Burlington, MA asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia

Q: Can child support be decided upon outside of court in VA?

My wife and I are getting a divorce in VA, we have 2 kids, and we are both very high income earners. This is amicable, there's no fighting or hostility. We have agreed to joint custody. We both would like to have an agreement to split all costs 50/50, verses a set amount of child support. We send each other receipts, etc and the other pays, and we both know/trust this wont be an issue and we can file for child support if the other fails to keep their end of the deal. Is this possible? from what I've read it seems the courts will say "no" and assign an amount. (the 50/50 split will be higher than support for sure).

We just want to do a separation agreement, uncontested, and minimize court interaction

1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Spouses can enter into enforceable written marital agreements in Virginia, also known as separation agreements, property settlement agreements, and agreements and stipulations when they address the incidents of separation and divorce. Ultimately, the parties cannot bind a judge by contract on the issues of child custody, child visitation and child support. A judge can consider a written agreement and order otherwise in the best interests of the child; although normally a judge will ratify and affirm the spouses' agreement. A judge can deviate from the child support figure generated by the child support guidelines worksheet in consideration of certain factors justifying a deviation. A well-drafted separation agreement, with the appropriate verbiage regarding child support, will often be ratified and affirmed by a Virginia Circuit Court judge, even if it deviates from the presumptively correct amount.

Anyone facing separation and divorce in Virginia should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer.

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