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What is Child Support and When Does it Occur in Virginia?

The state of Virginia prioritizes the rights and well-being of children and makes efforts to ensure these attributes are upheld by both parents of the child, even if the couples are no longer together. The law employs a system to ensure both parents provide financial care for the child until the time the child becomes independent. This system is called child support.

Child support kicks in when the parents of a child end the union either through dissolution or divorce. During either of these processes, both parents must have come to an agreement or had the court impose an order on how to care for the children after the marriage ends. This references matters such as which parent the child will live with after the marriage ends (child custody) and how both parents are responsible for the child’s upkeep. The agreement created or imposed dictates each parent’s specific monthly financial contribution by considering several factors. These factors include the parent who has custody of the child and the financial situation of each parent. The need to resolve this matter and the guidelines for doing so during a divorce or a dissolution are stated in §20–107.2, §20–108.1, §20–108.2, and Chapter 6.1 of the Virginia Code.

The payment of child support between the two parents is regulated and enforced by two legal authorities. The first entity is the court. The court can enforce the monthly child support payment if the parent in the custody of the child files an enforcement action in the court, requesting the court to enforce the payment. The defaulting parent will be declared in contempt of court for violating a court order and can be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 12 months with the payment of up to a $500 fine. The defaulting parent may have the option of paying the outstanding child support to be released from jail. The second legal authority that enforces child support payment is the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), a division of the Virginia Department of Social Services. This department ensures that all child support payments are received promptly and without failure. If a parent defaults on the payment, the DCSE will ensure that the payment is made.

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What is Virginia Child Support?

The term child support as used in Chapter 6 of the Virginia Code refers to a financial commitment from either one or both parents to cover all costs associated with a child’s upkeep, including health coverage and dental costs.

What Does Child Support Cover in Virginia?

Child support is intended for both parents of a child to provide financially and ensure that the child’s well-being is not compromised. Child support covers all the costs of any financial need, deemed before the law as essential needs. This includes the payment for food, clothing, shelter, educational expenses, extracurricular activities, medical costs, dental costs, and visitation expenses. The child support is purposed to allow the child to enjoy a similar financial situation that would have been available if both parents were living together.

What is the Average Child Support Payment in Virginia?

Child support in Virginia is calculated based on a guideline set down in §20–108.2 of the Virginia Code. Using these guidelines, a judge can take both parents’ income into account and determine the amount to be payable by each parent. As extracted from the table, the financial obligation of both parents can vary greatly depending on the gross income from which the child support is being drawn. Child support can go as low as $68 for families with gross incomes of about $0–350 to $4552 for families with gross revenues of $35,000. For families with incomes higher than $35,000, child support to be paid is determined by percentages of income, from 2.6% for one child to 5% for six children. However, a judge can deviate from the guidelines provided if a justifiable reason exists to do so. These deviations are usually efforts to ensure that the well-being of the child or children is foremost.

How Do I apply for Child Support in Virginia?

Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) handles the application for Child Support Services. The state considers each parent liable for covering a specific percentage of the child support amount, including health and dental care for the child. Generally, parties involved do not have to go to court to obtain a child support order.

To file for child support, the parent or guardian must have sole custody of the child and legitimate interest in the child. Interested parties can print and fill the Child Support Services Application. Parents can use either fax or mail the application to the District Office.

How Do I Get Out of Paying Child Support in Virginia?

Courts assume that the amount determined as child support is appropriate. However, the non-custodial parent can file an administrative appeal for exemption. An administrative appeal (amend or review) is a formal hearing that permits an appellant the chance to contest decisions by the Division of Child Support Enforcement.

Interested parties can make an administrative appeal to contest an action of the Division of Child Support Enforcement in writing and mail to;

Virginia Department of Social Services

Appeals and Fair Hearings Unit,

801 E. Main Street

Richmond, Virginia 23219

What is Back Child Support in Virginia?

The amount of unpaid child support is known as “back child support.” The defaulter cannot change the accumulated amount of child support. The back child support cannot be discharged in the case of bankruptcy. All that can be done is to fulfill the responsibility and make payment.

How Do I Get Back Child Support Paid in Virginia?

The state laws permit the Division of Child Support Enforcement and the courts to enforce the back child support payments. If a non-custodial parent becomes deficient and is not making payments according to the child support order, the Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) can implement enforcement measures to collect present and due payments.

The custodial parent can file an application to the Division of Child Support Enforcement and a solicitation for assistance in obtaining child support to seek a remedy such as contempt of court. A deficient parent owing at least $5,000 or behind payment for at least 90 days or fails to respond to a subpoena can be given a summon or warrant issued by the division.

Is there a Virginia Statutes of Limitation on Child Support?

The state of Virginia does not have a statute of limitations for child support, and the court order cannot expire until the child is 18. The custodial parent has the right to collect and demand child support when ready.

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