WHAT IS CHILD SUPPORT IN VIRGINIA? Virginia makes each parent responsible for a certain percentage of child support based upon certain factors.  Factors considered in determining a child support amount include premiums for health and dental care for the child, childcare costs, the custodial schedule and the parents’ incomes.  A parent’s income includes not only salaries, but also, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, and pensions.

HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATED IN VIRGINIA? Virginia Code § 20-108.2 provides the Virginia Child Support Guidelines that the Court will use in determining the amount of child support and to which parent child support is owed depending on the custodial schedule. The custodial options that affect the calculations are:

  • Sole custody. This is when the child stays with the custodial parent for less than 91 days (including overnights) out of the year.
  • Shared custody. A child stays with the each parent at least 91 days (including overnights) during the year.
  • Split custody. When the parties have more than one child and each party has custody of at least one child for a majority of the year.

The court will calculate the guidelines based upon the custodial arrangement, the parties’ respective incomes, childcare costs, and the healthcare premiums paid by each parent.

CAN THE COURT CHANGE THE AMOUNT DETERMINED BY THE VIRGINIA CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES? Although child support is a based on rebuttal presumption that the Virginia child support guidelines should be applied, there are fifteen factors for a court will consider in deciding that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. Some of these special considerations may be things like travel expenses for visitation, expenses related to a child’s special needs, etc.

WHEN DOES CHILD SUPPORT END IN VIRGINIA? When support is ordered for a child, the order shall also provide that support will continue to be paid for a child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support, until the child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. The court may also order that support be paid or continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (a) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, and such disability existed prior to the child reaching the age of 18 or the age of 19 if the child met the requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and (iii); (b) unable to live independently and support himself; and (c) residing in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support.


As divorce attorneys in Virginia, NOVA Legal Professionals will help you look at factors including income, visitation, child care costs and health care costs  and adjustments for support of other children to determine how much child support you should receive or pay in Northern Virginia. Read more about how we have helped our clients here.

If you want to speak with one of our divorce, custody, and support attorneys to discuss your case, reach out to us at either our Manassas and Fairfax locations to schedule.

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