Determined representation for parents during and after divorce

Virginia law requires both parents to contribute to the support of their children. When the parents do not share a single residence with the child, a custodial parent has the right to seek support from the other parent. Child support disputes generally arise during a divorce, but unmarried parents can also seek child support, and circumstances often compel parents to seek modification or enforcement of existing orders. At The Daugherty Law Firm, our family law attorneys provide assistance to parents on all matters related to child support. With diligence and attention to detail, we pursue orders that are appropriate for our clients’ circumstances and, when necessary, litigate matters aggressively to prevent undue hardship for our clients.

How Virginia courts determine child support

Virginia has child support guidelines based on the combined income of both parents, the number of children to be supported, and the amount of time the children live with each parent. As attorneys for parents paying and receiving child support, we use the discovery process to enforce requirements for transparency. Our experience has taught us to be aware of circumstances in which opposing parties might underreport income, claim deductions that are not allowable, or deliberately earn less to get a reduced support order.

In addition to basic child support, other issues, such as health insurance for the children, private school tuition, and expenses for various enrichment activities, must be settled. Our knowledge in this area is invaluable for helping you obtain a fair support order.

Our child support attorneys assist with enforcement and modification

A child support obligation remains in force until the child reaches maturity or a court modifies the order. If a parent does not pay child support, the court can enforce payments in various ways:

  • Seizure of tax refunds — If a parent misses or is behind on child support payments, all federal and state income tax refunds or credits will be intercepted and applied to any past due child maintenance or support.
  • Liens — The court may also issue liens on real estate or other personal property until the noncustodial parent makes the child support payments.
  • Credit agency — Yet another way the state of Virginia enforces child support is to report the noncustodial parent to a credit agency.
  • Asset seizure — If the noncustodial parent fails to make child support payments, assets such as CDs, stocks, bonds, retirement funds, and savings accounts are garnished or confiscated.
  • Licenses — In some cases, the court may suspend the driver’s license or occupational license of the noncustodial parent.
  • Contempt — A noncustodial spouse can be sentenced to up to one year in jail for contempt of court for refusing to pay child support.

If you are having trouble obtaining payment for child support from a spouse, we can help you. For example, if a parent has refused to pay as retaliation for perceived interference with visitation, our family law attorneys can help you resolve this conflict. Often, all it takes is a strongly worded letter informing the party that there is no legal basis for withholding child support and warning of the sanctions above.

However, most cases of unpaid child support stem from an inability to pay because the obligor is experiencing financial hardship that occurred after the divorceor after the last order was entered. We often represent clients who find themselves in these circumstances. It is critically important to request a modification from the court, because until that happens, the old order remains in place and arrears continue to accumulate.

Contact our experienced family attorneys for your child support issue

When child support disputes arise, The Daugherty Law Firm, P.C. provides determined representation for parents in Manassas, Warrenton, and the surrounding communities of Virginia. To schedule a consultation, call us at 703-659-2437 or contact our Manassas office online. We are conveniently located at 9315 Center Street, just across the street from the Courthouse in Manassas.