Simons, Thurman & Fix, P.C.

Serving Rockbridge County for 30+ Years!

Child Support win & overview – Dec. 2023

Virginia child support laws are designed to ensure that both parents contribute to their child’s financial needs. When a dispute arises over child support, an experienced family law attorney is essential to navigate the legal complexities and to advocate for a fair resolution.

In Virginia, the child support guidelines are presumed to be correct absent a judicial finding to the contrary. The child support guidelines are a calculation designed by our lawmakers and are supposed to accurately account for both parent’s incomes and child-related expenses. The formula takes the information input and calculates a number presumed to be the correct figure for child support. However, an experienced attorney can make persuasive arguments to include or not include certain forms of income or expenses. These arguments can change what is included in the formula and ultimately significantly influence the outcome.

The guidelines are first based on how many days per year the child stays with each parent. A different formula is used for different types of custody such as primary physical custody, split custody, or shared custody. Secondly, the guidelines account for each parent’s income. If a parent is voluntarily underemployed, a lawyer may be able to successfully argue that income should be imputed to that parent under Virginia’s income imputation caselaw. Third, the guidelines are adjusted for expenses such as health insurance costs, childcare expenses, the number of other children in each household, and various other factors.

As expected, a successful argument to include or not include certain factors will drastically change the amount of support awarded. A parent needs an experienced family law attorney on their side when the Court is adjudicating support.

Both of our attorneys at Simons, Thurman & Fix regularly handle complex child support cases. Of note, Ben Thurman most recently handled a support matter wherein the Court awarded our client a just amount of support. The other parent had voluntarily quit their lucrative job and attempted to tell the Court that they only earned limited income, which would have led to a very low amount of child support. Mr. Thurman was able to present evidence and caselaw that convinced the Court to impute income to that parent at the level they were earning prior to taking a lower paying job. He successfully argued that the opposing party had voluntarily quit a lucrative career in a deliberate attempt to avoid child support. The Court forced the opposing party to pay our client a fair amount of child support so that their child could benefit from the financial abilities of both parents. Our client is beyond thrilled and grateful that Mr. Thurman’s expertise was able to influence the guidelines so dramatically.

Regardless of whether you may be paying or receiving child support, you need a good lawyer to present your case to the Court. Let us know if we can be of service.