Criminal, S.I.J.S & Family Law Attorney
The Fasano Law Offices, P.C.
9248 Mosby Street, Manassas, VA 20110
Child Support In The Commonwealth of Virginia
This article will provide you with a quick primer on child support. Check back shortly for a revised final draft.
In Virginia, child support is calculated by way of the Virginia Child Support Guidelines ("VCSG"). The purpose of the VCSG are to ensure consistency of child support awards among the various jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VCSG are essentially a formula that allows a judge to simply insert numbers into a computer and determine the amount of child support. The key numbers for any child support determination are 1) mom’s income, 2) dad’s income, 3) employment related day care, and 4) cost of health insurance.
However, all these numbers are not equal! Employment related day care costs will effect the final amount of child support much greater than the income of either parent.
Cost of health insurance is calculated by taking the cost of health insurance for the parent only and subtracting it from the cost of parent and child (or children).
Acme Industries Health insurance Monthly Costs
Employee Only $150
Employee + Partner (LBGT Friendly) $250
Employee + Partner and Children $350
Employee + Child $250
In this example, monthly healthcare cost would be calculated at $250 – $150 = $100
Child Support: I have summarized and cleaned up code section 20-108.1 to make it easier to understand. The Court must use the Virginia child support guidelines to determine child support -“In any proceeding … determining child support … the court shall consider all [relevant] evidence. The court's decision …shall be rendered upon the evidence relevant to each individual case.” -“However, there shall be a rebuttable presumption…that the guideline amount set out in § 20-108.2 is the correct amount of child support.” -“In order to rebut the presumption, the court shall [must make written findings i.e. be specific why] that the application of [the] guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate.” This section is only applicable if you are asking the court to use a child support amount that is different from the guideline amount. Imputing Income:
When you ask the court to impute income you are essentially asking the court to not use the guideline amount. “Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed or voluntarily under-employed…that any consideration of imputed income based on a change in a party's employment shall be evaluated with consideration of the good faith and reasonableness of employment decisions made by the party;” -Liability for support shall be determined retroactively for the period measured from the date that the proceeding was commenced. For example. I filed this petition on October 31st, 2012. If the judge determines that the father must pay $500 per month in child support then mom would get credit for support in November, December, January…May and dad would have an automatic child support arrearage in the amount of 7 months times $500 or $3,500.00