Single parents often struggle with having enough money to provide their child with the best possible life. The purpose of child support is to ensure that a child has financial stability when their parents live in two separate households.
The child support process can seem complicated and overwhelming. In addition to navigating the different steps involved in setting up a child support order, you may have many questions about how the amount of support is calculated.
The purpose of child support
Virginia, like most states, uses a mathematical formula to calculate the amount of child support, but also considers several other factors. The overall goal is an order which involves each parent contributing a fair amount to support the needs of their child.
After you file a child support petition, you and the other parent must provide financial information to the court. This includes all income. If you have two jobs, you must report the income from both. If you receive any other monthly income, such as spousal support payments, you must include those, as well.
The court then examines the cost of child-related expenses, including any health insurance payments and daycare costs. The parent who pays child support may receive a reduction in the amount they pay if they are paying a health insurance premium for the child.
How custody affects child support
Your custody schedule can also impact the amount of child support. However, if one parent has primary custody, and the other parent only sees the child on weekends, the child support amount could be increased because the parent with primary custody has more child-related costs.
Any other circumstances unique to your situation can be considered. For example, your child may have medical issues, specific educational needs, or other specific special circumstances.
You must provide evidence related to your income and expenses to determine the correct child support amount. A family law attorney can help you gather evidence and guide you through the process.