Child support in Virginia is determined by numerous factors. Some of these factors include the following: the needs of the child (physical, emotional, and educational), earning potential and ability of both parents, and the age and health status of the child as well. In this blog we will discuss the best way to approach child support in Virginia.
Child Support in Virginia Depends on the Parents
The largest factor that determines child support is the income of the parents. The actual income and earning potential are both weighted as influential factors. Ability to pay, custody rights, and number of children are also factored in as well. The Code of Virginia, Title 20, Sections 20-107.2, 20-108.1, and 20.108.2 describe in fuller detail divorce and child support.
Expenses and Deductions Factored into Child Support
So-called extraordinary expenses are factored into child support as well. Other expenses and deductions included are for medical expenses and work related child care.
Enforcement of Child Support
Virginia law already addresses child support payments. These payments are taken, or withheld, from any and all earnings the parent ordered to pay has. If Income Withholding is ordered, the withheld income is sent to the Department of Child Support Enforcement and they in turn distribute the payments to the parent receiving the support payment. There are limits to how much the parent’s disposable income can be garnished for child support. The limit is 50% if the parent supports a second family. That figure becomes 55% if the parent without custody is more than 12 weeks behind on payments (known as in arrears) and supports a second family. The number continues going up. Sixty percent is the number if the parent is only providing support under a current order with no second family, while 65% is the maximum for a parent with no second family who is behind on their payments by more than 12 weeks.
In certain cases, the parent in arrears will face his/her consequences. These consequences include their driver’s license being suspended, or their income tax refund will be revoked. Real estate liens will be issued on their property and in the most severe cases, the parent or parents can be jailed. Once jailed, they are released only when they pay off a particular amount of what they owe. This condition is known as a “purge amount.”
How Emancipation Can Occur
Emancipation is considered when the child no longer needs to rely on the parents. They are considered their own independent person. In general, this coincides with when the child turns 18. At age 18, or when the child graduates from high school if after the 18th birthday, the obligation for child support ends. Age and graduation factors are viewed based on whichever occurs first.
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