Child support is a critical component of any family law case that involves children. Regardless of whether the parents were ever married or are currently going through a divorce, if the relationship resulted in children, financially supporting the child is a concern for the court, and should be properly dealt with using a Loudoun County child support lawyer.
Issues, however, can and do arise after child support is set, all of which can impact familial relationships and the child’s financial stability. If you have or need to obtain a child support order, an experienced Loudoun County family attorney can help.
Child support is typically paid to the primary caretaker/custodian of the child(ren) by the other parent. There is no requirement that the court determines the financial contributions of the non-custodial parent; however if the parents cannot agree upon an acceptable monthly amount, or at the request of a parent, the financial responsibility can be determined by the court using Virginia’s child support guidelines.
An experienced Loudoun County child support attorney can assist an individual in determining such circumstances of financial support.
To make a determination of each parent’s financial responsibilities, the child support guidelines consider the gross income of both parents. That can include:
- Earned wages
- Social security benefits
- Severance pay
Income, for the purpose of determining child support, is not limited to taxable income. This process should only be handled using a knowledgeable Loudoun County child support lawyer.
Child Support Guidelines
Child support payments are designed to provide the child with the same lifestyle that they would have if both parents lived in the same house. The amount of child support that the non-custodial parent is responsible for depends on the number of children that the parents have together and the gross income of both parents.
In Virginia, child support is established in accordance with the child support guidelines, set forth in Virginia Code § 20-108.2 and can be enforceable by court order.
Virginia uses a standardized formula to determine the non-custodial parent’s financial responsibility to their child or children.
The parents’ total gross income is divided to determine each party’s fair share of monthly support based on the percentage of monthly income attributable to the parents, and permissible deductions, such as credits for benefits received by or for the child that may have increased one parent’s gross income.
The monthly child support obligation schedule establishes the amount of money that is required to care for up to six children based on the parents’ gross income. After determining the number of children and the gross income of both parties, the court then determines what percentage of the total income is attributable to each parent.
For example, if the parents of a child in Loudoun County have a monthly gross income of $6,500 and they have one child jointly, the child support obligation is $849.
The child support obligation is not the total amount that the non-custodial parent is responsible for paying the residential parent. It is the total amount that the child support guidelines indicate is required for the child’s welfare.
If the non-custodial parent’s gross income is 57 percent of the total gross income, that parent is responsible for 57 percent, or $483.93, of the $849 child support obligation that is due for the care and maintenance of the child. This formula can sometimes be complex, solidifying the need of an experienced child support lawyer in Loudoun County to best explain such procedures.
Consult with an Attorney
If you have a child support order that needs modification or enforcement, contact an experienced Loudoun County child support lawyer to build a case that will work to protect your child’s best interests.