Child support is essential in helping ensure that a child’s needs are taken care of when their parent's divorce. However, emotions often run high when parents are faced with their child support case. Understanding the factors that Virginia courts look at to establish support can help parents know what to expect in this uncertain time.
Virginia Child Support Laws
According to Virginia law, child support is calculated using a mathematical formula to determine how much child support will be allocated.
Virginia courts look at the following factors when deciding child support assignments:
How much each parent earns
The number of children the parents have together
Whether the parents have any other minor children outside of their relationship that they are financially responsible for
If there are any additional child care costs
What the child custody arrangement is
Calculating Child Support in Virginia
Support is largely based on the total income of each parent. When calculating the amount of support, the court will take the gross income of both parents to establish the “family income.” Gross income may be adjusted at this time to account for spousal support, some governmental benefits, and support for other children.
Virginia has different family income levels that help determine how much income should be used for child support in homes of one to six children. For families with more than a combined total of $35,000 or greater per month, income will be based on a certain percentage depending on the number of children.
A state table outlines how much parents at different monthly family income levels should put aside for child support obligations for households of one to six children. If the combined family income is $35,000 or greater per month, it falls outside the table, and support is based on a percentage of income from 2.6% for one child to 5% for six children. Items that are added to the support obligation include the cost of health insurance and any work-related childcare expenses.
One of the most significant factors that will impact child support depends on the parent’s custodial arrangement. There are three types of custody in Virginia — sole custody, shared custody, and split custody. Each parent’s percentage of custody is used to adjust the final figures in the amount of support. For example, if custody is shared, the costs will be split, but if parents have split custody, then the court would calculate sole support for each parent.
Concerned about your child support obligations? Call Bush & Taylor, P.C. today at (757) 926-0078 to set up a consultation about your case with our Suffolk County child support attorneys.