There are so many things about a divorce that are highly personal and important to the spouses, but there is no matter more significant than their children. While there are so many personal considerations that need to be made when navigating the divorce process, child custody and visitation continues to be one of the most impactful. If you have children, the stakes are too high to move forward without trusted and tenacious representation to protect your rights and interests. Whether you expect your spouse to be amenable to a custody agreement or you anticipate a fight, it is best to be prepared and make sure your rights are protected to ensure the continued strength of your relationship with your children.
Child support agreements can come in many different forms. While there are many mitigating factors, in Virginia, the courts generally follow what is known as the child support guideline. At its most basic, this guideline assesses:
- Each parent’s monthly gross income;
- Daycare expenses for the child or children; and
- Monthly costs for the child’s health care insurance premium.
It is expected that parents fairly share the monetary costs of raising the child or children, but that can mean a number of different outcomes for different family situations. If parents do not equally share custody, it is usually expected that the parent who spends less time with physical custody of the child will make up that difference through payment to the other parent. Additionally, the courts do try to maintain the same standard of living for the child that he or she experienced before the divorce.
There can be significant tax consequences associated with child support. First, only one parent can claim the child as a dependent on the yearly income tax forms. Typically, the parent who had custody of the child for a larger part of the year is the parent recognized for tax purposes. However, it is possible to make tax considerations part of your support agreement. Also, child support payments are tax-free. Neither parent has to pay taxes on support payments, but the payments are also not deductible by the paying parent.
There are many complicating factors that can affect a child support agreement, but an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and ensure that your child can be taken care of.
Please contact us at 703-865-7480 so that we may assist you with child support matters.