Child Support Agreements
If your state has guidelines for determining what amount of child support is probably appropriate, as Virginia does, a certified family mediator can show you what the guidelines recommend. Most states have such guidelines, based on each parent’s income, the cost of health care insurance for the children, work-related child care expenses, and other relevant factors. Child support guidelines in the Commonwealth of Virginia were updated on July 1, 2014.
Another way a family mediator can help divorced, estranged, or unwed parents decide how much child support (and sometimes spousal support) makes sense is by listing each parent’s monthly expenses and determining how much help one parent needs from the other to cover necessary expenses for the parent and children to have food, shelter, health care, clothing, and the standard of living the parents want for their children. Sometimes the parties discover that the two of them added together do not have enough income to cover all of the expenses in both households. They sometimes need to get creative about finding ways to decrease expenses or increase income.
Some parents agree to share expenses the law would not require, such as tuition for private school or costs associated with sports and other extracurricular activities.
A list of common monthly expenses appears here. Using it may help you with your planning.
The author, Virginia L. Colin, Ph.D., is a Professional Family Mediator certified by the Virginia Supreme Court. She is not an attorney. This article is for informational purposes only. Nothing here should be construed as legal advice. For a free consultation about whether family mediation would be helpful for you, contact Dr. Colin at mediatorQ@gmail.com or 703.864.2101.
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