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What should a parent do when child support payment stops?


Virginia parents would agree that often the children of divorce often experience the most harmful effects. Children may experience feelings of insecurity and powerlessness as parents engage in a war of words. Divorcing Virginia couples should remember that while they may have fallen out of love, their children still want to be raised by both parents in a loving environment. To address the best interests of the children, the courts give child custody to one parent and require the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

What should a custodial parent do when he or she stops receiving those child support payments? If a custodial parent receives information that the non-custodial parent has quit his or her current job or has changed jobs, the custodial parent should immediately notify the district office handling the child support case. Since it generally takes some time for notification due to mailing time, the child support division will advise the custodial parent to wait 10 days for official changes to take place. If more than 10 days pass and the parent still has not received payment, then the custodial parent is advised to contact the state child support enforcement division.

The Virginia child support enforcement division processes child support payments in accordance with state and federal requirements so it will decide what enforcement action should be taken. The child support division does not disburse more money than what the parent owes.

Child support payments do not stop automatically if parental rights are terminated by the court. The payment of arrears and current child support are made according to a court order and can only be ended by court order. Even filing for bankruptcy does not release a non-custodial parent from child support obligations, including payment of arrears.

Source: DSS.Virginia.gov, "Child Support Frequently Asked Questions," Accessed on Feb.15, 2015

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