Child support cases can be sensitive and emotional for the parties involved. Virginia child support lawyers have extensive experience in handling these delicate matters and can assist you with your situation. Whether you are seeking to obtain a child support order, or want to have a child support award adjusted, our experienced child support attorneys can provide you with the tools you need to navigate the process, contact us for your family law matters. Experienced family law attorneys work diligently to advocate for you so your rights as a parent are adequately protected.
How a Virginia Child Support Lawyer Can Help
The amount of child support a parent is required to pay is an amount that is established by law and is determined by the gross monthly income of the parent and the number of children involved. § 20-108.2. It is presumed in Virginia that this amount is correct for a child support award, unless the party disputing the amount provides evidence to the contrary. § 20-108.2. Courts will consider a number of factors in determining whether an adjustment in a child support award is appropriate, including:
- The custody arrangement for the child
- Child care costs incurred while a parent is attending school
- Special needs of the child
- Debts incurred during the marriage for the benefit of the child
- The financial resources of the child
- The child’s standard of living while the parents were married
- Earning capacity of each parent
Additionally, the court will also consider any factor deemed relevant to the case.
Modifying Child Support
A person who is paying child support has the right to have the amount of child support they are paying recalculated upon a material change in circumstances.
If a person who is paying child support loses their job through no fault of their own—for instance, as a result of company downsizing—they may petition the court to reduce the amount of child support they pay through a new court order. It is important to note child support can only be altered by such a court order, not simply by agreement of the parties.
In order to make such a modification, the court requires two general types of information. The party asking for a modification has the responsibility of establishing there has been a material change in circumstances. Thus, the requesting party or their child support lawyer in Virginia must demonstrate the circumstances at the time of the original order and the circumstances at the time of the modification request.
A material change may refer to a number of things. A material change can mean the requesting party’s income has decreased or the other party’s income has increased. Alternatively, a material change may occur if one or more child has emancipated and is no longer subject to the payment of support. The party seeking to change support must show the material change justifies a modification of child support.
Circumstances of Payment
Typically, in any situation where there is a child under the age of 18 and the parents of that child do not reside together then one of the parents is going to be ordered to make a monthly child support payment to other. Usually, the payor is the person who has less custodial time.
The way the court looks at it is if a child has a primary residence, for example, with her father then the court considers that the father provides the primary household for the child and is already spending money on things like rent, utilities, and groceries. The person who has less time with the child typically has to pay, because, in this theoretical scenario, the mother is not paying the rent for the home where the child primarily lives, so instead the court will require the mother to make a payment to the father to help contribute to that expense.
Consulting an Attorney
When you are looking for a child support lawyer, it is important to find a lawyer who has considerable experience. Child support law involves a number of nuances, and when they become highly contested, it is important to have an attorney beside you. It is important for a child support lawyer to fully understand the ins and outs of child support law because, once an order is put into place with the child support amount set, the parties are bound by that order until a material change occurs that allows for one party to request an order modification.
A seasoned Virginia child support lawyer will provide you with a full assessment of your case and ensure that all factors relevant to your situation are properly addressed and included. An attorney can provide guidance on whether a deviation from the statutory amount of child support is appropriate in your case. A family law attorney in Virginia helps clients collect on child support orders so that the child receives the support amount they are entitled to.