Child Support FAQs

Child Custody: When the Custodial Parent Wants to Move

A custodial parent can move with the children but often with limitations. The court will look at the purpose of the move and whether it would substantially impair the non-custodial parent=s relationship with the children. The issue of relocation is made complicated by conflicting law, critical facts and jurisdictional considerations.

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Must the Less Wealthy Non-Custodial Spouse Pay Child Support?

The custodial parent=s assets and earning capacity cannot be the sole basis for a determination of child support. There are statutory guidelines which are presumptively proper that Virginia courts consider in determining child support awards, although deviations may be permissible. Moreover, a child support decision must be in the best interest of the children.

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Unlawful Entry/Trespass to See Child

Parents at odds with each other must remain sensible and exercise parental rights lawfully. The Virginia Court of Appeals recently confirmed that a man=s breaking into his ex-girlfriend=s home was not made lawful by his claim that he simply wanted to see his child. The court found it rational to conclude that the defendant, who […]

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What Happens if I Violate the Court’s Support Order?

Consequences for violating a court order, including those that set forth child and/or spousal support, can include contempt findings against you, and you may be incarcerated, have to pay your spouse’s/ex-spouse’s attorneys fees in connection with support enforcement litigation, or be compelled to take other actions as ordered.

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Child Support Agreements

Parties to divorce can include child support provisions in their negotiated property settlement agreements as well as spousal support.  However, there are distinguishing legal factors that must be considered when including child support terms in a settlement agreement.  While parties can agree to  non-modifiable spousal support, they cannot by law prohibit the courts from modifying […]

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Terminating Spousal Support When Ex-Spouse Move On (and in)

Under Virginia law, a spousal support obligation may be terminated if the former spouse  receiving support remarries or if it is shown “upon clear and convincing evidence” that he or she has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year.  If the new couple is unmarried, the […]

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Retroactive Child Support

Pending a final divorce, the custodial parent may be in immediate need for child support.  As discussed elsewhere on our website, child support can be awarded in connection with a pendente lite hearing, that is, in an interim hearing prior to the final divorce suit hearing.  What happens when the payor does not provide any […]

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Parsing Out Expenses: Child Support vs Spousal Support

Some expenses will overlap when calculating child and spousal support awards.  The Virginia Court of Appeals recently decided that spouses seeking support do not necessarily have to apportion every category of expense as supporting either spouse or children.  According to the Court, some expenses are indivisible by their very nature.  The determination of spousal and […]

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Hypothetical Ashburn Family Divorce Situation

Hypothetical Ashburn Family Divorce Situation Al and Maggie Luminum live in Ashburn, Virginia.  They bought their first home there to start a family.  They now have three minor children.  Their love for the children kept their marriage alive longer than it would have lasted without them.  Eventually, Al and Maggie no longer wanted to be […]

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What is the first step to take when dealing with child support issues?

The complexity and high stakes nature of child support and other Family Law matters require skilled legal representation. The multitude of issues involved extend far beyond the FAQs herein. An initial consultation is the absolute minimum step that a party should take to learn what their rights are and how to protect them. Contact the Law […]

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My child is older now and no longer in “work related” child care (the cost of which was included in determining child support). What can I do?

In the absence of an agreement to re-calculate child support, a party may have to file a motion to modify child support on the grounds that work related child care is no longer used and as such a material change in circumstances has occurred warranting a modification of child support.

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My child support was set long ago and my ex has a lucrative job now but refuses to disclose his/her income information so I can recalculate child support. What can I do?

In the absence of an agreement to re-calculate child support based on proper disclosures, a party may have to file a motion to modify child support upon information and belief that the other party’s income has increased and therefore a material change in circumstances has occurred warranting a modification of child support. After the motion […]

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My child support was set long ago. Can it be modified?

Maybe. The Court maintains jurisdiction to determine child support initially and thereafter to re-visit the issue upon a “material change in circumstances”.

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The other party refuses to work and earn a decent wage and as a result, it looks like I will have to pay much more in child support. Can anything be done?

The court has the power to “impute” income to a party who is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed. Most commonly, but not always, a vocational expert should be utilized to provide the evidence needed.

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How is child support calculated?

Presumptive child support obligations are largely determined by Virginia’s statutory support guidelines. However, the court’s have the authority to “deviate” from the guidelines based on many factors. The most critical variable for calculating child support include (i) number of children, (ii) gross incomes of the parties, (iii) which party is the custodian of the child,(iv) […]

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How are fees for legal services assessed?

In divorce and Family Law matters, the Law Office of William R.F. Conners, P.C., charges by the hour. A nominal fee is required for initial consultations. Visa/MasterCard accepted.

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After reading the FAQs (above), the first step for most of our clients is the Family Law Consultation. At this typically hour long meeting, you will meet with lawyer William R.F. Conners or another well known and experienced attorney affiliated with the Firm. We will discuss the custody and visitation issues that may have a bearing on your child support case and the financial issues and variables involved. In the course of the consultation, we will assess your situation, advise you of your legal rights, obligations and relevant law and discuss your options and remedies. After the consultation, you will have a deeper understanding of the child support issues which you face, the process involved and what steps you need to take to protect your rights and achieve your goals.

In child support disputes, our child support lawyers can advise you on many aspects including:

  • The effect and interplay of various custody arrangements on child support
  • The effect and interplay of various visitation arrangements on child support
  • How long child support is to be paid
  • What constitutes “income”
  • Arguments for and against classifications of income
  • The issue of reasonable “work related” child care
  • How evidence is obtained in and outside of litigation
  • How one can achieve or defend the imposition of a deviation
  • “Imputation” of income to an unemployed or underemployed party
  • And many more aspects of child support.
The Law Office of William R.F. Conners, P.C. in Leesburg, Virginia serves the cities of Chantilly, Fairfax, Herndon, Leesburg, Middleburg, Reston, and Vienna, Sterling, Ashburn and Purcellville, as well as all communities in Loudoun County and Fairfax County, Virginia.