Virginia Child Support

Virginia law requires that both parents are obligated to support their children, whether married or not. The child support payments are an outcome of the combined incomes of each parent. This allows the child/children to have the benefit of what the parents could have provided in a single household. The law requires that each parent is responsible for covering a certain percentage of the child support payment. Also, the payment must include health and dental care for the child.

The parent with whom the child lives with most of the time is known as the custodial parent. This parent may request child support. This means that just because both parents contribute to the financial support of the child, they do not give one another money every month. State law assumes that the custodial parent covers many of the costs concerning the care for the child. Therefore, the noncustodial parent must make the child support payments.

In Virginia, child support typically lasts until the child is 19 years old but an exception to this rule could be if the child is still in high school, or has certain physical or mental conditions that would require extra support.

Determining Child Support

The amount of child support payments depends upon the parents’ incomes. Also, it is dependent upon the amount of times each parent has physical custody of the child/children.

When the courts determine child support, these and other factors that are taken into consideration:

  • Earnings of Both Parents
  • Child Care Expenses
  • Medical Expenses
  • Custodial Arrangements

If your child support was decided upon by the courts, they automatically review child support payments every three years.  In other cases, it’s not always the courts that could make the decision on who pays child support. In Virginia, the department of social services may issue a child support order but it would be based on the same guidelines the courts use. You would not need to request child support if you currently receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In that case, Virginia’s Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) would apply to your situation.

Examples of income in determining child support include:

  • Wages
  • Tips
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Self-employment earnings
  • Disability payments
  • Social Security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Annuities
  • Interest
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Pensions
  • Private or Government Retirement benefits


Changes to Child Support Payments

The amount of child support payments can be changed if there has been a change in circumstances. However, only a court can approve changes to child support. In order for a different amount to be considered a court will consider many factors, such as:

  • Supporting other family members
  • Child custody or visitation costs
  • A parent who is voluntarily unemployed or under-employed
  • Debts obtained for the child’s benefit
  • Life insurance, education expenses, or other court ordered payments
  • Special needs of a child
  • Child’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Parents’ earning capacity
  • Earning potential of marital property
  • Tax consequences
  • Written agreement concerning child custody


Consequences for Neglect of Child Support

The courts set a certain amount to pay and a schedule for those payments. There are consequences if a parent neglects to follow the court’s requirements. These consequences may include:

  • Property seizure
  • Suspension of a business license
  • Suspension of a driver’s license
  • Tax refund interception
  • Wage garnishment
  • Arrest or incarceration


Contact the Experienced Child Support Attorneys at Riley Law, PLLC

If you need help determining child support payments or need to take legal action for your child, call Riley Law, PLLC today! We will help to make sure you and your child are treated fairly and that all factors of your situation have been considered.

We have handled Virginia child support cases in all surrounding Hampton Roads court jurisdictions including the Virginia Peninsula cities and counties of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson/York County, Williamsburg; all Southside courts in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Isle of Wight.

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