Who Can Get Child Support in Virginia?

Not everyone can afford experienced family law attorneys to help them recover child support arrearages or recover back child support payments. A Virginia divorce lawyer or Fairfax family law lawyer can be expensive, but it may be money well spent. Although your best bet is to work with a family law attorney to understand Virginia child support laws, you may be able to do some of this on your own or at least learn the basics before meeting with your family lawyer. You can use this simple worksheet to help you calculate your Virginia child support payments but note that you should use the specific form available depending upon how much custody the noncustodial parent has.

Primary Physical Custody — Who Can Get Child Support?

Every parent has a duty to support their minor children. A custodial parent (parent with primary physical custody of their children) can petition a court for a court order requiring the non-custodial parent (the parent without primary physical custody) to pay child support. Current as of 2015, Virginia child support laws, per the Virginia Code, Section 20-108.2 set the minimum guideline monthly support amount at $65 per month. This means that absent statutory cause (like disability), a noncustodial parent must give the custodial parent at least $65 per month, typically more, based on income shares or pro-rata portion of the combined monthly income and the amount of days you’re awarded a full-day visitation. Who can get child support is determined by the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), by mutual agreement, or by a Court.

Who can get child support will depend on whether you can obtain an administrative support order through DCSE or by court order, upon petition, to a local Juvenile and Domestic Relations (J&DR) Court, or through Circuit Court, if you were married to the child’s parent, and you’re petitioning for divorce at the same time. Virginia family lawyers can help you judicially petition the courts for child support, but you can typically pursue administrative support orders on your own.

Can I Give up my Rights to Avoid Child Support?

Can I give up my rights to avoid child support is a question many Virginia family lawyers receive from clients. The short answer is, NO! A parent’s duty of financially supporting their children does not end until a statutory reason exists – emancipation, a child reaching the age of majority, or by further court order. This means that being an absent parent will net you only negative results – so, stay in your child’s life.

What are Child Support Arrearages?

In Virginia, a child support award can’t be modified or changed without an agreement by both parties or by further court order. A valid order to pay child support requires the payor (the person ordered to pay child support) to pay the payee (usually, the custodial parent receiving support on a child’s behalf) in certain increments, usually, monthly. This brochure published by the Virginia Department of Social Services is full of great, useful information.

Can I Collect Child Support Arrearages on my Mom or Dad’s Behalf if They Didn’t?

Long ago, the Virginia Supreme Court decided that Virginia child support laws do not give an adult child a right to collect child support arrearages on a parent’s behalf. Thus, only your parent can collect child support arrearages owed on your behalf – not you. Similarly, if your noncustodial parent gives you child support payments as an adult in an attempt to reduce his/her child support arrearages, your custodial parent can still recover back child support payments, and you can keep the payments made directly to you as a gift.

Fairfax Family Law Lawyer; Virginia Divorce Lawyer: If you’re looking for an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer or Fairfax family law attorney, contact Keithley Law, PLLC today by calling (703) 454-5147 and schedule an initial consultation in our Fairfax law office.

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