In the case of Stevens v. Stevens, the Circuit Court for Loudoun County, ruled that father's salary increase from approximately $90,000.00 to over $100,000.00 a year constitutes a material change of circumstance and awards mother more child support where mother's income had decreased and mother had child 115 days each year. The increase is awarded even though an expert testified on behalf of father that mother could make an additional 10,000 to 20,000 in imputed income.
The father asked for a deviation from the presumptive amount of child support set by the guidelines for three reasons: the imputed income to mother; that mother did not actually pay the day case expenses ($757.00) a month; and that father did not think son needed to be in the day care he was attending.
The court ruled that it would not deviate from the presumptive amount based upon the day care situation. The parties had previously agreed on daycare at this daycare facility when it cost more to attend. Father withdrew son based upon a series of disagreements with the daycare facility of tuition costs, lack of transportation from school to daycare, and the quality of the program provided. But, the child was doing well at the daycare and mother could transport the child to daycare because of her flexible work hours.
This case is interesting because the judge offers some insight on the reasonableness of a specific type of work-related child care. The judge equated the analysis to that for determine whether private school costs should be taken into account in a child support proceeding. In that situation, two conditions must exist: a demonstrated need coupled with the parents ability to pay. In addition, the court must determine whether the child care is quality care from a licensed source pursuant to Virginia Code Section 20-108.2(F). In this case, all three factors were present.
The court declined to inpute income because the father failed to present evidence of a means to cover child care costs of the mother took a higher paying job. Father countered this by arguing that his new wife could preovide daycare. The court declined to accept this approach, stating that child care by a step parent is not a good idea unless both parents agree. Mother didn't agree.