Virginia Child Support Definitions


Gross income is defined by Va. Code 20-108.2(C).

For purposes of this section, "gross income" means all income from all sources, and shall include, but not be limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits except as listed below, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, veterans’ benefits, spousal support, rental income, gifts, prizes or awards.

If a parent’s gross income includes disability insurance benefits, it shall also include any amounts paid to or for the child who is the subject of the order and derived by the child from the parent’s entitlement to disability insurance benefits. To the extent that such derivative benefits are included in a parent’s gross income, that parent shall be entitled to a credit against his or her ongoing basic child support obligation for any such amounts, and, if the amount of the credit exceeds the parent’s basic child support obligations, the credit may be used to reduce arrearages.

Gross income shall be subject to deduction of reasonable business expenses for persons with income from self-employment, a partnership, or a closely held business. "Gross income" shall not include benefits from public assistance programs as defined in 63.1-87, federal supplemental security income benefits, or child support received. For purposes of this subsection, spousal support included in gross income shall be limited to spousal support paid pursuant to a pre-existing order or written agreement and spousal support shall be deducted from the gross income of the payor when paid pursuant to a pre-existing order or written agreement between the parties to the present proceeding.

In cases in which retroactive liability for support is being determined, the court or administrative agency may use the gross monthly income of the parties averaged over the period of retroactivity.

Definitions of Adjustments to Income

D. Any extraordinary medical and dental expenses for treatment of the child or children shall be added to the basic child support obligation. For purposes of this section, extraordinary medical and dental expenses are uninsured expenses in excess of $100 for a single illness or condition and shall include but not be limited to eyeglasses, prescription medication, prostheses, and mental health services whether provided by a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor.

E. Any costs for health care coverage as defined in 63.1-250, when actually being paid by a parent, to the extent such costs are directly allocable to the child or children, and which are the extra costs of
covering the child or children beyond whatever coverage the parent providing the coverage would otherwise have, shall be added to the basic child support obligation.

F. Any child-care costs incurred on behalf of the child or children due to employment of the custodial parent shall be added to the basic child support obligation. Child-care costs shall not exceed the amount required to provide quality care from a licensed source. When requested by the noncustodial parent, the court may require the custodial parent to present documentation to verify the costs incurred for child care under this subsection. Where appropriate, the court shall consider the willingness and availability of the noncustodial parent to provide child care personally in determining whether child-care costs are necessary or excessive.

Child Support Overview

If you go to court for child support, the amount of child support awarded will be determined in accordance with the Virginia Child Support guidelines.

The judge first determines the income of both parents.

Extraordinary medical and dental expenses, health care insurance costs, and day care costs are also calculated.

If both parents have the child or children more than 90 days per year, then a shared support guidelines worksheet is used. A continuous 24 hour period constitutes a day, and an overnight visit, of less than 24 hours counts as a half day.

Though judges usually order child support in the amount determined by the guidelines, they do have authority to enter a different amount of child support on the basis of the following factors.

1. Actual monetary support for other children, other family members or former family members;

2. Arrangements regarding custody of the children;

3. Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed or voluntarily under- employed, provided that income may not be imputed to the custodial parent when a child is not in school, child care services are not available and the cost of such child care services are not included in the computation;

4. Debts of either party arising during the marriage for the benefit of the child;

5. Debts incurred for the production of income;

6. Direct payments ordered by the court for health care coverage, maintaining life insurance coverage, education expenses, or other court-ordered direct payments for the benefit of the child and costs related to the provision of health care coverage;

7. Extraordinary capital gains such as capital gains resulting from the sale of the marital abode;

8. Age, physical and mental condition of the child or children, including extraordinary medical or dental expenses, and child care expenses;

9. Independent financial resources, if any, of the child or children;

10. Standard of living for the family established during the marriage;

11. Earning capacity, obligation and needs, and financial resources of each parent;

12. Education and training of the parties and the ability and opportunity of the parties to secure such education and training;

13. Contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;

14. Provisions made with regard to the marital property;

15. Tax consequences to the parties regarding claims for dependent children and child care expenses;

16. A written agreement between the parties which includes the amount of child support;

17. A pendente lite decree, which includes the amount of child support, agreed to by both parties or by counsel for the parties; and

18. Such other factors, including tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities for the parents and children.