Child Support In The State Of Virginia
Child support issues can present themselves in both the context of divorce cases as well as when unmarried parents separate. Marital status does not play a role. Each parent of a child has an obligation to provide support to the child, the rules,regarding child support apply to both parents equally, married or unmarried. Virginia, much like all other states, has taken on its own version of federally mandated child support guidelines. The guidelines are simply a mathematical formula used to configure a dollar amount of appropriate support based upon the following financial and custodial circumstances:
-The amount of time the child or children spend with each parent. -The income of each parent. -Spousal support (if any) paid by one parent to the other. -The number of other children for which either parent owes a duty of support. -The number of the children to be supported. -Child care costs. -Health insurance costs.
The amount determined by the equation will have special consideration, as it is deemed the preemptively correct amount of child support owed. Despite that raised element of consideration, courts can also rely upon certain considerations, if factually proven, to re point from that preemptively correct amount and set either a higher or lower amount of child support.
Prior to or instead of litigation of any child support case, or any divorce case in which child support is an issue, the parents are free to voluntarily agree upon child support amounts and terms of payment outside of the court system. Keep in mind, however, like many other agreements regarding family law matters, several good reasons exist, especially related to enforcement, for memorializing a child support agreement by court order. Once a court order is entered regarding child support, the parties are no longer free to voluntarily agree to alter the amount or payment terms without obtaining the approval of the appropriate court. As welll, if a party has been found to have violated a child support order, there are penalties ranging from interest on unpaid sums to jail time that can be imposed. Hiring competent counsel, like the The Smith Firm PLLC to assist you in child support matters, even those matters upon which parties seem to be in agreement, is always a wise decision.