Child Support Lawyers in Fairfax, VA Serving Leesburg
Under Virginia law, each parent has a legal duty to financially support children of their marriage. The amount of child support is determined through guidelines published by the Commonwealth of Virginia, which are based on gross income from both parents. At the Duff Law Firm, our lawyers can help parents deal with the legal complexities involved.
Child support modifications
The amount of child support can be subsequently changed only after a parent can demonstrate to the court that a material change in circumstances has occurred. Any modification to the amount of child support can only be legally accomplished through a court order. Mere agreements or understandings between parents are not part of family law and are unenforceable.
Factors affecting child support
In establishing an amount of child support, Virginia law sets forth in Code § 20-108.1 the various factors that the judge will consider in setting an amount of child support. These factors are as follows:
- 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, 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.
- Such other factors as are necessary to consider the equities for the parents and children.
Child support for joint custody
Because the Virginia child support formula incorporates overnight time spent with a parent into the calculation, joint custody makes a difference in child support payments. Any modification that changes a sole custody to joint custody would create a significant change in child support obligations and should be included as part of modification requests.
For experienced legal help with child support
The Duff Law Firm has provided families in the Fairfax and Leesburg areas with effective legal help for more than 20 years. Call (703) 591-7475 to schedule a confidential appointment to discuss your child support concerns.
We practice in the following jurisdictions: McLean, Fairfax County, Loudoun County (Leesburg), Fauquier County (Warrenton), Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William County (Manassas).