Child Support Cases in Virginia
This Guide explores the process of obtaining child support in Virginia
Prerequisites to FilingIn order to be entitled to child support in Virginia, a person must have at least one biological child with another, and have custody of that child either legally by court order, or practically by having the child the majority of the time.
Petition for Child SupportIn order to have a child support hearing, the parent seeking support must file a petition for child support in the juvenile & domestic relations court for the city or county in which they live. Child support can also be obtained during a divorce, by administrative order, or as part of a protective order. However, the vast majority of child support cases come by petitions filed in juvenile courts.
TrialOnce the petition has been served on the other parent, a trial takes place. At this trial, the parent seeking the support award must show: (1) that the other person is the father/mother of the child, (2) the gross incomes of the parties, (3) the amount of health, vision, and dental insurance paid by them for the child (only), and (4) the amount of work-related daycare expense paid monthly.
If all of these elements are proven, the judge enters an order awarding child support to be paid to the person seeking it. The amount of the award is provided by applying the figures given at trial to the Virginia Uniform Child Support Guidelines. These Guidelines are a simple mathematical calculation. The amount ordered is retroactive to the date that the petition was filed. Child support awards are in effect until a child's 18th birthday, and sometimes longer if certain circumstances are proven.