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How is child support determined in Virginia?

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some parents to fail to provide proper child support to their children. Such situations can be especially troubling to a child, who must deal with parents unable to work together to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child. There are several factors to consider and steps to take if you are a custodial parent who is not receiving the necessary and required child support payments from the other parent.

Every situation is different, and the courts will look at every case individually to figure out the best way to resolve the situation. As always, the courts goal is to do whatever possible to assure that the best interests of the child are met. The first, although not always obvious step, is to make sure that paternity has been established.

For married couples, paternity is assumed and the father is listed on the child's birth certificate. For children born outside of a marriage, paternity can be determined through a simple and inexpensive paternity test, often done via a sample taken from a male's and child's inner cheek.

Once paternity has been established, you should first speak with the other parent to see whether you can come to a mutually acceptable child support payment plan. If a resolution cannot be made, you will likely need to go to court to receive a child support order. The courts will consider the current finances and income of both parents and the current living situation of all parties before making their decision.

It is not always easy to resolve child support situations. In many instances when a resolution cannot be made, it may be in the best interest of all parties to seek advice and guidance from a law professional familiar with family law. With their experience and professional knowledge, they will make every effort to assure that a child gets the support a child needs.

Source: findlaw.com, "Getting Help with Child Support," Accessed on Nov. 1, 2016

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