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How child support is calculated in Virginia: Factors and issues

Despite a core process and regulations concerning each step, divorce remains a complicated activity. In theory, it sounds simple to divide property, split time with children and determine how much financial support is necessary.

Unfortunately, most parts of divorce rely on personal circumstances and unique factors. This means that even for aspects with a basic formula, such as child support, deviations are common, making the calculation anything but simple. Understanding how it works in Virginia can help you successfully navigate this complex area.

Basic guidelines

The state uses guidelines to find a starting point and determine if the amount is appropriate for the situation. The chart goes by the monthly gross income of both parents combined and the number of children involved. For example, if you and your spouse together make $10,000 a month, the amount would be $1,054 for one child but $2,465 for six children.

The chart stops at $35,000. Those with a high income take the numbers for this level and add a percentage of their gross income based on how many children they have. 

Income sources

Gross monthly income entails more than just typical wages or salary. It also includes sources like bonuses, pensions, income from rental properties, award money, interest and certain benefits. It is important to report all mandatory income to ensure a calculation that is accurate to your financial standing and fair to the children. Hiding income can lead to penalties.

On the other hand, business expenses, public assistance, other child support payments you receive or spousal maintenance you pay do not count toward income.

Child support inclusions

In addition to daily living costs, child support factors in medical coverage, including vision and dental. It may also cover child care if the custodial parent has a job.

Additional considerations

Other details, like the custody arrangements, can affect the calculation, as well. Modifications of the support amount may be possible if income, custody, health or another relevant factor changes significantly. Every situation is different and should be evaluated carefully.

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