If you’re a parent in Virginia who doesn’t have custody of your children, you might be ordered to pay child support. Child support is meant to help the custodial parent cover expenses like food, clothing, school supplies, doctor’s visits and everything else your child needs to be happy and successful. Child support typically ends when your child turns 18, but you might have to cover their costs into adulthood if they’re still in high school or have special needs.
How is child support calculated?
In the state of Virginia, a fair child support payment is calculated by evaluating both parents’ incomes, the financial needs of the child and the amount that the non-custodial parent can afford to pay. You might be paying for food, clothing, education, shelter, health insurance, day care and after-school activities.
If you can’t make the payments, you can request a child support modification. This might lower the amount of child support
you have to pay so that you can afford the rest of your expenses. However, you’ll need to prove that you’ve experienced a significant drop in income.
What if the non-custodial parent goes to jail?
If you’re sent to jail, you won’t be expected to make child support payments unless you take part in a work-release program. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. Your child support payments will accrue while you’re in jail with added interest. Once you’re out of jail, you’ll have to figure out how to pay your unpaid child support.
How can you negotiate a fair child support agreement?
An attorney may be able to help you negotiate for child support during the divorce process. They might help you negotiate for an amount that’s reasonable and doesn’t blow your entire budget.