Child Support Cases in Northern Virginia
In Northern Virginia divorce cases, child support is one issue that can lead to a great deal of ill will on both sides of the equation. Let’s first look at the issue from the perspective of the party requesting child support. He or she has been awarded temporary or permanent primary child custody and is asking the other parent to pay money each month to support his or her own child. In some cases, the other parent may not want to pay, and the requesting spouse sees that person as trying to avoid what they should be glad to do.
On the other hand, the other parent who is being asked to pay child support may believe the other parent is using child support as a weapon to punish him or her. It is important to note that the last thing child support should do is provide the payee spouse with a financial windfall. However, most parents want to be a part of their children’s lives and are willing to pay reasonable child support, as long as it is in the child’s best interest and fair within the facts of the situation.
Since both parents may be justified in having what are actually reasonable fears and concerns, mediation may be the best option in coming to a resolution that provides the proper financial support for any children and allows both parents to feel that their concerns were addressed and the agreement is fair and equitable for everyone involved.
While an agreement is certainly a good goal, in some cases an agreement is just not possible, because the other parent is unwilling to be reasonable. You want to make sure you have an attorney who is experienced and ready to fight for your rights to the best possible results the facts will allow.
If you cannot reach an agreement, your attorney will be able to present evidence during a trial to show the court the merits of your position. The court will then take the evidence as presented and the argument from your Northern Virginia child custody attorney and fashion a decision based upon the relevant provision of the Code and what he or she deems to be in the best interests of the child. Some of the factors the court will use in making determinations are as follows:
- The age of the child.
- The mental and emotional health of the child.
- The ability of the non-custodial spouse to pay child support.
- The income of the custodial parent and the need for support from the other party.
- Other financial obligations of the non-custodial parent, including child support responsibilities in other cases.
- Any other factor deemed to be the in the best interest of the child.
Again, it should be stressed that if the parties can come to an agreement that is reasonable, and the judge determines the agreement to be in the best interests of the child or children of the marriage, the judge will typically adhere to the parties’ wishes, and this may be best for everyone involved.
The family law attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group have years of experience handling domestic relations cases in jurisdictions across Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland. Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (703) 370-5555.