Child Support Lawyers
Experienced child support attorneys serving Fairfax, VA and surrounding areas
Children are entitled to financial support, regardless of whether their parents are married or not. In many respects, child support should be a fairly simple issue to resolve as the Virginia Code sets forth a mathematical formula to calculate the appropriate sum. However, as is common in most areas of Family Law, making those calculations requires communication between the parties and agreement about basic things like how much money each party is making. The child support attorneys at Leary Law understand that sometimes even the easy things are hard, and we work with our clients to make sure their priorities and needs are met.
Who Pays Child Support? How Much Will Child Support Cost?
Child support is typically paid by the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child. It is payable to the parent who does have primary physical custody of the child; however, it is important to bear in mind that Child Support is intended for the benefit of the child.
Oftentimes, parents will be able to reach agreement regarding how much child support should be paid on a monthly basis; however, if they cannot, a Court will enter an Order for an amount deemed appropriate by the Judge and based upon the Virginia Child Support Guidelines . Those Guidelines are a mathematical formula which take into account each parent’s monthly gross income, the support by either parent of “other children” (such as by prior marriages), day care expenses, and health care costs. In some cases, based on extraordinary circumstances, the judge may “deviate” from the guidelines, and order an amount of child support different from that established under the guidelines.
Can the amount of Child Support be modified?
Yes, a Court’s Order for Child Support can be modified to reduce, increase, or otherwise alter the support amount as allowed for in Virginia Code § 20-108. However, a modification will not be granted unless there has been a material change in the circumstances of one, or both, of the parents. An obvious example of such a material change would be if one of the parents should unexpectedly lose their employment by termination or lay-off and encounter difficulty finding new employment that matches the lost salary. However, on the flip side, should a parent’s income be reduced due to some intentional act of the parent, such as quitting a steadily paying job in order to start up their own business, that parent will likely have a more difficult time convincing a Court that their ability to pay support should be recalculated.
How long do I have to pay Child Support?
Child support obligations and mandatory and continue until the child turns eighteen (18) years old. However, in certain circumstances, the support obligation may even extend beyond that birthday. Virginia Code 20-124.2 provides that support will continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is a full-time high school student, not self-supporting, and living in the home of the parent who is seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs.
Also, a court may order that support be paid or continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, if such disability existed prior to the child reaching the age of 18 (or the age of 19 if the child is a full-time high school student, not self-supporting, and living in the home of the parent who is seeking or receiving child support), unable to live independently and support himself, and residing in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support.
Contact One of Our Child Support Attorneys In Fairfax and Manassas, VA
If you have any child support or other family law issues, please contact Leary Law today to discuss your issues at 703-359-7111. We are here to help you.