Effective July 1, 2014, the guidelines for child support have increased for the first time in 19 years. Child support is presumptively determined by utilizing a formula that takes the gross income of both parents, refers to a chart in the Virginia Code for the total amount of support needed for the children, and then modifies that amount by accounting for (1) work-related (or potentially as of 2013 parental-school-related) daycare costs and (2) health/dental insurance premium costs for the children. The new law is increasing the presumptive support amount contained in the chart.
In order to change court-ordered support, you must first show a “material change of circumstances.” This law change on July 1 qualifies as a material change if the increase of support would constitute “a significant variance” from what was previously ordered to be paid. Although what is a “significant variance” isn’t precisely defined in the law, chances are most cases will qualify; therefore, parties receiving child support may petition for an increase and the Court will run the new guidelines inputting the information discussed above.
Whether you are receiving or paying child support, you may wish to contact counsel to determine how the change could impact the child support award. With current child support calculations in hand, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate the situation at the outset and possibly avoid court.