How to Enforce Child Support Obligations When the Noncustodial Parent Won’t Pay

What Happens When the Other Parent Is Behind on Child Support Payments?It can make it extremely hard for you to take care of your child when the noncustodial parent is not paying the child support he was ordered to pay in your divorce or other child support proceeding in Virginia. However, you do have the right to return to court and enforce the child support order. While you have the option of representing yourself, your rights will be best protected if you retain an experienced family law attorney who can help you obtain the payments that you are owed.

How to Enforce Your Child Support Order

In Virginia, not paying child support obligations is taken very seriously. The person who is in arrears could be held in contempt of court, fined, or sentenced to jail. You have a number of ways to enforce your support order:

  • File a motion to show cause. You can file a motion to show cause in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations (J&DR) Court. The court will schedule a hearing where the noncustodial parent must show why he should not be held in contempt of court for failing to pay child support obligations. The judge could sentence him to jail or require him to pay a portion of the child support owed to be released from jail, which can be a strong incentive to get the person to make payments.
  • File a motion for an income deduction order. You can file a motion for an order requiring the noncustodial parent’s employer to withhold child support payments from the noncustodial parent’s wages. His employer is required to comply with this order.
  • File a motion for judgment of arrearage. You can file a motion asking the J&DR court to calculate the amount of child support owed to you and enter a judgment of arrearage. You can enforce this judgment like other civil judgments, such as garnishing the person’s wages and bank accounts and placing liens on his property.
  • File an application with the DCSE. You can file an application with the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) requesting help collecting the child support you are owed. They have the ability to have income withheld from the noncustodial parent’s wages, place liens on his property, intercept income tax refunds, and more. However, their attempts are not always successful, and a court action could still be required.

Do you need assistance enforcing your child support order? Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you take actions to collect the child support that you are owed. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.