Under Virginia child support laws, any primary caregiver of a minor can apply for child support to the other parent, unless the caregiver receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for that child. In order to avail child support the applicant (the person requesting the support) must demonstrate the following in the Court:
- that the defendant (the person who must pay child support) has an obligation to provide child support;
- that the minor needs the amount of support requested; and
- that the defendant has the means to pay the amount of support.
Who should support our children?
All parents, married or unmarried, have an obligation to help support their children. Minor children have the right to receive child support. Virginia child support laws, this usually includes children under 18 years of age. However, the exception to this rule is when the minor is 18 years of age yet still in the last year of high school. A child may be eligible to receive the maintenance costs until he or she graduates from high school or turns nineteen years of age, whichever happens first. Another exception may be if both parents agree to a separation agreement or a consent order to keep a child even after he or she turns 18. A third exception may be the case of a child with a serious physical or mental disability and which cannot be maintained by their own means. If the parents were never married, as well as paternity has not been established, then the Court can require blood tests to determine who the biological father is.
How is the amount of support determined?
The amount of child support can be agreed between the two parents, or negotiated through a mediation process or the parents’ attorney, or, if the two are not feasible, determined by the Court’s criteria. Additionally, to determine the amount of necessary support, you must make a statement of finances that is complete and accurate, and legally certified. It must present the total monthly expenses for the child and indicate their gross monthly income as well as their overall personal, monthly expenses.
Virginia child support laws have guidelines regarding child support program and are used to help the Court to decide the amount of support that should be required. These guidelines take into account:
- the combined gross income (before taxes) of the father and the mother,
- the number of children that they must maintain (including children of other relationships),
- the labor costs for child care,
- the cost of health insurance (amount for the minor only), and
- the time that a minor spends with each of the parents.
Each parent is responsible for the total amount of child support juvenile. If one of the parents is unemployed or is underemployed on a voluntary basis, then the argument can be made that the amount of support must be based on the possible income of such father.
Besides the base amount of child support, the support also includes a contribution for uninsured medical and dental expenses for a minor. If a minor stay with one of the parents for 90 days or more in a calendar year, child support can be determined according to the guidelines shared under Virginia child support laws.