Each parent is responsible to pay a share of the child’s support. Paying for the child’s needs must be the first priority of the parents. Children need money for food, shelter, education, health issues, after-school activities, and the enjoyment of life. Virginia emphasizes the income and assets of each parent over the expenses of the parents because they Virginia courts don’t want to delve too much into how each parent spends the money. The first key in support cases is to determine how much income and assets each parent has. The second key is to then decide how much of that income each parent should use for their children.
Our Northern Virginia family law office will work to show that the other parent discloses all of his/her income and assets and is held accountable for trying to hide assets. If there are complications such as the reluctance of the other parent to show his/her true income our firm will bring them to the attention of the court. The firm will work hard to make sure the support award is just and that it is paid on time. Child support orders bind the parent who has to pay throughout Fairfax, Fairfax County and the state of Virginia There are also uniform support laws that the other states and Washington, DC usually honor.
Child support can be ordered temporarily in divorce cases so funds are paid while the divorce issues are being addressed. It should be ordered for any minor children until the time they become adults. If paternity is an issue, our firm will work to make sure a legitimate determination is made.
How Support is Calculated
Child support is often routine and determined by state guidelines. When it’s hard to determine real income or that are special needs, our firm knows how to determine the correct income and how to make sure the court order addresses unique situations.
When both parents are salaried. Child support based on just W-2s for salaried employees is done by a state formula depending on the number of children involved. The income of each parent, the number of children who need support and who has physical custody are the factors put into formula. The result is a number that represents how much money one parent will get from the other each regular period, normally each month.
Complicating issues: When one or both parents is self-employed or has independent income, then determining the exact amount of income becomes harder. Some spouses try to hide what they earn. Income from businesses often varies from week to week. Our firm will work to make sure all the income is disclosed by reviewing tax returns, income and expense statements and hiring experts, when necessary, to help determine the true value of assets and the true income. The net result will still be a specific sum of money that one parent will pay the other on a regular basis for the children.
Special Needs: If your child has special medical needs or works best in a private school, then the formula may not apply or will need adjustments. Each special needs case is handled on a case by case basis. Our firm will explain the needs, determine the costs to address those needs and work to make sure a fair support order is made. In addition to regular monthly payments, the order may include provision for specific payments such as paying tuition or paying for dental work when the bill becomes due.
Additional Child Support Issues
There are times when support orders need to be adjusted. In the best situation, the other parent is being very cooperative such as earning more money that can be used for the child or spending lots of quality time with the child. In the worst situations, the other parent is not fulfilling his/her obligations to the child.
- Parenting Time/Visitation Time Can Affect the Amount of Child Support
Virginia family law allows a parent who has 90 days or more of parenting time to get a lower support order because they are taking care of the child during that time. Determining exactly when the 90 threshold is met can be challenging. Our firm will work to make sure the right time is allocated.
- Changes in Child Support Orders
The most common life changes which can alter an existing award are when one parent’s income changes substantially or when one child reaches the age of majority. Changes in the child custody or visitation order may also justify a change in the child support order. A parent can request a change in the amount of child support but that parent has the burden of showing that there is a substantial change.
- Failure to Obey Orders
If a parent fails to pay the amount required in an award, our firm will work to file the necessary papers to hold the non-paying parent in contempt and compel payment even if it requires requesting that the non-paying parent be placed in jail.
Call the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury for Your Child Support Matter
Once a child support order is entered, it can be very difficult to change it. This is why the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury fights to make sure the initial support order is prepared professionally and accurately. Please call us for help to get the full support you need for your child/children. We can be reached at 703-271-6519 or Schedule a Consultation Online. You can also make an appointment.