In Virginia, child support enforcement services are provided by the local child support enforcement agency (DCSE). Payments are made to families by direct deposit or by mail.
DCSE can enforce a support order by:
- Withhold income from parental wages, social security, unemployment, worker’s compensation, or veteran’s disability compensation.
- Placing liens on a parent’s real or personal property.
- Beautification of state and federal tax returns.
- Withholding child support from a paycheck or unemployment benefits.
- Garnish worker’s compensation benefits.
- Suspension of driver’s, occupational, sports and / or recreational licenses (if they are 90 days or more late in payments).
- Credit bureau reports.
- Bank warrants for arrest.
- Passport denial.
- Holding contempt of court actions, which could result in a jail sentence.
Under Virginia law, a child support order is an official government document that states who must pay basic child support and medical care. Under normal circumstances, the “noncustodial” parent, that is, the parent who spends the least time with the children, must make regularly scheduled child support payments to the “custodial” parent (the mother who cares for the children the majority of the time). .
In this way, both parents pay a fair share of the children’s expenses.
Many couples who separate may come to an informal agreement about child support. Sometimes these agreements are written down, and sometimes they are just talked about. However, these types of informal agreements are not enough to give the courts or a state agency the power to prosecute delinquent or non-paying parents who do not pay child support. Courts and state agencies cannot do anything unless there is an official written order. It is critical to ensure that an informal agreement is also incorporated (merged) into a formal court order.
If you and your ex can’t agree on child support, then you’ll need to go to court, file an application for child support, and ask a judge to give you an order setting the amount and how often. of support payments under Virginia Law.
Once there is a support order, everyone must follow it. If the noncustodial parent fails to make payments in accordance with the order, then the custodial parent has a variety of options to enforce the order and collect past due support.
If a parent is having trouble making payments, they should contact the court immediately. The parent can always seek to modify their existing support order. This will require going back to court and explaining to the judge why he cannot make his payments. Only a judge can change the amount he owes under a support order. Courts typically review support orders every 36 months.
Criminal Procedure in Virginia
In Virginia, if the court decides that the noncustodial parent could pay some or all of the amount owed, the payer can be dismissed. Penalties for contempt can include any of the enforcement methods listed above (such as suspending your driver’s license), plus fines, jail time, and other penalties. Additionally, failure to pay can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony and faces jail or prison.
If you need a Virginia Child Support attorney to help you with your Virginia Child Support case, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia child support attorneys can help. C