The Right to Modify Your Child Support Obligations After a Job Loss or Reduction in Pay in Virginia

Child Support Letter Blocks With a GavelIn Virginia, children have the right to be financially supported by both parents, and the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support. However, it is not uncommon for a non-custodial parent to experience a loss or reduction in income if they lose their job or have their hours reduced. If you are in this situation, you may be able to have your child support obligation modified.

What Must You Show to Modify a Child Support Obligation in Virginia?

Child support obligations are always modifiable in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A non-custodial parent must show a material change in circumstances since the date of the child support order setting the amount of child support to be paid to modify their obligation.

A job loss, layoff, or reduction in the number of hours worked can be considered a material change of circumstances to justify a reduction of a child support payment. However, the change must be involuntary.

If the non-custodial parent quits their job or voluntarily reduces their work hours, the court can impute income to them when deciding how much child support they must pay. The court might also impute income to them if they are fired.

When Does a Child Support Modification Go Into Effect?

A child support modification would not be automatic when a non-custodial parent experiences a loss of income. The reduction would not go into effect until the parties file a written agreement with the court modifying the child support obligations or the judge enters an order changing the amount of child support to be paid.

If the parents cannot agree on reducing child support payments, the non-custodial parent would need to file a motion to modify the child support order. There would be a hearing where the judge would decide whether a modification of the child support obligation is justified.

Is There a Minimum Amount of Child Support That Must Be Paid?

In Virginia, a minimum amount of child support must be paid even if the non-custodial parent has little or no income. This amount would be based on their gross monthly income and the number of children they support. Here are examples of what a parent who has one child would be obligated to pay per month under the current law:

  • $0 to $350: $68
  • $600: $116
  • $1,000: $187

Contact a Norfolk Family Law Attorney for Help Today

Do you need to reduce your child support payments due to a loss of income? Even if the custodial parent agrees to reduce your child support obligations, you need the help of an experienced family law attorney to protect your rights. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.


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