The manner of how child support is calculated in Virginia is important to both divorcing parents and unmarried parents. Those who will pay child support will want to know how to anticipate the child support obligation they will have and those who will receive child support will also want to know what to anticipate they will receive in child support. Fortunately, child support guidelines can help divorcing couples through their child support concerns.
Child support can also be an acrimonious issue for many divorcing couples so knowing how child support is determined is helpful to be familiar with. Child support is generally a payment a parent is required to make for the support of their child and must generally be made until the child is 19 with some exceptions. Child support can be established during a divorce by agreement of the parents or order of the family law court.
Child support is calculated based on the reasonable needs of the child and the reasonable ability of the parent to pay. Child support guidelines are used by the family law court to determine the amount of child support that will be paid. The child support calculation is complex but the primary factors that are considered when calculating child support include the income of the parents; childcare expenses; medical insurance costs; the living arrangements of the child; and if the child receives Social Security benefits. The family law court reviews child support automatically every three years.
Child support expenses that child support payments are intended for include food, clothing, shelter and basic expenses; health insurance; basic education expenses. In addition, childcare expenses, extraordinary medical expenses, visitation travel costs and extracurricular activities may also be included. Parents should also be aware that based on a significant change in circumstances, either parent may request a child support modification. There is a lot to know and consider about child support so understanding the basics of child support in Virginia is beneficial for both parents going through a divorce.