My name is Stephen Jones, and I am an associate attorney here at Holcomb Law.
When parents are separating either through a divorce or breakup, the issue of child support often comes up. While there is often some love lost between the parents, what is usually clear from every meeting we have with them is that they love their children deeply and want to do everything they can to help and support their child as they grow.
So if you are the parent seeking support or the parent paying support, you may have some questions about the process.
Your first question may be, “What is child support?” The thing to consider is that this is support for the child, not the other parent. And while you are paying the support to the other parent, it is to be used for the benefit of the child. Child support is typically a monthly amount paid by the non-custodial parent to the other parent.
The next question usually asked is, “How is support calculated?” Every situation is different, but the courts look at the following to determine the appropriate amount of support: the gross monthly income of both parents; the number of children the support will cover; any work-related childcare; the cost for the child’s healthcare and who pays; any child support paid for or received for an unrelated child; and anything else the court finds necessary for the benefit of the child.
Support can also vary depending on how much time the child spends with you, as child support in shared custody arrangements is usually less, the reason being both parents have equal time with the child and are covering the costs necessary for that child’s benefit when he or she is with them.
To get a sense of what the amount of child support may be, the Virginia code has a chart that establishes the guideline amount of support for the gross monthly income of both parents and the number of children. Remember though, these are just guidelines. Also, the parents can agree to deviate from that amount, but must be agreed by the parties.
If you are a parent who needs to seek child support or if you are a parent ordered to pay child support, the experienced family law attorneys at Holcomb Law can help you. Call today and schedule your no-hassle legal strategy meeting.