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Learning about child support

Virginia couples who split up after having kids will probably need to negotiate child support. This can be complicated for a number of reasons. However, there are some basic concepts related to child support that all parents should know in order to make the process easier.

It is often believed that child support is paid by the noncustodial parent to cover expenses related to the upbringing of their children. But while a custodial parent is easy to define (the parent who has physical custody of the children and spends the majority of time with them), noncustodial parents are harder to define. In some cases, noncustodial parents are quite involved in their children's lives. This may lead to a joint co-parenting situation.

Even more importantly, parents also need to learn what are acceptable expenses that can be covered by child support. Since child support is designed to allow children to live life in the quality they are accustomed to, it is important that expenses be related to this. As such, a parent can use child support funds to pay for shelter and ensure a safe environment for the children. The funds can also be used to cover medical, school and extracurricular expenses. In addition, food, clothing, toys and other items used by the child can be bought with the money. If there is money left over at the end of the month, parents cannot use it for personal expenses. Instead, the money should be put away for later use related to the children.

Because child support rules can have significant differences from state to state, residents who are facing this type of dilemma may want to contact a lawyer with family law experience. A lawyer can help a client become familiar with the options available and legally represent them in any proceedings.

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