In Virginia, parents are legally obliged to support their children. A parent must continue paying child support until the child reaches the age of emancipation. In Virginia, it is usually until the child reached the age of 18 and has graduated high school. If the child has not yet graduated high school by the time of his or her 18th birthday then child support payments will continue until the child reaches the age of 19.
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Child support payments must be paid until the minor reaches the age of 18. However, in some certain cases, child support payments should last an extra year. This is as long as the minor is still a full-time high school student at the age of 19; the minor should also not be self-supporting and should still be living in the home of the parent receiving the child support payments.
In Virginia, there are additional circumstances in which juvenile maintenance should be and is allowed to be further extended beyond the minor’s 18th birthday or high school graduation. This includes if the minor is severally and permanently mentally or physically ill and cannot be self-supporting. It also includes if the minor for any reason is not capable of living independently or supporting himself or herself. Also, the minor may decide to remain in the home of the guardian receiving payments for juvenile maintenance.
Code Section 20-108.2 outlines Virginia’s juvenile maintenance guidelines. The court will look at many factors when coming to the conclusion on who will pay juvenile maintenance and how much. There is a mathematical formula to calculate juvenile maintenance. How this formula is used depends on the custody arrangements. Virginia bases its juvenile maintenance on the gross income of parents, the shared expenses and the amount of time each guardian has custody. The gross income of both parents is required to arrive at a family income. There is a state table which outlines how much of the family’s income should be put away for juvenile maintenance payments for households with between 1 to 6 children. If the family income is $35,000 or more, then it falls outside the table. In this case, juvenile maintenance payments are taken as a percentage of 2.6% for one minor and up to 5% for 6 children. How juvenile maintenance is divided between the parents depends on each parent’s individual income. For example, if one parent makes up 60% of the family income, then that guardian will pay 60% of the juvenile maintenance payments.
If a parent does not pay juvenile maintenance then they could be punished in a court of law under the legal basis “contempt of court.” This means that a person is not following a court order. Parents who do not pay juvenile maintenance may be but into prison for up to six months. There could also be a fine of up to 500 dollars along with attorney fees and court costs.
Either parent may petition the court to modify the existing juvenile maintenance agreements. The review for modification may result in an increase, decrease or no change in the payments made. There are many reasons for parents to requests a modification in minor support. These include if a new minor has been added either through birth or by a physical change in custody, as well as whether a minor is still eligible to receive the child support payments. A minor loses their ability to receive support from his/her parents due to a physical change in custody or emancipation.
If you need a Virginia Child Support lawyer to help you with your Child Support case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia Child Support attorneys can help you. C