Understanding Child Support Laws in Virginia
At Maddox & Gerock, our experienced Virginia family law attorneys are familiar with the complex issues of Virginia child support laws. Essentially, the law states that parents have a legal duty to support their children to the best of their ability. In the past, child support was often set on the basis of sworn financial statements, an arrangement that encouraged individuals to inflate their expenses and liabilities and minimize income and assets.
An important development in child support law has been the introduction of statutory child support guidelines in Virginia. This has lent much-needed uniformity to child support disputes. Payment obligations in Virginia are now set according to a formula that considers each party's gross income for the purpose of determining child support liability. In Virginia, the guidelines were recently updated effective July 1, 2014. In Virginia, gross income means income from all sources and includes:
- Salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends and severance pay
- Pensions, interest, trust income, annuities and capital gains
- Social Security benefits, with certain exceptions
- Unemployment insurance benefits
- Workers' compensation benefits
- Disability insurance benefits
- Gifts, prizes or awards
- Veterans' benefits
- Spousal support
- Rental income
Gross income is subject to deduction for reasonable business expenses for persons with income from self-employment, a partnership or a closely held business. Courts may also consider certain additional factors and deviate from the Virginia child support guidelines, if appropriate.
Understanding Spousal Support or Alimony
In spousal support or alimony disputes, our lawyers strive to reach a just and fair agreement between our client and the opposing party whenever possible. If an acceptable agreement cannot be reached, we vigorously pursue and protect our client's rights in court.
Virginia courts are required to consider a number of factors in arriving at a fair spousal support award, including:
- Financial needs and resources of each spouse
- Age of each spouse
- Physical and mental condition of each spouse
- Financial contributions to the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living established during the marriage
To arrange a consultation about any child or spousal support concern, or to learn about modifications and enforcement actions, call Maddox & Gerock at 703-883-8035 or send us an email. Our office is conveniently located in Falls Church, allowing us to serve clients throughout Northern Virginia.