When you have a child and get divorced, one of the things you need to work out is how much child support will need to be paid by the paying parent. Virginia makes this task a little simpler than in some other states because it has child support guidelines that all decisions about support need to follow.
The core of the guidelines state that children who live in a split family should still receive the same level of support that they would have received if their parents lived together. The guidelines require parents, their attorneys and the court to consider the parents’ current incomes, the time they spend with their children raising them and their children’s needs. The guidelines also keep in mind that the parents will have financial needs of their own, and those cannot be overlooked.
How does Virginia’s child support formula work?
The child support formula considers several factors, such as:
- How much spousal support is being paid
- All of the income sources for the parties involved
- How much health insurance costs for the child
- Any daycare or care expenses for the child
The state currently requires child support payments of no less than $68 per month.
What can you do to avoid having to pay child support?
Even if you have custody equally with the other parent, you or they may end up paying support if one of you earns significantly less than the other. Even if you have custody more often than the other parent, you could end up paying support if it’s necessary for the health and safety of your child when in their care.
Child support payments are usually unavoidable, even if you work out an arrangement privately. However, if you and the other parent earn equal incomes and have joint custody, there may be an opportunity to forgo support in some cases or to greatly reduce the obligation. This is something to discuss prior to going to court. If you are happy with an arrangement you’ve come up with, then a judge may agree even if it’s not typical based on other cases.