If you currently receive or pay child support in Virginia, you should be aware that significant changes in statutory guidelines may impact the amount that you collect or are obliged to pay going forward. Depending on your situation, the change in the amount could be substantial.
This year Virginia’s General Assembly passed House Bill 933, which ushered in changes to child support and updated the statutory guidelines as of July 1, 2014. Decades have passed since the General Assembly has altered the guidelines. The updates will impact future child support awards and may change existing child support obligations as well. Virginia’s legislative information system offers the following summary:
The new law provides for updated child support guidelines. The new guidelines specify obligors’ monthly child support obligation on the basis of gross monthly income in increments up to $35,000, with an additional amount calculated as a percentage of gross monthly income above $35,000. The law allows the court to set a support obligation below the presumptive statutory minimum for obligors who earn up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, provided that such lower amount does not seriously impair the custodial parent’s ability to maintain minimal adequate housing and provide other basic necessities for the child. The law also removes the $250 floor on reasonable and necessary unreimbursed medical or dental expenses that parents are required to pay in proportion to their gross incomes.[i]
As legislated by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, you can read the newly reenacted Section 20-108.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to child support and the guidelines. In order to amend your child support, you must have a material change in circumstances. There are several things that qualify as a material change. Fortunately, the change in the law may also be determined to be a material change, if you have a significant variance[ii] (or a big change from the old guidelines).
Whether you are currently paying or receiving child support, to determine if you would fall under this category, please make an appointment to speak to Jonathan Murdoch-Kitt at Murdoch-Kitt law. He can help you navigate these changes in the child support laws and establish if the amount should be modified due to the new guidelines.
[i] H.B. 933, 133th Cong. (2014) [ii] Milligan v. Milligan, 12 Va. App. 982, 988 (1991).