If you get behind in your child support obligations in Virginia, you do not want to make the situation worse by doing nothing. You do have options, and it is important to exercise them so that you do not face harsh penalties, such as garnishment of your wages or suspension of your driver’s license. One of your first steps should be to retain an experienced family law attorney who can assist you in resolving your problem.
Filing a Motion to Amend Your Child Support Order
If you have a good relationship with the other parent of your children, you may want to first try talking about your financial situation with that person and trying to agree on a new child support amount that you can afford. You will need an attorney to file the appropriate paperwork to modify your child support obligations if you reach an agreement. If not, you will need to file a motion to amend or review your child support order as soon as possible.
In order to be successful, you will need to show a material change of circumstances that make it difficult for you to pay your child support payment or that you made a good faith effort to pay what was ordered. Your inability to pay must not be due to a voluntary act. Examples of changes in circumstances that may justify a reduction in your child support include:
- Medical emergencies
- Loss of a job
- Increased income of the other parent
- Changes in the child support guidelines
Your motion will only affect future child support obligations after you file the motion. You still will owe the back payments, which is why it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible once you know that you are unable to pay. You will need to provide proof of your current income, and your attorney can file a subpoena ordering the other parent to provide proof of his or her income and expenses for the children. A hearing would be scheduled where the judge would decide how much child support you will have to pay.
Are you behind in your child support payments? Fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our family law legal team to learn how we can help.