Determining Child Support in Virginia

Child support payment amounts are generally determined in Virginia by Code of Virginia, Title 20, Chapter 6, sections, 107.2, 108.1, and 108.21 which basically contain the child support guidelines.  Child support payment amounts determined by the guidelines will be considered fair and correct unless the parent can show that the guideline payment amount would be unfair or unjust in view of the specific circumstances of the divorce case at issue and the financial circumstances of the parent at issue.

Factors Considered by the Court in Determining Child Support Payments

The court is free to order either parent to pay child support and the payment amount is based on the following factors:

  • Financial resources of the child
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage was not dissolved
  • The physical and mental condition of the child and related medical needs
  • The present and future educational needs of the child
  • The age and health of the child
  • Earning capacity of each parent
  • What the division of marital property is expected to be
  • Monetary and non-monetary contributions of each parent to the family well being
  • Education level of the parents
  • Ability of each parent to secure additional education or employment related re-training  
  • Tax consequences of the child support obligations
  • Special medical, dental or childcare expenses
  • Financial obligations, needs and resources of each parent

Below are additional factors that may be considered by the court but are not required to be considered in setting a parental child support payment amount:

  • Financial support provided for other marital children and family members
  • Voluntary or involuntary unemployment unless it is the custodial parent, the child is not in school or childcare services are not available and costs of daycare is not included in the computation of amount of support needed
  • Debts incurred for the purpose of producing an income
  • Payments of health insurance premiums for the child
  • Income arising from extraordinary capital gains such as the proceeds from the sale of the family home due to the divorce

Getting Legal Help

If you or a member of your family is considering dissolving a marriage in the State of Virginia with children involved and are unsure about what the possible amounts in child support payments the court may require be paid to the custodial spouse then it would be important to contact an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss the circumstances of the divorce and the present and future financial needs of the marital children.  An attorney can provide valuable assistance in sorting out the financial elements typically involved in a Virginia based divorce action.

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