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How is child support calculated and how is it paid in Virginia?

| Jul 5, 2021 | Child Support

If you are looking at an upcoming divorce, many things will need to be decided from the splitting of marital assets to what kind of custody arrangement you will have with your co-parent. 

If you are the co-parent that does not have the children full-time, you may be required to pay child support to the other co-parent. 

The State of Virginia defines “support” as the financial duty of a mother and father to support their children. The amount of that support depends on the needs of the parties involved and the abilities of each person to pay support.

How is child support calculated?

The total amount of child support is based upon the combined gross income of the mother and father. Once the total support obligation is calculated, that amount is multiplied by the percent of the total income attributed to the person owing support. The final result determines the percentage of support owed by each parent.

For example, if the father is the full-time parent and the mother is paying support and the mother’s income is 70% of the parents’ total combined income, then the mother will pay 70% of the calculated child support amount. 

Other expenses can be added to the overall amount of child support as well. For example, the co-parents will need to decide who is paying health care costs, medical and dental expenses, and child care costs, etc.

How is child support paid?

There are two options for paying child support. The owing parent can either pay the other parent directly or they can pay support through the Virginia Department of Social Services Division of Child Support Enforcement. The DCSE can also take payment directly from the owing parent’s paycheck by wage assignment or by an income withholding order.

When going through a divorce and deciding on custodial issues including child support, you should always seek the guidance of an experienced legal mind to help you through the process.