What is Child Support?
Child support is the non-custodial parent’s (or parent that does not spend most of the time with the child) obligation to financially support their child after a divorce/separation. Both parents are required to pay child support, however, the court assumes that the custodial parent already covers other expenses related to the child.
Who is entitled to child support in Virginia?
The parent that resides with the child and takes care of the child, for the most part, is entitled to child support from the other parent.
What factors are generally considered in child support proceedings?
- Child’s standard of living before divorce/separation
- The non-custodial parent’s ability to pay support
- The child’s necessary expenses (healthcare, education, etc)
- Any expenses a child may need because if a physical, mental or emotional conditions.
- The parent’s obligation to pay child support on other children or support on other family members
- Child Custody Arrangement
How Long Do I Have to Enforce the Child Support Order? How long may I receive child support in Virginia?
Child support is enforced until the child graduates high school or reaches the age of 19. If the child is not attending high school, the child support payments are terminated once he/she reaches the age of 18. If the child has a physical or mental disability, the parent may be required to pay support even after the child becomes an adult.
How can the amount of child support be modified in Virginia?
The modification of child support occurs through the court. There must be a significant material change in the circumstances of either parent in order to request an increase or decrease child support.
In a joint custody situation, may either parent still receive child support in Virginia?
Yes. The court determines child support based on the amount of time each parent spends with the child, the parent’s income and the amount of money needed to raise the child.
If I remarry, must I still pay child support? If I remarry, may I still receive child support?
A paying parent is still required to pay child support even if they remarry. A receiving parent may still collect child support if they remarry unless the new spouse adopts the child.
What if I can’t afford to pay child support in Virginia?
The state of Virginia requires that a parent pay child support even if they claim that they do not have the means to do so. Even if the court finds that the parent cannot pay child support, a judge will order a minimum amount of support. There are very few cases where the court will not order child support (e.g physical, mental disability)
What if the noncustodial parent isn’t paying the ordered child support amount in Virginia?
For child support that is initiated ordered by the Department of Child Support Enforcement, the support will be enforced by the department. The DCSE will enforce child support payments by collecting tax refunds, withholding non-custodial parent’s income, suspension of professional license and driver’s license and seizing financial assets.