Understanding the Factors of Why to Hire a Loudoun County Child Support Lawyer
Child support is a sticky subject and very much grey instead of black and white. That’s because the court system takes many factors into play when determining child support and how much each parent must pay. Given how complicated it can be, it is wise to hire a child support lawyer in your area, such as Loudoun County.
To help you understand the factors of child support and prepare for your case, here are some things to keep in mind.
How child support is determined
Child support is determined partially based off of custody rights, but mostly based off each parent’s income. Even in the case of joint custody, child support can be a factor. The parent who makes more money might be ordered to pay child support to the other parent.
The court takes into account total earnings from all places, including:
- Salary, including bonuses and commissions, generally analyzed for the last three years
- If you’re drawing from a pension or retirement plan, that income can also be factored in
- Veteran benefits
- Investment properties where you are earning money off of rent
- Investment income, including interest
- Local tax rates and any differences between the parents
- If one or both parents have other children that they are paying child support for or are receiving child support, this is factored into total income as well
- Cost of daycare for working parents
- Health insurance coverage and which parents’ plan the child is covered through
When undergoing a child support hearing, your total assets and income will be reviewed as well as those of the child’s other parent. This can be a grueling process to try and collect all information and respond to the court’s queries within the given timeframes. That is where it’s extremely helpful to have an attorney on your side to help with staying on top of your case.
Child support in the case of self-employment
If you or the child’s other parent is self-employed, the process for determining child support can be more complicated and longer. This is because finances for self-employment are more difficult to uncover.
When self-employment is involved, that parent’s income is calculated as gross business revenue after necessary and reasonable expenses. These expenses are not all inclusive of expenses that a business owner can write off for tax purposes.
The difficulty in determining this is that many self-employed individuals do not keep strong records. This makes it difficult to document and calculate total reasonable expenses.
In the case of you seeking child support from a self-employed individual, it will greatly benefit you to have an attorney by your side. This is because an experienced attorney knows what to look for in self-employment records. An attorney who has dealt with child support with a self-employed parent will know how to track down the right records to ensure you receive the child support you need to raise your child.
Ending child support
Under normal circumstances, child support ends on the child’s 18thbirthday or when he or she graduates high school. The later date of the two is used to determine the end of child support.
Six months before the scheduled end of child support, the courts will send a notice to the parent that receives child support to notify the end of support. The notice seeks to confirm that the child will be emancipated by the end date of child support. If the parent does not respond within 30 days, the court order proceeds as originally scheduled.
If no other younger children are also supported by the same court order, the court order terminates on the child’s 18thbirthday or graduation from high school.
Child support for a handicapped child
There are exceptions to the rule of child support ending on the 18thbirthday or high school graduation date. A mentally or physically handicapped child who will not be able to care for themselves, may continue to receive child support on an ongoing basis. This is because the child is not emancipated and therefore will need additional care.
If you’re seeking child support for a handicapped child, you certainly want an attorney to handle your case. The ongoing financial need of a handicapped child can become a burden if you try to go it alone. Ensure you have the lifelong coverage you need by hiring a strong Loudoun County child support lawyer.
Gore and Kuperman have 35 years of legal experience. Our team includes Pamela Cave, who focuses on family law, including child support. Pamela has extensive experience in advocating for the best situations for children in child support and child custody hearings.
You can reach our team at 703-385-7300. We’d be happy to discuss your case with you in a confidential and free consultation.
This blog post is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be used as such. Specific case facts should be discussed with an attorney.