In Virginia, the child support amount that one parent pays to another is often calculated using support guidelines. Depending on the custodial arrangement that exists between the parents, a Court may choose between different types of support guideline calculations.
This post is a brief introduction to “shared” guidelines, which are often utilized for parents who have joint or shared physical custody. As you may recall from our previous child support posts, most of what you need to know about support guidelines in Virginia can be found in the child support guidelines statute: Virginia Code Section 20-108.2. This includes information about shared guidelines.
You may have asked (or been asked) the following question: if I get more time with my son/daughter, will I pay less in support? The answer is . . . maybe. It depends on how much custodial time you are exercising. Unlike “sole” guidelines (which do not consider the amount of custodial time that is exercised by the “non-custodial parent”), shared guidelines factor in the custodial arrangements between parents. Simply put, if the court uses shared guidelines, the more equal the custodial time between the parents, the less support that will be paid between them.
So, when will the Court use shared child support guidelines in Virginia?
- In order to qualify for shared guidelines, the parent obligated to pay support must exercise at least 90 days of custodial time with the child during a calendar year.
- It is important to note, that a “day” is specifically defined in the statute as “… a period of 24 hours; however, where the parent who has the fewer number of overnight periods during the year has an overnight period with a child, but has physical custody of the shared child for less than 24 hours during such overnight period, there is a presumption that each parent shall be allocated one-half of a day of custody for that period.”
- (Side note: as you can imagine, the number of “days” that a parent exercises is a topic that is frequently debated.)
If you are involved in a child support case, it is important to speak with an experienced Virginia family law attorney. You may be eligible for different child support guideline calculations that could have a positive impact on your case.
The divorce and family law attorneys at BoykoNapier are experienced in all manner of child support cases. Give BoykoNapier a call at (804) 658-3418 to discuss your case, or contact them via email.