The intention of child support is to make sure the child does not have to suffer or sacrifice because his or her parents are no longer together. Typically, the parent who has physical custody of the child can apply for child support services.
The state uses a specific formula to determine the amount of support, as it varies widely from one family to another. The state also understands that circumstances change, so it also has guidelines for support modification.
The calculation of child support
According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, the state uses the Child Support Guidelines when determining all support decisions. The guidelines consider the needs of the parents, the needs of the child, the involvement of each parent in the child’s raising and the incomes of the parents.
Each parent enters specific financial information into a worksheet to determine the amount due each month. The formula takes into account the income from each parent, health insurance costs for the child, daycare expenses and spousal support, if applicable. The minimum monthly amount is $68.
Child support modification
FindLaw outlines the reasons a court will review and modify a child support payment:
- There was a 25% increase or decrease in either parent’s income
- There was a 25% change in healthcare premiums or daycare expenses
- The order needs a provision for medical or dental reimbursement
- There was a change in physical custody
- There are substantial new healthcare costs
- A minimum of 36 months has passed since the last review
The parent requesting the modification must make the request in writing. The modification cannot be retroactive, so the parent should request a modification as soon as circumstances change.