The Commonwealth of Virginia has child support guidelines which are used to determine the presumptive amount of child support. [Virginia Code §20-108.1 and §20-108.2] The amount of child support is calculated by using state tables showing the monthly cost of raising children after first determining several factors, including the number of children, the income of each parent, the percentage of each parent’s income of the total parental income, the cost of child care and the cost of health insurance for the children.
In child support determinations, a court may vary the support from the presumptive guideline amount if the presumptive amount would be unfair or inappropriate in a particular case. Most courts are reluctant to vary the calculated guideline support and effort is required to convince a court to alter the presumptive award. The presumptive amount of support can be rebutted or varied by a consideration of the statutory factors in Virginia Code§20-108.1.
Temporary spousal support in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court is also set using presumptive guidelines. [Virginia Code §16.1-287.17:1]Temporary spousal support (also called spousal support pendente lite) set as part of a divorce proceeding in circuit court is not necessarily determined by the presumptive guidelines. The circuit courts have traditionally used a ’need and ability to pay’ inquiry. The court will look at the payee spouse’s need and then try to attempt to determine how that need can be met within the pay or spouse’s ability to pay. In determining spousal support, a court will consider any relevant evidence. For temporary support, even in circuit courts, a court typically will not consider fault in the dissolution of the marriage.
Even with the presumptive guidelines for support, there are many ways in which the attorneys at Gravitt & Gravitt, P.C. can assist you with your support matter.