Child support is defined as payments made by a separated or divorced parent who is typically the non-custodial parent to support his or her minor child. Child support is usually intended to cover the necessary costs of living for a minor child. Often times, not paying child support can have wide-ranging consequences for the child and legal ramifications for the parent failing to pay. Child support is enforced by a state agency. A parent who fails to pay child support may face legal actions, income execution and wage garnishment, property execution, denial of licenses, and even jail among other punishments. Therefore, it is essential for a parent who failed to pay to an obliged amount of child support to understand all of his or her options. On the other hand, if a child has not been receiving an obliged amount of child support it could severely affect his or her health and education, necessitating action to be taken. In both cases, consulting with an attorney is imperative.
It is very important for parents to understand that both parents are financially responsible for supporting their children. If the two parties cannot come to a mutually acceptable agreement on child support, courts can use a formula to determine the amount of child support that is necessary. If the circumstances of either party change, either parent can go back to a court to revisit the support amount agreed to based on their changed circumstances.
Child support laws and regulations vary state by state. In Virginia, parents are legally obliged to financially support their child until he or she reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. However, under Virginia child support laws, courts can order for a continuation of child support in special circumstance for children beyond the age of 19 years old. According to Virginia child support laws, courts determine if and how much child support should be based on the following factors: Parents’ income and earning capacity, parents’ financial obligations to other family members, the child’s financial resources, any written agreement between the parents of the child relating to child support, custody arrangements, and the child’s standard of living and expenses during the relationship or marriage of the parents. In addition to traditional sources of income, courts will look at other sources of income for each parent, including: worker’s compensation, disability payments, pension and retirement benefits, unemployment payments, stipends, commissions, and annuity payments. Courts could also order a parent to add a child to the parent’s health coverage, life insurance policy, or contribute to additional necessary expenses.
At Raheen Law Group, we understand the types of considerations necessary for child support. If you need to establish a mutually-agreed child support obligation for your child or whether you need to work out an agreement based on your capacity to make payments, you might need an attorney to assist you. Hiring an experienced attorney can safeguard you from missing any deadlines to file any paperwork. Most important of all, an experienced attorney can make certain that all of your rights are fully upheld. Raheen Law Group has the know-how and experience to assist you in achieving your desired outcome. We can discuss with you your legal options in respect to child support and help you follow the right course of action, if necessary. If you wish to speak with us about your situation, please contact us for a FREE initial telephone consultation.