UNDERSTANDING CHILD SUPPORT IN VIRGINIA
Child support in Virginia is typically one of the more straightforward areas of family law due to the adoption in Virginia of guideline child support. In legal terms, there is a “rebuttable presumption” that the guideline amount of child support, which is a mathematical equation, is correct.
However, it is always best to have sound legal guidance in matters of child support — to ensure that each parent is fully aware of their rights and obligations, and to ensure that children receive the support they need to be happy and healthy. It is also very important to seek legal counsel if you or the other parent is seeking a modification of child support.
To discuss your child support situation with an experienced family law attorney at Lee Lopez Law PLLC, call us in Arlington at 703-259-8731 or complete our contact form. We advise and represent parents throughout Northern Virginia.
RUNNING THE GUIDELINES
One needs to be able to determine each party’s gross income from all sources (note: this is legally distinguishable from taxable income and tends to be more expansive); the number of overnights for each parent; the costs to maintain the minor child’s health insurance; and costs for work-related child care.
Often there are disputes over these numbers, but once they are established, running the guidelines should not be difficult. There can of course be complicating factors, such as income from a small or sole-proprietor-owned business, multiple children with different biological backgrounds, and other unique circumstances. Sound legal advice is essential in these situations.
DEVIATION FROM THE GUIDELINES
In order to have child support based upon anything other than the guidelines, a party has to prove that the guidelines result in an unjust or inappropriate amount under the factual circumstances. The court will look at a number of factors to determine whether to deviate from the guidelines. For example, deviations from the guidelines may be based upon the cost of visitation travel, imputed income to an underemployed parent, or a child’s special needs.
While determining child support typically involves a fairly straightforward analysis, there are hidden pitfalls that you will want to avoid. Calculating income alone can be complicated. Talk to us before getting started, and do your best to have the information required to run the guidelines available at your consultation.
CONTACT US TODAY
If you have questions or concerns about child support, we can help. Call Lee Lopez Law in Arlington at 703-259-8731 or complete our contact form today. We are a family law firm serving clients throughout Northern Virginia.