Child support guidelines to be updated for family law proceedings


An individual may be eager to finally split up with a spouse after months or years of an unsatisfactory marriage. However, determining who has to pay child support when they share kids may be tricky and is often a point of contention during a family law proceeding. A new bill in Virginia will update the state's child support guidelines, which have not been changed in decades.

House Bill 933 would highlight a specific amount that a parent must pay in child support if his or her gross monthly income is $35,000 or below. Those who earn more than $35,000 would pay a higher amount. Virginia is one of just a few states that have not updated child support guidelines since the late 1980s.

The new bill also would require parents to share all costs of dental or medical expenses that are unreimbursed. Currently, the custodial parent assumes any cost below $250. Updates to the guidelines will also allow grandparents of divorced kids to get visitation rights more easily.

Child support payments are based on various factors that a family law court takes into consideration in Virginia. However, a divorcing couple is more likely to achieve an outcome that satisfies both parties if they can strike a deal outside of court. It is helpful to understand one's rights concerning child support and other financial issues involving any children of a marriage. In this way, a person can seek to avoid paying more child support than appears reasonable or ensure the correct amount if support is secured for the benefit of any children.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bill to update child support guidelines advances, Markus Schmidt, Jan. 20, 2014

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