Both parents have an obligation to care for and support their child, and when parents divorce (or if parents are not married, but one parent seeks child support from the other), the court will order one parent to pay the other child support. However, some parents refuse to pay their share of child support, leaving the other parent and the child in serious financial trouble. If you need to know how to enforce a child support order in Virginia, specifically in the Fredericksburg or Northern Virginia areas, the experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Select Law Partners, PLLC are here to help. Call our office or contact us today to schedule a consultation to evaluate your case.
Contempt of Court Hearing
The first option to enforce child support is through a contempt of court hearing; in Virginia this is called a show cause hearing. The judge will order the parent who refuses to pay child support to come to court and explain why payments are not being made as ordered. If the judge finds that the parent is willfully refusing to pay, they can be held in contempt of court and can face jail time, fines, and costs.
A second option for enforcing child support, especially when the parent repeatedly fails to pay support, is to file an income withholding order with the court and the Virginia Child Support Enforcement. Also known as wage garnishment, this order mandates the employer of the parent paying support to withhold a portion of each paycheck and send it directly to the parent, through Child Support Enforcement, in need of support. This type of order can apply to many different kinds of income, including salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, tax returns, lottery winnings, Social Security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, and more.
Other Enforcement Options
Virginia also provides other options for enforcing child support payments. Child support in arrears can be reported to credit bureaus and negatively impact the paying parent’s credit score. The state can also suspend the parent’s driver’s license until support is paid and suspend other types of professional and recreational licenses. To learn more about your options for enforcing child support, contact one of our family law attorneys today.
Talk to Our Office Now
Do you have questions about how to enforce a child support order in Virginia? If so, the knowledgeable and experienced family law attorneys at Select Law Partners, PLLC are here to help and answer all your legal questions. Call or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.