When parents divorce, it is expected that each parent will provide for his or her child. This is also true when the parents have never been married. In most cases, this means that one parent will pay a monthly amount to the other parent to be used for the child’s needs.
In Virginia, this amount is determined through the use of the child support guidelines. The factors included in the support calculation are the gross incomes of each parent, any spousal support paid between the parents, the cost of work-related child care, the cost of health insurance premiums for the child, and how often the child is with each parent. In addition, there are situations where it appropriate to deviate from the child support guidelines.
In general, child support continues until each child turns eighteen, or, if the child has not graduated from high school, until the child graduates or turns nineteen, whichever first occurs. In addition, there are circumstances where child support can continue beyond these ages, if your child is disabled. Regardless of how support is determined – through a court order in litigation or through mediation, collaborative divorce or negotiation – child support is always modifiable when there is a material change in circumstances.