CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS AND OBLIGATIONS
Child support is governed by state statute (“guidelines”). In Virginia, the court will take the gross income of father and mother, the number of children, the cost of childcare and health insurance, and other factors and calculate the recommended amount of child support based on a formula.
WHO IS ENTITLED TO CHILD SUPPORT?
A parent who is living with the children but apart from the other parent is entitled to child support from the non-custodial parent for the children.
HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATED?
The Commonwealth of Virginia has adopted Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are used by the courts to determine how much child support the non-custodial parent should pay to the parent who has sole custody and also how much child support should be paid in a joint custody agreement.
HOW LONG WILL I RECEIVE CHILD SUPPORT?
Parents are obligated to pay child support until a child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. Support terminates when the child turns 18 if the child is not in high school. In some circumstances, a parent may be obligated to support a disabled adult child.
IF I REMARRY, DO I STILL PAY CHILD SUPPORT?
If a parent remarries, and even if that parent has more children, he or she still pay must pay child support to the children of the first marriage. If a person is receiving child support and remarries, he or she is still entitled to receive child support unless his or her new spouse adopts the child.
CAN VISITATION BE WITHHELD BECAUSE CHILD SUPPORT IS NOT PAID?
No. Visitation and support are separate issues. You cannot deny visitation because support is not being paid. If you do not pay support when it is due, you can be held in contempt of court and punished by a fine or imprisonment.
WHO PAYS TAXES ON CHILD SUPPORT?
The payor parent may not deduct child support payments, and the payee parent does not include child support payments as income on their taxes. It is common for parties to include in a settlement agreement that the parties will alternate the years in which they claim their child as a dependent on their taxes, so long as the parent paying child support is making timely payments and is current with their obligation. If there is no agreement, and the court order is silent as to the tax dependency exemption, the custodial parent is generally designated by the I.R.S rules as the parent who can claim the exemption. You should consult the I.R.S. or an attorney if you have any question about whether you are entitled to claim your child.
Take the time on your own to learn about legal matters in Virginia. This should never be used as a substitute for the advice of experienced counsel; this education empowers you and can help frame your discussions with your attorney.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment.