When parents in Virginia get a divorce, decisions will need to be made regarding their child. Specifically, decisions will need to be made regarding child custody and child support. In general, the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent as a way of contributing to the financial costs of raising the child.
Virginia, like other states, has a statutory formula for calculating how much child support the non-custodial parent will pay. In general, these formulas are based on how much each parent earns, how many children are being supported and how much parenting time each parent has with the child. However, these guidelines may be deviated from if it is in the best interests of the child. In addition, parent may come up with their own child support arrangements, again, if these arrangements are in the child's best interests and are approved by the court.
It is important to note that child support need not be a one-and-done deal. As the parent's lives change and the child's needs change, a parent may seek a child support modification from the court. For example, if a parent's income goes up or goes down a significant amount, a modification may be warranted. Keep in mind, when a parent files a motion to modify child support, the amount of support ordered could go up or down.
A child has many needs, and although the needs of a toddler are different than the needs of a teenager it still takes money to raise a child in a healthy and nurturing environment. Both parents should be responsible for contributing to these costs and, for this reason, when parents get divorced a child support order will be made. If a parent wants to modify the order in the future, that parent can file a motion with the court to do so.