How are child support orders enforced in Virginia?

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Virginia law states that the basic financial needs and everyday expenses of every child must be fulfilled. If the supporting parent fails to pay child support on time, and the payment is at least 30 days late, the law will impose strict consequences.

The court can enforce child support orders in a number of ways. It can withhold the non-custodial parent's income, which means that child support will be automatically deducted from the parent's paycheck. The court has the power to withhold the income of the non-custodial parent, even if that parent switches jobs or relocates to another city. In the case of parents who do not earn regular paychecks, the court can use other methods to recover child support payments.

Virginia law also has provisions for imposing penalties on child support defaulters. The seriousness of the punishment depends on the amount of child support that the parent owes. Those consequences include seizing income or financial assets, placing liens on real estate or personal property, suspending the parent's driver's license, intercepting state or federal income tax refunds and informing credit agencies about the non-custodial parent's child support delinquencies.

The court is meticulous about notifying the non-custodial parent when payments are overdue.

Additionally, the court will consider modifying the child support amount after reviewing the order carefully. Reviews are usually conducted every 36 months by the Division of Child Support Enforcement. Parents can also request a review of the child support order if there has been at least a 25 percent change in their gross income or if the custodial-parents' work-related daycare expenses change by at least 25 percent.

Source: DSS.Virginia.gov, "Enforcing the Support Order," Accessed on April 22, 2015

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