parent is charged with paying the custodial parent for child-related expenses, which can include educational costs, clothing and supplies, extracurricular activities, medical costs, and more. It is important to note that child support is not only intended for basic necessities but is intended for any costs (within reason) associated with child-rearing.
When determining how much child support will be paid, the court uses the Virginia child support calculator. This calculator factors in things like:
- The number of children support will be provided for
- The gross monthly income of both parents
- The monthly cost for family group health insurance for both parents
- The amount of alimony, if any, paid by either parent to a spouse from a prior marriage
- The monthly cost of daycare paid by the custodial parent (if applicable)
These are the primary factors taken into consideration when determining the amount of child support to be paid. However, in certain cases, there may be extenuating circumstances—such as unexpected financial hardship or considerable economic special needs of a child—that allow for an increase or decrease in the payment amount. Because every situation is different, it is important that you speak with a child custody lawyer in Fairfax who can help you understand your rights.
Child Support Modifications
The state of Virginia allows for modifications to child support orders. In other words, it is possible to change a child support ruling if your circumstances of the circumstances of the other parent change. Typically, you may only request a hearing for child support modification after three years of the original ruling.
If three years have not passed, you may still be able to modify a child support order if you can show that:
- One parent’s income has increased or decreased by 25% or more
- The child is no longer eligible to receive the current level of child support
- Change in custody or birth has resulted in a new child needing to be added to the support order
- One parent has experienced a change in income due to being called to active duty as a member of the National Guard or military reserves
No matter your situation, you must provide a reason for having your child support order reviewed when you file a request for a modification. Our Fairfax child support attorneys can help you navigate this often complex process, filing necessary paperwork on your behalf. Most of all, we are committed to ensuring that you fully understand your rights and legal options. We work hard to keep you informed throughout the process, offering answers to your questions and providing consistent communication from start to finish.
Request a case evaluation with a member of our legal team, call our office today.