Another school year has begun in Hampton Roads, and for many single parents, that means it’s time to juggle the budget to meet extra expenses. Your children will need new clothes and supplies, and if they’re involved in sports, music and other interests there are equipment and rental fees to consider. Child support payments from your children’s other parent can help take the pressure off when bills are due, so it’s important that you receive enough every month.
If you have recently separated and/or plan to file for divorce in Virginia, it’s important to note that child support isn’t necessarily an automatic payment. To qualify for support, you must have custody of your child and you must file a petition in juvenile and domestic relations court, in your city or county, against the other biological parent. Have the proper documentation, such as birth certificates, to prove paternity or maternity.
How much in child support are you entitled to receive? The answer depends on a number of factors:
- Income: a judge will look at how much you and your children’s other parent gross in a year
- Insurance: who is paying for health, dental, and other insurance for the children
- Daycare: if your child is too young for school or requires after-school care, the monthly expenses are factored into the overall support payment
Once these requisites are satisfied, the judge will use the Virginia Uniform Child Support Guidelines (§ 20-108.2.) with your information to come up with a final award you will receive. Child support is retroactive, meaning you’ll get payments dating back to when you filed your petition, and typically lasts until your children turn eighteen. In some cases, say if your child has a disability and is unable to live independently, support can be extended.
Should you have difficulties getting child support in a timely manner from your ex-partner, contact a family lawyer immediately. At Bush & Taylor, our Suffolk attorneys specialize in all aspects of family law, from handling divorce proceedings to helping secure delinquent support payments. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so you can take care of your children’s needs.