If you have children and are considering a divorce, or if you are not married but have children with an ex-partner, you likely have many questions about Virginia’s child support standards. This Virginia child support guide is a brief overview of what you can expect. Of course, we highly recommend speaking to an attorney about your particular circumstances as soon as possible.
Virginia child support laws are primarily located in the Code of Virginia 20-107.2, 20-108.1, and 20-108.2. These laws provide a guideline for how child support is determined and calculated.
Virginia Child Support Process
The first thing you should do is speak with and, ideally, hire an attorney. An attorney experienced in child support matters can advise you as to what you can expect to receive (or, conversely, pay to the custodial parent), help you file the necessary paperwork to initiate a child support action or respond to the other parent’s petition, and development the evidence and argument for your case.
Importance of a Child Support Attorney
After you or the other parent has filed a complaint or petition, its time to prepare. You will meet with your attorney to discuss your situation and the best way to proceed. In particular, your attorney can explain what information and documentation may be needed to determine child support, including income records, health insurance costs, health care expenses not covered by insurance, child-care expenses, and other situation-specific documents.
If the parents cannot agree on child support – and sometimes even if they can – you may have to appear in court to have a judge decide the matter, or at least approve it. During this appearance, you may have to provide testimony and documents for the court to receive and review. Typically, child support is determined using a formula that considers both parents’ incomes, the number of children, the number of custodial days each parent has the child, and more.
Once the guideline is determined, it presumptively correct. However, the court has the authority to deviate from that formula, depending on the circumstances of each parent and the child(ren). Having a knowledgeable attorney representing you can make a world of difference, to ensure that the court receives all information of importance from you, and perhaps even exclude irrelevant information from the other parent.
Help with Virginia Child Support in Fairfax VA
If you are considering filing for child support, it’s important to understand the process. Having the guidance of an experienced attorney is invaluable during this time. To learn more, please contact Cook, Craig & Francuzenko today.