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What You Should Know About Seeking Child Support in Virginia

All parents have a responsibility to financially support their children until they reach the “age of majority,” or 18 years old in Virginia. If you did not receive a child support order as part of a divorce or separation agreement, you may seek the assistance of the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), which can help you locate the child’s other parent so you can establish a support order and begin receiving payments.

Regardless of how you receive your child support order, you may wonder how courts set child support amounts. Here are just a few of the factors they will consider in determining these arrangements:

  • The number of children
  • The gross monthly income of each parent
  • The amount of alimony a noncustodial parent receives from a prior marriage
  • The cost of family group health insurance paid by each parent
  • The monthly cost of daycare paid by the custodial parent
  • The amount of alimony the custodial parent pays to a spouse from a previous marriage

A note about income

Each parent’s income is a factor in determining the amount of child support the noncustodial parent pays to the custodial parent. This goes beyond simply what a parent gets in each paycheck. It also includes any bonuses, pensions, severance pay and dividends each parent receives, along with benefits for veterans or from workers’ compensation, disability, Social Security or unemployment. In addition, gambling earnings and lottery winnings could also be considered income for the purposes of calculating a child support arrangement.

A noncustodial parent who makes significantly more money than the custodial parent can expect to pay more in child support so that the kids can continue to enjoy a lifestyle reasonably similar to the one they have come to expect.

To learn more about establishing or enforcing a child support order in Virginia, meet with a skilled family law attorney at Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C. Call our legal team at 434-973-7474 or contact us online for further guidance. We have three offices conveniently located in Charlottesville, Palmyra (Across from Food Lion), and Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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