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  • Tri Cities Law Group

Navigating Child Support in Virginia

Parents going through a divorce might have issues with their ex-spouse regarding child support. Anything to do with the children is bound to be complicated. However, navigating child support laws in Virginia does not have to be difficult. Every parent just needs to be familiar with them.

How Are Both Parents Financially Responsible for the Children?

The parent the children live with would not pay any money to the other parent but would be responsible for supporting the children while in their care. The parent that the children do not live with will be responsible for paying a certain amount of money each month to the children's sole guardian.

The amount that this parent would be responsible for paying would be calculated in court by a judge. The judge will base the amount on a number of things.

Some factors that help determine the child support amount can include:

  • Each parent’s income

  • Number of children

  • Amount of time spent with each parent

  • Insurance coverage

If one parent covers health and dental insurance on the children, this will likely result in a decrease in the monthly payment total made to the primary parent, known as a reimbursment.

The amount of time the children spend with the parent they do not live with can also decrease the monthly payment total because that means they are not spending as much time with the primary parent and, therefore, cost them less financially.

How Do You Pay Child Support?

The easiest and most common way to pay child support to the primary parent is by automatically deducting the child support payment from your paycheck each pay period. This is the easiest way for both parties because the parent paying it cannot forget it, and the money will be there on time if the primary parent needs or depends on it. If a parent does not receive a paycheck or would prefer to skip deducting it from their paycheck, they have a few other options.

Some other options Virginia offers for parents to pay child support can include:

  • Virginia's online child support portal

  • Mail to the Treasurer of Virginia

  • Kiosks in the child support offices

  • Interactive Voice Response system

If a child support agreement is made through the courts, it will not be possible to pay the total monthly payment directly to the primary parent. This makes it more difficult for the government to keep track of the payments.

The parent receiving the child support payments can opt to have the payments directly go to their existing bank account, or they can receive a card specifically for the child support payments. A separate card is a good option if the parent wants to keep the money separate.

How Do You Modify a Child Support Agreement?

If a modification of the child support agreement is necessary, a parent must request that their case be reviewed. Every three years, a child support case can be reviewed. There must be special circumstances to review the case earlier.

Some special circumstances can include:

  • A child has moved or aged out and needs to be taken off the agreement

  • A 25% or more increase or decrease in income for one or both parents

  • Daycare expenses have increased by 25%

  • Health or dental insurance increased by 25%

  • A child has become ill or disabled and has more needs

If the parents have experienced a change, the agreement is adjustable to accommodate that change in court. Parents should not make verbal agreements to change the child support agreement, as that will not affect the legally binding child support agreement, and the person paying child support could end up getting in trouble later.

If you are in the middle of a child support negotiation with your ex-spouse, contact us today at Tri-Cities Law Group. We will help you navigate the tricky world of child support.

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