Child Support: the ABCs

by Philip Yabut in

Determining child support is mostly a mechanical process.  The parents present the court with their gross monthly incomes and the court applies them to the guidelines based on the percentage of the whole each parent makes.  The guidelines, which are revised from time to time, are the default for determining support, but the court has some leeway to adjust amounts based on mitigating factors.  These include actual monetary support from other family members, special needs of the children, and earning capacity of the parents.

I've said it before, but it cannot be said enough that it is important to remember that child support is not for the parents but for the children.  The court will take its #1 rule in proceedings involving children -- do what is in the best interests of the child -- and apply it to its determination of child support.  Unlike other proceedings like custody or visitation, whatever personal feelings and acrimony that exist between the parents are not a consideration -- it's all about numbers.

Child support schedule - Virginia: Va. Code § 20-108.2.

Mitigating factors: Va. Code § 20-108.1(B).

Child support schedule and mitigating factors - DC: D.C. Code § 16-916.01.

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