You think the hard work and bad feelings are over when the divorce papers are served by the process server. This is where things get more intense. You may be forgetting that child support also must be decided. This is where you might expect the claws to come out and hard feelings come to the surface, but in truth, determining child support in Virginia can be a smooth process with the right help.
Calculating Child Support in Virginia
In Virginia, both parents are responsible for supporting their children. Payments are calculated on the combined income of BOTH parents, which gives the child the same opportunities that they would have if the parents had stayed married. When we talk about income, we’re not just considering your salary—we’re also considering bonuses, dividends, unemployment benefits, spousal support—the list goes on. Most attorneys will use a special calculation to give you estimates on the amount you will receive or what you will owe. There are also online calculators if you would like a rough estimate before visiting a lawyer, but be warned, many online calculators can’t be trusted.
There might be accusations of hiding money, not disclosing benefits from public assistance, or even lottery winnings. If you’re already assisting your child financially, those figures are figured into the equation as well. Has your wife remarried or declined alimony? This is where honesty is critical to ensure that your child receives the benefits to which they are entitled. This is the job of a super lawyer, a good calculator, and an understanding of reading directions. Sound difficult? If these are not your strong points, then you could end up paying more or getting less than you should.
To calculate child support in Virginia, the steps are fairly straight-forward to get an idea of what to expect:
Step 1: Minor Children
How many minor children do you share joint legal responsibility for with your wife? This is the starting point you’ll be using to determine child support.
Step 2: Go Off The Grid
Using the child support obligation grid found here, locate the number of children and the total income. You will see the headings at the top of the chart. This will give you an estimate of what monthly payments will look like for child support. Keep in mind, of course, that this grid is used for estimating purposes and should not be used for preparation of trial. The court will use a more precise payment guide, but this will give you a starting point. Now, you can also test out our child support calculator tool!
Step 3: Custody Arrangements
The number attained in Step 2 is not your actual payment. Take into account the custody arrangements. Do you have full custody, partial custody or none? For example, if your income is 40% and your wife’s is 60%, you may pay 40% of the child support while your wife pays 60% of the support. The arrangements can change based on any custody agreement you may have entered or ordered into.
Step 4: Review Other Considerations
The judge can change child support based on certain conditions, including the health of the parent (or even grandparents) as well as many other factors. If the parent suffers from an injury or a disability, they can ask the judge to review the child support payments and deviate from guidelines and percentage of the previous payment.
Trust The Firm For Men with Your Family Law Matter
Most people will not leave a custody hearing in great spirits. In many cases, bias rears its ugly head. Mothers always seem to win, a standard which dates back to a time when mothers did not work; they stayed home and cooked, cleaned, and took care of the children. Things have changed in today’s world. Both parents may work; dad may stay home and care for the children or moms work nights while dads work during the day. The Firm For Men is fighting to bring the justice system into the modern age. The Firm for Men is a law firm representing men only in Virginia family law matters. Our experienced attorneys know all too well the problems that men encounter.
Located in the heart of Virginia Beach and serving all of Hampton Roads, we deal with divorces, including military, custody, domestic bias, and visitation rights. Our skilled team of attorneys enter court with the same footing as all-women law firms. Whether your case is simple or complex, The Firm for Men will protect you, your children, and your rights. Call us today at 757-383-9184 for a family law consultation and to fulfill your duty as a parent to ensure that your child’s rights are being protected.