Virginia Divorce FAQ’s – Child Support

This is about child support in Virginia after divorce, including how child support gets figured, how parents can change child support, when the court orders for child support to be withheld from paychecks, and when the court will deviate from child support guidelines in Virginia.

This information is from Wayne E. Comer, the Divorcinfo Network Lawyer for Virginia. You can click here to visit his web site.

How does child support get figured?

Va. Code §20-108.1 of the Virginia Code sets forth a formula or schedule for the computation of child support. Roughly speaking it is somewhat like ascertaining your income tax liability from a tax table. The basic idea behind this is to make the job of the courts easier in setting the level of support payment required of the “non-custodial” parent. It is especially aimed at those cases where there are no special hardships or extenuating circumstances pertaining to the support requirements. Where there are such circumstances, the court is required to use the schedule as a starting point and then make allowances for those factors. The latter are identified in one of the code subsections. The formula, (simplified) is essentially this: You find on the chart the dollar amount of TOTAL support required for the child (children) which is based on the total income of the parents. The paying parent’s payment will be the ratio of that parent’s monthly income to the combined incomes times the dollar amount which the chart has shown to the child’s total support requirement.

How do you change child support?

The moving party needs to show that the financial circumstances relevant to the child support obligations have undergone a significant and relevant change since the amount of the support payments were fixed by the court or by mutual formal agreement.

Does child support get deducted from the payor’s paycheck? How?

The Code gives the Juvenile Domestic Re’s court the power to specify that child support will be deduced from the paycheck and remitted to the Virginia Department of Social Services who will dispense it to the custodial parent. The Circuit courts do not have that power in respect to the decree of divorce but if the parties come before that court in order to enforce payment, the decree may be modified to require that method of payroll deduction.

When will the court allow a deviation from the guidelines?

(Also see the above section of the question of figuring child support) Deviation will be considered based on number of factors which are listed in the child support Code Section above mentioned. Basically these are involved with various kinds of special hardships or handicaps relating either to the circumstances of the child or of the parents. Typically, these relate to medical type matters.

Other issues in Virginia: