Articles

What happens if child support payments aren’t made?

When a parent who has been ordered by the courts to pay child support doesn't keep up with the payments, it can negatively affect the child's quality of life. Child support is designed so that the child gets to maintain the quality of living that the family would have had if the parents would have stayed together. Despite this, there are some parents who balk at having to pay child support. There are also those who have lost their jobs or suffered some other type of financial setback that has kept them from keeping up with their payments.

When the parent who is obligated to pay child support falls behind, the child support agency begins taking action to enforce the support order. This usually begins with the payor receiving notices that the child support is past due but can go all the way to criminal penalties. It's important to be aware of how child support can be collected after you've fallen behind.

While many parents have the child support deducted from their checks automatically as part of the regular support order, this is also one of the first ways that the child support agency will attempt to collect past due support. The agency may also intercept a tax refund and disburse it to the delinquent child support account. In ongoing situations where the parent has been behind for a period of time and is not making attempts to get caught back up, the agency may suspend the parent's license and/or passport. These methods are usually very effective, and the state of Virginia used them to collect more than $663 million in the 2013 fiscal year.

If you have received a notice that you are behind on your child support payments or have become aware that you will not be able to make your payments, talking with a family law attorney can help you get a better idea of your available options.

Source: Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement, "2013-2014 Fact Sheet," accessed July 31, 2015

Since 1980 the AV-rated law firm of Hale Ball has served the legal needs of individuals and businesses. Our team of attorneys include lawyers named to Super Lawyer and Rising Star lists, as well as attorneys with advanced legal degrees, specialty certifications and lawyers who teach their areas of practice to other lawyers.

Use the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation, or call 703-591-4900.

The transmission and receipt of information contained on this website, in whole or in part, or communication with the Hale Ball via the Internet or e-mail through this website does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between this firm and any recipient.

Our Office

10511 Judicial Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030

Let us fight for you

Schedule a Consultation

We will use the information you provide on this form to connect and schedule a consultation with you to go over your legal needs. The transmission and receipt of information contained on this website, in whole or in part, or communication with the Hale Ball via the Internet or e-mail through this website does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between this firm and any recipient.

Hale Ball is committed to providing you with excellent service while protecting the health and safety of our clients and staff. We offer videoconferencing, conference calls and electronic communication, as well as traditional in-person consultations. We are taking precautions to maintain a healthy office environment. As events evolve concerning COVID-19, we will strive to provide outstanding service in a socially responsible manner. Please contact us if you have any concerns.

X