Often the primary concern for families during a divorce is maintaining a stable and suitable environment for children in the family. While many factors can complicate the issue of child support, the experienced child support attorneys at Curran Moher Weis strive to ensure that the best interests of children are met during and after a divorce.
What is Mandated by Virginia for Child Support?
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that both parents provide financial support to provide necessities such as food, clothing and shelter for their children. In Virginia, this mandate usually terminates when the child is emancipated (e.g. turns eighteen and graduates high school or turns nineteen), but it may extend beyond that point if the child is physically or mentally disabled and as a result is unable to support him or herself.
How is Child Support Calculated in Virginia?
Child support in Virginia is typically based on a set formula called the child support guidelines. The court inputs several items into the formula: both parents’ incomes, health care costs for the child or children only, and work-related child care costs. Also, if the non-custodial parent cares for the children for over 90 days per year, the guidelines are adjusted and the child support is decreased.
Judges may deviate from the guidelines when necessary to best meet the needs for each child. For example, increased support may be required when a child has higher than average medical expenses. Another instance may occur when a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed and support is calculated based on what the parent is capable of earning. The guidance of our experienced legal counsel at Curran Moher Weis will protect your interests in the area of child support.
Child Support Modifications
In Virginia, a party seeking to modify child support must demonstrate that a “material change in circumstances” has occurred since child support was last calculated, and that such a change justifies a change in support. Changes in income or variances in the cost of childcare, insurance or incomes are common reasons to seek a modification in child support. A formal amendment to the previous support order is typically the only way to change child support, either through a voluntary agreement or a court order to amend a child support agreement.
Meet with an Experienced Virginia Child Support Lawyer