This is the first post in a new series explaining to parents how child support laws are applied to various family law cases. Child support is often an area of contention in a divorce case even though a standard formula is applied to most cases. Issues of payments being too low, of one parent attempting to hide assets, and a child having special needs can all come up during a divorce. I am beginning this series so that parents can get a better understanding of how the laws work and how much support is likely to be ordered in a divorce case.
During this series I will be elaborating on a number of relevant topics including:
- How basic child support is calculated in Virginia
- When a judge will vary from the standard formula and how one should make an argument that more child support is deserved than the norm
- How spousal support can be affected by child support payments
- How Virginia handles those who have fallen into child support arrears
- What options one may have if they owe back child support
- How one can defend themselves from allegations of missed child support payments
I am writing this series because during a divorce and child custody proceedings it is not uncommon for both parents to have misconceptions regarding child support. From understanding how much of their total income they will be expected to give up, from believing that child support is “optional”, many parents are unpleasantly surprised by the process.
During a divorce, it is important to understand that all noncustodial parents are expected to pay child support. A “good” attorney cannot assist one in shirking their parental duties; the court and the law expect both parents to equally provide financially for all biological children. However, a family law attorney can protect one from being taken advantage of, ensure that special needs are taken care of, and help negotiate a payment plan if circumstances change and one can no longer pay their ordered amount.
If you are struggling with a child support issue, do not attempt to handle it on your own. An experienced family law attorney can help one obtain a financial plan that they can afford. Contact our office today for a consultation.