Dealing with divorce is a challenging life event for any Virginia parent. Our firm understands that the process does not only affect the spouses but major decisions must be made regarding their child or children. With regards to child support, parents need to establish an adequate payment plan that will fulfill the financial needs of the child. In some cases, it could be difficult for divorced parents to reach an agreement, and in these matters, the courts might need to step in to establish an appropriate child support plan.
Divorcing parents should be aware that there is a legislated formula that courts will use to determine and adequate amount of child support to be paid each month. Factors such as childcare costs, necessities, health insurance, medical bills, school costs and other related expenses will help establish a baseline for child support.
Once a child support agreement is put in place, the parent required to make these payments will continue to make these payments until the child graduates high school or turns 19-years-old, whichever occurs first. In some cases, child support payments might extend beyond this timeframe, and usually occurs when the child has a disability.
While it is expected that the child support agreement will last until an agreed ending point, events might occur that require changes or modifications. A substantial change in circumstances, such as unemployment or underemployment could lead to child support modifications. Financial problems could make it difficult to make these payments and the failure to pay child support could have serious consequences. This is why it is important to address these issues promptly in order to avoid penalties such as fines and even jail time.
When devising a child support agreement or making modifications to a current plan, parents should remember that child support payments are made to benefit the child and not a parent. This is why the best interest of the child should always be the focal point when making decisions regarding this agreement. Our firm's child support overview could help divorced parents understand their situation. Furthermore, it could help them better understand their rights and options regarding child support issues.