Child with calculatorThis is the second post in the series on modifying child support in Virginia. The last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you need to modify your payment or an amount that you receive. While the calculation of support may seem straightforward, the fact of the matter is that it can involve complicated legal and factual issues. In this post we will discuss when a parent may request a change in their child support. Call our office today to speak with a lawyer.

Virginia parents may modify child support when a material change in circumstances justify the request

Our state bases child support obligations on the paying parent’s income as well as other factors. The law, however, recognizes that circumstances can change over time. The paying parent will likely see their income change, they may have additional children from a new relationship, or a “special circumstance” may exist. This is why a parent may request a modification under multiple circumstances. First, if it has been more than three years since a parent’s last child support order, they may be considered eligible to petition the court for a review of the obligation. Second, if the paying parent’s monthly income has increased or decreased significantly since the last order then they may petition for a modification. Finally, special circumstances, such as the birth of a new child, may be considered by the court as a basis for a modification.

Say, for example, that a parent is downsized from his or her job and begins new employment at a substantially lower salary. Such a parent may then file a motion requesting that their support be modified. The law, however, cuts both ways on these types of issues. If a paying parent receives a promotion and, as a result, gains a fifty percent pay raise, the receiving parent may file a motion to have the monthly obligation increased. Again, it is suggested that you discuss your situation with counsel in order to determination whether you may be eligible for a modification.

Virginia parents should speak with a child support lawyer to understand their options

It is important that parents speak with child support attorney in order to determine whether or not they are eligible for a modification. It is not uncommon for one to feel that he or she should be eligible for a reduction, only to have the court rule that they are “underemployed” (a topic discussed further in a later article). Also, there are times when one may think that they are stuck with their current monthly obligation when, in fact, they are eligible to change it. Speaking with counsel can help you to identify all of your options.

Contact our office today to speak with a child support lawyer.