Process of Child Support Payments in Virginia

Child support is an issue that comes up whenever parents of a child are separated or have never lived together but have a child. Each parent has a financial responsibility towards their child and needs to be knowledgeable about the process of child support payments in Virginia.

Generally, one parent will be the custodial parent and that is the parent the child predominately lives with. The other parent has visitation rights and is known as the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent has an obligation to pay child support to the custodial parent. If you have questions or concerns about your process of child support payments in Virginia, contact a qualified Virginia child support attorney today.

How Child Support is Calculated

Virginia has a child support guideline worksheet that anyone can use to calculate how much child support may be expected or received for their situation. The worksheet will take into account salary, any other child support payments someone may have to make, and any spousal support payments an individual has been ordered to pay.

There are a number of other factors the court may consider as well. Some of these factors include any financial support from other individuals, required health insurance payments, if there was a written agreement regarding child support, or additional funds that the child possesses independently.

How Child Support is Paid

Child support payments can be made directly to the other parent or through the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Social Services Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE). The DCSE is the state agency responsible for assisting parents who are owed child support. They can help a parent establish their process of child support payments in Virginia and enforce that payment as well. Child support payments can be enforced through the court or by DCSE. The most common method of enforcement includes having wages directly garnished from the paying parent’s paycheck.

Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

When one parent falls behind on child support payments, the other parent has the option to go to file a motion with the court. When a parent consistently fails to pay child support, the court can penalize that parent through a number of consequences. First, the court may find the parent to be in contempt of a court order which can lead to paying a fine or being jailed.

The court may also choose to withhold funds from state and federal tax refunds, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment benefits, or social security. The DCSE also has the authority to report any late payments to the credit bureaus, thereby impacting the parent’s credit score.

The non-paying parent can also lose their driver’s license, occupational licenses, or recreational licenses (such as for hunting or fishing). Both parents should be aware that child support and visitation are two completely separate issues. Therefore, when a parent is behind on child support, know that they still have rights to visitation to their child. That is part of the process for child support payments in Virginia.

Speak with a Virginia Child Support Attorney Today

Whether you are the parent receiving child support or the parent paying, you should speak to a Virginia child support lawyer to understand your rights regarding child support. A lawyer can help you calculate how much support you should be expecting to pay.

In the case where you have fallen behind on child support payments because of uncontrollable circumstances in your life, a lawyer can help you get back on track and avoid serious consequences from non-payment. On the other hand, if you are the parent that has not been paid child support, a lawyer can help you in asking the court to enforce your child support order. Contact an attorney for more information on the process of child support payments in Virginia.