How Child Support Is Calculated in Virginia
The way child support is calculated varies from state to state. The methods used by states to determine the amount of child support payments for divorcing and unmarried couples range from very basic to quite complex. In Virginia, state law determines how much a non-custodial parent will need to pay through the use of a sophisticated mathematical formula based on a number of factors.
Virginia Child Support Guidelines
The guidelines for determining child support are listed in the Virginia Code §20-108.2. A worksheet is available online for your reference, but you are not responsible for computing the figures. Family courts and attorneys use a special software to quickly and accurately calculate child support.
- Figure out the amount of your “basic child support obligation.” The Virginia Code includes a table for computing your basic child support obligation, based on the total gross income of both parents and the number of children they have together. A separate table is provided for those with gross incomes more than $35,000 a month.
- Gross income includes almost all pre-tax income including salaries, wages, bonuses, capital gains, and interests. It does not include spousal support, child support, and most government benefits.
- Add the cost of child care and insurance. The amount of child care expenses and premiums for health, dental, and vision insurance are added to the basic child support obligation.
- The custody arrangement determines which formula will be applied in your case. Custody arrangements can be sole physical custody, in which a child stays with one parent the majority of the year, or shared custody, where the child stays with each parent at least 91 days out of the year. If a couple has two or more children, and each parent has custody of at least one child for most of the year, this is known as split custody.
Income share and custody share are used to determine each parent’s child support obligations in every case. The parent with the higher obligation pays the difference to the other. The amount of child support owed each month is called “support to be paid.”
Appealing a Virginia Child Support Ruling
The Virginia child support guidelines are designed to create an equitable solution in the best interest of the child. However, Virginia state law recognizes that every situation is unique and allows the Court to increase or decrease the amount of child support as needed. Any time child support is calculated in Virginia, a parent can ask the judge to consider several other factors that may impact his or her child support obligation. These factors include legally allowed deductions, obligations to children from another relationship, and any special needs or expenses the child may require. If you or your former spouse’s financial situation changes considerably (an increase or decrease of at least 10%), you may qualify for a modification to your child support order.
Child Support Lawyer in Leesburg, Virginia
An experienced attorney will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your case. The child support and family law attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC serve the areas of Leesburg, Loudoun County, and northern Virginia. If you need help rebutting or modifying a child support order, contact us today.