Generally, when the relationship is over, most parents will agree on child support terms without involving the court. However, if the couple cannot make a decision on the child support amount, either party can seek the court’s involvement.
In Virginia, both parents are responsible for providing support for their minor children regardless of the state of their relationship. However, this does not mean that the support amount will be split 50/50.
How child support is calculated in Virginia
In Virginia, the child support amount is calculated based on the parents’ gross income. Basically, this refers to the sum-total of all income, including:
- Wages or salary
- Trust income
- Unemployment insurance benefits
- Investment interests
- Awards, gifts and prizes
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Certain Social Security benefits
Setting the monthly child support obligations
Once the parents’ gross income is established, the family court will refer to the monthly basic child support obligation schedule. They will use this to determine how much each party will pay in child support. This schedule outlines different child support amounts depending on the household income.
Child custody and support amount
Another factor the family court considers when determining the child support amount in Virginia is the child custody arrangement. The three types of custody arrangements in Virginia are:
- Sole custody – where the court awards full custody to one parent. Typically, this happens under extreme circumstances.
- Split custody – where the couple shares two or more children and some children live with the mother while the other lives with the father.
- Shared custody – the child lives with each parent for part of the year.
Child support can be a contentious issue during divorce and separation. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and obligations while litigating a child support case in Virginia.