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Methods of collection for delinquent child support in Virginia

When a couple with children divorces, a court often decides that one of the parents should have primary custody of the child, while the other parent is designated the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent will then have to provide monthly child support payments to the custodial parent. However, a parent may stop making these payments for any number of reasons. In situations where this occurs, the state of Virginia can use a variety of methods to help enforce a child support order.

If a non-custodial parent fails to make their child support payment for more than 30 days, the state's Department of Child Support Enforcement can begin legal proceedings against that parent. The first step of the DCSE is usually to notify the non-custodial parent that they are in violation of the child support order and inform them that unless they pay, stronger actions will be taken. However, if the non-custodial parent ignores these warnings, the DSCE will use additional measures to collect the overdue funds.

The DCSE will then contact the employer of the non-custodial parent and inform them that the company will need to begin withholding income from that parent to satisfy the child support order. Even if the non-custodial parent switches jobs or moves to another state, the DCSE will find out where the parent works and continue to withhold income.

There are additional steps that the DCSE can utilize to enforce a child support order. These include seizing any other income or financial assets from the non-custodial parent as well as confiscating both federal and state income tax returns and placing liens on any personal property the parent may own. Stronger methods include reporting the non-custodial parent's child support debt to credit agencies and suspending their Virginia driver's license.

In extreme cases, the state of Virginia may even take a non-custodial parent to court to enforce the child support order. Any Virginia resident who is having difficulty receiving their court-ordered child support may want to speak with a family law attorney to learn what methods of enforcement may be most beneficial to them.

Source: dss.virginia.gov, "Child Support and You," Accessed March 20, 2016

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