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.
Child support payments must be paid until the child reaches the age of 18. However, in some certain cases, child support payments should last an extra year. This is as long as the child is still a full-time high school student at the age of 19; the child 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 child support should be and is allowed to be further extended beyond the child’s 18th birthday or high school graduation. This includes if the child is severally and permanently mentally or physically ill and cannot be self-supporting. It also includes if the child for any reason is not capable of living independently or supporting himself or herself. Also, the child may decide to remain in the home of the parent receiving payments for child support.
Code Section 20-108.2 outlines Virginia’s child support guidelines. The court will look at many factors when coming to the conclusion on who will pay child support and how much. There is a mathematical formula to calculate child support. How this formula is used depends on the custody arrangements. Virginia bases its child support on the gross income of parents, the shared expenses and the amount of time each parent 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 child support 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, child support payments are taken as a percentage of 2.6% for one child and up to 5% for 6 children. How child support 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 parent will pay 60% of the child support payments.
If a parent does not pay child support 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 child support 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 child support 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 child support. These include if a new child has been added either through birth or by a physical change in custody, as well as whether a child is still eligible to receive the child support payments. A child 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.