On behalf of Roeder, Cochran, Phillips, PLLC on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
Divorce is never easy. Everyone goes into marriage with good intentions, and the dissolution of that marriage can lead to emotional and financial hardships. Things get even more complicated when children are part of the equation.
If you’re a parent, you want to protect your children’s best interests once your marriage ends. And often that means contributing to your children financially. Virginia, too, wants to look out for your children’s welfare, and that’s why they’ve created guidelines for child support.
Determination of financial obligation
Virginia uses a table of monetary guidelines created by the legislature to determine the base amount of child support the noncustodial must pay each month. The courts add together your gross monthly income, the income of your former spouse and how many children you are supporting. Once you arrive at this number, you consider what percentage of the income the non-custodial parent earns and pay that percentage of the support obligation.
For example, according to the table, if yours and your spouse’s gross combined monthly income was $5,000 and you earned 50 percent of that, you would pay $377.50 for one child, $568 for two children, $676.50 for three children, $755.50 for four children, $831 for five children and $903.50 for six children.
After taking the base monthly amount set forth by the legislature’s guidelines, a judge may alter that amount to reflect the amount needed for childcare, medical expenses, any Social Security benefits the child may receive or other practical factors. The child support arrangement is automatically reviewed by a judge every three years.
Virginia child support laws are complicated, and many factors come into consideration. If you are going through a divorce or separation, it is usually good to seek legal help. An attorney with family-law experience will be able to guide you through the divorce process and help you know your children’s needs are met.