Working with Parents to Get What’s Best for Their Children

If you are going through a divorce, you are likely already going through one of the hardest moments of your life. You may be mourning the end of your relationship while trying to figure out where you’re going to live and how you’re going to support yourself.

If you have children with your soon-to-be former spouse, this can be even more complicated. Getting custody figured out is already a nightmare that can often get confrontational. Pursuing a child support agreement can be just as hard. An unfair child support agreement can create a lot of undue stress and struggle, regardless of whether you are the parent receiving child support or the parent paying it.

We can help you understand child support a little better.

What is Child Support?

Both parents have an equal financial obligation to care for their child. This obligation lasts the entirety of the child’s minor years and does not end just because your relationship with the child’s other parent ends.

Child support is an agreement both parents enter in order to provide children with the care that they need. Child support is used to provide for the child or children, including child care, education, insurance, and care for a child with special needs.

What Factors Do Courts Consider When Determining Child Support?

There are many factors that the court will consider when determining child support. This will include the factors mentioned above, such as special needs, childcare costs, and so on. The court will also consider the income and needs of the parent with custody of the child.

Child support is not a punishment. Child support is intended to provide the necessities required to raise a child. This means that the court will consider the paying parent’s income and their ability to pay child support. The court wants the paying parent to be able to care for themselves as well as their kids.

Courts will examine the standard of living the child had before a separation or divorce. Courts are primarily interested in the well-being of the child and want to ensure this transition will impact the child as little as possible.

The medical expenses of the child may require the non-custodial parent to pay a higher child support payment. The court may even order the paying parent to pay for health insurance for their children, even if the children do not live with them.

Both parents will be required to divulge their monthly income, monthly expenses, and their assets. A parent’s income includes government benefits, like social security, pensions, self-employment earnings, and alimony. The judge will find your net income, which is your income minus your expenses to find your net income.

Can a Child Support Agreement be Modified?

If you are paying or receiving child support payments, you may be curious about your ability to modify the payments.

You certainly can petition the courts to have your child support payments modified. There are a few reasons you can use when pursuing a modification. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Job change for the paying or receiving parent
  • Cost of living increases
  • A disability incurred by either parent
  • The needs of the child increase
  • Changes in custody
  • Either parent receives additional income

As you can see, this list largely focuses on the financial impact of various changes that either parent may experience. If the paying parent gets a raise or a job that pays more, the receiving parent can try to modify the agreement to receive higher payments. Likewise, should the receiving parent begin earning more income, perhaps because they remarry, then the paying parent can wish for a reduction.

Do You Need the Courts to Determine Child Support?

If you and your soon-to-be ex are able to negotiate with each other, you may be able to come up with a child support agreement without court. There are resources you and your partner can use to calculate child support. When you and your partner can come up with your own child support agreement without relying on the court, it may help with feelings of resentment, save you both in legal fees, and create a much less stressful experience overall.

When Does Child Support End?

In Virginia, child support is paid for any full-time school student, even if they are over 18. The child must be living in the home of the parent to whom the child support is paid. Child support can be extended beyond the age of 18 if that child is severely and permanently disabled, as long as that disability existed before that child reached adulthood. If the child is unable to live alone and support themselves, it is another instance where the support agreement may last beyond the age of 18. In both cases, the child must live with the parent who is being paid the child support.

Do I Need a Child Support Attorney?

The life of your child is the most important thing to you. Even if you and your partner feel like you can come up with a child support agreement, you can benefit from working with an experienced child support lawyer.

Speak with the compassionate team at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, by calling 540-991-9100 and scheduling your consultation. Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC understand that each child support case is unique. We are here to help you understand not only the initialization of child support but also child support modification.

You don’t have to face the frustrating world of child support enforcement alone. Working with our team, you can ensure that the best outcome for you and your children is being fought for!

Contact Our Office Today for Strong Legal Representation Throughout the Child Support Process

Call 540-991-9100 to schedule a free consultation with the law office of Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC. It only takes 30 minutes to get a better understanding of child support  and all of the many factors considered when determining child support.


Contact Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC Offices Today!

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