Fairfax, VA Family Law Attorney Claudia Zucker On Factors Effecting Child Support
As a Fairfax, VA family law attorney, many of my clients approach me after a divorce or parental split with concerns about child support. Some are anticipating receiving child support payments and others realize that they are probably going to have to pay. The Commonwealth of Virginia does take parental responsibility very seriously, so if you are a non-custodial parent or you are involved in a joint parenting plan, but there's a disparity in shared time or incomes, you can expect to pay support.
The five most significant factors in the calculation of child support in Fairfax County or anywhere else in Virginia are the gross incomes of the parents, the number of children they have in common, and the amount of time spent with each parent, the cost of work related daycare expenses, and the cost to provide health insurance for the benefit of the minor child(ren). A basic calculation table can be found in Virginia Code 20-108.2. However, individual or combined factors can drastically alter the child support calculation if a deviation from the guidelines is warranted.
Child support calculations are rarely as straightforward as the basic table would indicate. A number of considerations need to be weighed by your lawyer or by a judge if you can not mutually agree upon suggested deviations from the support guidelines. For instance, the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes the following factors for the calculation of child support (Virginia Code § 20-108.1):
- Actual monetary support for other family members or former family members;
- Arrangements regarding custody of the children, including the cost of visitation travel;
- Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed or voluntarily under-employed; provided that income may not be imputed to the custodial parent when a child is not in school, child care services are not available and the cost of such child care services are not included in the computation and provided further, that any consideration of imputed income based on a change in a party's employment shall be evaluated with consideration of the good faith and reasonableness of employment decisions made by the party;
- Debts of either party arising during the marriage for the benefit of the child;
- Direct payments ordered by the court for maintaining life insurance coverage pursuant to subsection D, education expenses, or other court-ordered direct payments for the benefit of the child;
- Extraordinary capital gains such as capital gains resulting from the sale of the marital abode;
- Any special needs of a child resulting from any physical, emotional, or medical condition;
- Independent financial resources of the child or children;
- Standard of living for the child or children established during the marriage;
- Earning capacity, obligations, financial resources, and special needs of each parent;
- Provisions made with regard to the marital property under § 20-107.3, where said property earns income or has an income-earning potential;
- Tax consequences to the parties including claims for exemptions, child tax credit, and child care credit for dependent children;
- A written agreement, stipulation, consent order, or decree between the parties which includes the amount of child support; and
- Such other factors as are necessary to consider the equities for the parents and children.
Child Support Calculations in Virginia
Whether you are from Fairfax or elsewhere in Virginia, the calculation of child support is not something that you should attempt without the assistance of an experienced family lawyer. At the law office of Claudia Zucker, I've negotiated and litigated child support payments for hundreds of parents. Whether you are a parent who is required to pay child support or are entitled to support from your children's other parent, contact a qualified Fairfax family law attorney to review your case. We invite you to contact us today at (703) 596-1005. We're always just a phone call away.