Virginia Child Support Attorney

Child support cases in Virginia can be difficult to navigate if you don’t have a skilled and experienced legal team behind you.

While child support is often based on a “guideline” calculation, there are often a number of different ways to calculate what counts and doesn’t count in the calculation. Courts can also “deviate” from the calculation. It’s important to remember that child support is intended to make sure the financial interest of the child are not affected should their parent decide to part ways.

That’s why Slovensky Law is here to protect both your rights and the best interests of the child.

It’s important to remember that child support is intended to make sure the financial interest of the child are not affected should their parent decide to part ways.
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How is the amount of child support determined?

Virginia child support is set according to Virginia’s child support guidelines, a mathematical formula established under the Virginia Code. The guidelines take into account each parent’s income and are generally straightforward when both parents are salaried or wage-earning workers with a single job, no child support arrearages, and working to their full income-producing capacity. The guidelines can become a little more complicated when parents share custody, the child has unusual expenses (special needs children), or one parent is voluntarily underemployed.

Primary factors considered include the number of children, each parent’s income and the amount of time each parent will provide primary care.

Some sources of income that might be included for child support are:

  • Salary and wages earned
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Pensions
  • Dividends
  • Severance pay
  • Employee benefits (such as housing or 401K matching)
  • Rental income
  • Spousal support (Spousal support payments are considered income to the person receiving them, but they are deducted from the income of the person making the payments for child support purposes)
  • Social Security retirement or disability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • State or private disability
  • Unemployment insurance benefits
  • Military retirement benefits
  • Salary and wages earned
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Pensions
  • Dividends
  • Severance pay
  • Employee benefits (such as housing or 401K matching)
  • Rental income
  • Spousal support (Spousal support payments are considered income to the person receiving them, but they are deducted from the income of the person making the payments for child support purposes)
  • Social Security retirement or disability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • State or private disability
  • Unemployment insurance benefits
  • Military retirement benefits

There are exceptions that can make child support very complex and difficult to determine, for example:

  • If a parent is self-employed or a contract employee
  • If a parent is underemployed
  • When a parent has a significant child support arrearage
  • When a child has extraordinary medical expenses, the amount of support calculated by the statutory formula will not be enough. A child’s special needs, which may merit greater support and/or continuation of support beyond the age of 19 or high school graduation
  • If your child attends a private school, the parents may not agree on how that expense should be shared.

Excluded sources of income include:

  • Public assistance
  • Supplemental Security Income payments
  • Support received for a child from another marriage or relationship is not included as income to the parent receiving the payments, and it is excluded from the income of a person making the child support payments.

There are exceptions that can make child support very complex and difficult to determine, for example:

  • If a parent is self-employed or a contract employee
  • If a parent is underemployed
  • When a parent has a significant child support arrearage
  • When a child has extraordinary medical expenses, the amount of support calculated by the statutory formula will not be enough. A child’s special needs, which may merit greater support and/or continuation of support beyond the age of 19 or high school graduation
  • If your child attends a private school, the parents may not agree on how that expense should be shared.

Excluded sources of income include:

  • Public assistance
  • Supplemental Security Income payments
  • Support received for a child from another marriage or relationship is not included as income to the parent receiving the payments, and it is excluded from the income of a person making the child support payments.

Hiding Income and Income Imputation

If you believe your child’s parent is hiding income, or underemployed, you likely need an attorney to represent you in your child support case.

Even if the paying parent is not hiding income, but is working less than he or she is capable of doing, you may be eligible for “imputation” of income to that parent – meaning the court will treat him or her as if she was making more money than he or she is.

When this situation occurs, it’s imperative to hire an attorney experienced at subpoenaing records and consulting with experts, where necessary, to convince a Court that a child support payor’s income is higher than he or she wants to tell the Court it is, or that he or she is capable of earning more than they currently are.

Tricky rules of evidence apply in cases where one party is hiding income or underemployed, and an attorney is necessary to make sure that all the facts get in front of the judge.

At Slovensky Law, we regularly subpoena employment records and engage in other discovery methods when a client suspects that a payor is not being honest about their income.

Contact Slovensky Law to schedule a consultation at our Roanoke office

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