Many people cite problems with money as a major reason for divorce. It is not surprising, then, that issues of monetary support after a divorce are some of the most difficult conflicts to resolve. If you are going through a divorce and believe you are owed spousal or child support—or believe you should not have to pay support—you need a family law attorney who understands the laws in Virginia and will fight to protect your rights. You need Stephen Bloomquest of Quest Law PLLC.
Guidelines for Child Support in Virginia
Whether married, divorced, separated, or never married, both parents are obligated by law to provide financial support for their children. Each parent is responsible for a certain percentage of the cost of raising the child. While both parents must contribute financially to the child, only the custodial parent may request child support, and only the non-custodial parent can be ordered to pay child support. Virginia provides a formula for calculating the amount of the child support, which takes into account the following:
- The combined incomes of the parents, including wages, benefits, bonuses, pensions, and more
- Cost of work-related child care
- Cost of health insurance for the children
- Cost of clothing, food, and shelter
- Educational costs
- Living arrangements and visitation schedule for the children
Once the amount of child support is determined, the non-custodial parent is required by law to make this payment to the custodial parent. Failing to make child support payments can result in civil and criminal charges resulting in incarceration, wage garnishment, loss of driver’s license, and other penalties.
At Quest Law PLLC, we believe that children of divorce should be provided for regardless of their parents’ disagreements. However, we also believe that child support should be fairly assessed and strictly enforced. If you have a child support issue following a divorce, contact Stephen Bloomquest.
When Spousal Support May Be Awarded in a Richmond Divorce
Unlike marriages of 50 years ago, today’s marriages often involve partners who contribute equally to the household income or where the woman earns more than the man, so the idea of the husband paying alimony to the wife following a divorce has become somewhat outdated.
However, when two people have been married for a substantial period of time and one spouse earns significantly more than the other (whether that is the husband or the wife), spousal support may be awarded in Virginia. In a "fault” divorce, however, the party who was at fault is unlikely to be awarded spousal support.
The court will determine whether spousal support is required and how much the support will be by reviewing the following:
- Incomes of both parties
- Financial needs of both parties
- Duration of the marriage
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Whether there are children
- Whether one spouse sacrificed his or her career or earning potential in order to support the other spouse or their children
If the court awards spousal support, it will also determine how long the support must continue.
Because there are no state guidelines regarding spousal support in Virginia, many decisions are up to the discretion of the court and, whether you are seeking support or arguing that you shouldn’t have to pay support, you will need an experienced divorce attorney by your side to argue your case.
Why Hire Quest Law PLLC
Questions of money are always difficult, whether you are talking about child support or spousal support. It is not easy to fight for the money you know you need and deserve, and it is not easy to stand your ground when you are being asked to pay an unfair amount. When you work with a divorce lawyer at Quest Law PLLC, we will tackle these difficult issues for you. We know what’s fair and what’s not fair in Virginia, and we will work hard to protect your rights and your children’s rights. Contact us to discuss your divorce today.