Child Support Lawyer Fairfax
The law mandates that a non-custodial parent must provide financial support to his or her minor child. In Virginia the support obligation continues through age 18 or age 19 or high school graduation, whichever occurs first, if the child is still living at home and is not self-supporting.
In most cases the child support amount is determined by the Virginia Child Support Guidelines which take into consideration each party’s income, child care costs, and health insurance costs for the child. However in some cases it is appropriate to deviate from the guideline amount, which is why it is important to consult an attorney regarding your child support case. The court looks at the following factors listed in Virginia Code § 20-108.1 to determine if the guideline support amount is inappropriate:
1. Actual monetary support for other family members or former family members;
2. Arrangements regarding custody of the children, including the cost of visitation travel;
3. Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed or voluntarily under-employed; provided that income may not be imputed to the custodial parent when a child is not in school, child care services are not available and the cost of such child care services are not included in the computation and provided further, that any consideration of imputed income based on a change in a party's employment shall be evaluated with consideration of the good faith and reasonableness of employment decisions made by the party;
4. Debts of either party arising during the marriage for the benefit of the child;
5. Direct payments ordered by the court for maintaining life insurance coverage pursuant to subsection D, education expenses, or other court-ordered direct payments for the benefit of the child;
6. Extraordinary capital gains such as capital gains resulting from the sale of the marital abode;
7. Any special needs of a child resulting from any physical, emotional, or medical condition;
8. Independent financial resources of the child or children;
9. Standard of living for the child or children established during the marriage;
10. Earning capacity, obligations, financial resources, and special needs of each parent;
11. Provisions made with regard to the marital property under § 20-107.3, where said property earns income or has an income-earning potential;
12. Tax consequences to the parties including claims for exemptions, child tax credit, and child care credit for dependent children;
13. A written agreement, stipulation, consent order, or decree between the parties which includes the amount of child support; and
14. Such other factors as are necessary to consider the equities for the parents and children.
Although child support is typically a simple matter, it is important to consult an attorney regarding your particular circumstances to ensure that you are not paying more than you should be or that you are receiving what you are entitled to.
Child support is always modifiable based on a change in circumstances such as significant change in income of either party, extraordinary medical expenses of a child, or significant change in child care costs. Our attorney’s can petition the court for a change in your child support based on your specific circumstances.
Unfortunately it has become very common for people to fall behind in their support payments. We are experienced in representing individuals on both sides of delinquent support cases and will advocate for a non-custodial parent who may be out of a job and in need of a payment plan to get caught up or a custodial parent who is not getting the support they are entitled to. Falling behind in support can have serious consequences such as interest charges, loss of license, wage garnishment, frozen bank accounts, and even jail. It is important to have an attorney who represents your interests review your case rather than leaving it in the hands of the Division of Child Support Enforcement.