If you are the legal parent of a child, then the Commonwealth of Virginia says that you have an obligation to provide support for that child. There are actual numbers in the Code of Virginia that show the total gross family income and the amount of support that the legislature has determined is necessary for the support of up to 6 children.
Once you have that base number, that number can be increased by any work-related child care and any health insurance for the child. This will give you the total amount of support that should be provided for that child.
In the case where one parent has the child the majority of the time and the other parent has the child for less than 90 24-hour periods, the total child support obligation is multiplied by his or her percentage of the total family income and the non-custodial parent will pay his or her percentage to the custodial parent. For example, if the custodial parent earns 40% of the income and the non-custodial parent earns 60% of the income, then the non-custodial parent will pay 60% of the total child support obligation to the custodial parent.
In the case where the non-custodial parent has the child for more than 90 24-hour periods, there is another calculation where the amount of time the child spends with each parent is taken into account. The first step in this process multiplies the total child support obligation by 1.4. This higher number is then multiplied by the time each parent has the child and then multiplied by the percentage of income for each parent. This determines the total amount of child support for each parent and the difference between the two is the amount of child support that is paid by one parent to the other.
The calculation formulas are in the code, but most people use a calculation spreadsheet formula provided by a software vendor. Most attorneys, the courts, and the Department of Social Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) all use these same software vendors. There is also an online provider at www.SupportSolver.com that can be used for your own calculations, although the Courts or DCSE will use their own software for the actual numbers to be in the order.
If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.