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Calculating child support in a VA divorce

When couples file for divorce in Virginia, children are often left to go through major emotional and financial changes in their lives. As a way to minimize some of these dramatic changes, the court will issue a child support order to the non-custodial parent in the case. Child support is designed to bridge the financial gap that children often experience when they are forced to move into a new home and adapt to a new lifestyle.

Virginia calculates child support amounts based off the income shares model. This idea is based off the belief that children should have access to the same financial support that they would have had if their parents had stayed married. The amount of child support is based off both parents’ income, as well as several other factors that the judge may consider. According to Virginia statutes, these factors include the following:

  •          Standard of living that the child was familiar with prior to the divorce.
  •          Current occupation, income and earning potential of each parent.
  •          Medical, educational and child care needs of the child.
  •          Tax consequences, such as child tax credits, claims for exemptions and child care credits.
  •          Life insurance coverage.
  •          Cost of visitation and travel.

Once the judge considers all the factors surrounding the case, he or she will determine a child support amount that best fits the situation. People should keep in mind that the child’s best interests are always put first when making custody and child support orders. Furthermore, child support amounts may be modified in the future if extending circumstances arise. 

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