I am currently going through divorce and am trying to work through determining child support with my wife. We were originally going to just hire one attorney, but it seems that she is the only one getting representation.
We are arguing over child support, and she told me that the amount figured on the child support worksheet is non-negotiable; however, that leaves me less than $100 per month after bills.
Is child support negotiable? And since I will have my kids over the summer, will I have to continue paying support during summer visitation months?
Many states use a guideline calculation to determine child support. In Virginia, where I practice, the guideline calculation creates a presumptive figure for support.
However, either party can then request that the judge increase or decrease the amount of child support based on a list of factors, such as travel costs of visitation or special circumstances of the children.
In Virginia, child support is based on the following:
- gross income of each parent,
- spousal support paid or received,
- the number of children for whom support is owed,
- support owed for other children,
- work-related childcare costs, and
- health insurance costs for the children.
Virginia also takes into account how many days each parent has with the child. So, in Virginia, if you have your children for the whole summer, that would be taken into account and reduce your support obligation.
Your support would not stop during the summer when you have the kids, however.
Support can always be negotiated by the parents if you and your wife are able to reach an agreement. You mentioned that your original plan was to have one attorney represent you. That creates a conflict of interest, and the attorney your wife hired will only be looking out for her interests.
I strongly encourage you to contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction to review your case and go over how child support works in that state, as well as to protect your interests.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney in Virginia, contact Cordell & Cordell.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”