Anyone with children in their life knows how much it costs to provide for even their basic needs. This makes child support is an essential element in any divorce or paternity case. Even when both parents agree that financial support is necessary for the well-being of their shared children, it can become a highly contested issue between them. Whether you are the one paying child support or the one receiving it, you can benefit from the services of a knowledgeable child support attorney.
Under Virginia law, both parents, no matter their marital status, are obligated to support their offspring financially. The combined incomes of both parents are used to calculate child support payments. In doing this, the children are provided the benefit of what the parents could have provided if they were living together.
Each parent is legally responsible for paying for a certain percentage of the total financial support of the child, including health and dental care. Childcare costs incurred from the employment of the custodial parent are also calculated into this figure. Since the custodial parent assumes much of the costs of caring for the child, the law requires the noncustodial parent to make child support payments. The court and the department of social services both have the authority to issue child support orders.
Much like income taxes, your income means more than just your salary or wages. When applicable, it also includes salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, and pensions. For the purposes of child support, veterans benefit payments, and income from social security, worker’s compensation, disability, and unemployment insurance also counts towards income. Spousal support and rental income also count, as do any monetary awards or lottery winnings. If you are unsure if a source of income needs to be included in your child support calculations, rely on an experienced child support lawyer to help make this determination.
When the court issues an order for child support, it does not intend it to be a temporary order. However, as your child support attorney will tell you, there are circumstances in which requesting a modification to a child support order is appropriate. Parents have the right to request a review of their child support order when there is a change in circumstances, such as:
At Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, we know how contentious and stressful child support issues can be. Our attorneys take your concerns seriously and work hard to ensure you are receiving or paying what is fair under Virginia child support laws. Contact us to schedule your child support consultation today with an experienced family law lawyer.