Children are a kind of illusionist’s trick. They seem to exist with no visible means of support, much like the magician’s mysteriously floating person. Feeling the need to show the greatness of his trick, the illusionist passes a metal ring up and down the floating assistant’s horizontal body, proving no wires hold her up. And yet, just as with our Virginia children, we know someone (or something) is providing support. Sometimes eagerly, sometimes grudgingly, with a little prompting from a Virginia child support lawyer.
Virginia Child Support Laws
Virginia’s legal system is the cold calculus of finance and personal responsibility intersecting with the reality of human emotions. People fall in love, have children, fall out of love, and wish to move on. The Code of Virginia protects the children through child support laws.
Specifically, § 20-108.1 and § 20-108.2 order that child support be paid, and in what amount. Child support is neither a punishment nor a reward to either parent. It is to provide for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education and other necessities of a child’s life.
Problems only arise when the parents ignore the court’s order to provide child support. This generally happens when one parent is designated the physical custodian of the children and the other parent is required to make regular payments to the custodial parent for child support. The paying parent may resent the payments or feel the money is being squandered.
That is when a child support lawyer can step in, to set things right.
The Child(ren)’s Mother Owes You Back Child Support
Let’s first look at a much too rare situation in which you, the Virginia father, are the custodial parent and are owed child support from the children’s mother.
Frustrating as the situation is, you cannot take the law into your own hands. Turn to a child support lawyer, who will advise you of a few realities:
- Child support is independent from parenting time and child visitation schedules; do not withhold or alter the court-approved visitation schedule merely because the child’s mother is late with child support payments
- You have few fast legal remedies to resolve delinquent child support; do not call the police and do not attempt to extort the money from the children’s mother
- Your child support attorney can resolve the matter through the courts, though this takes time
- Your child support lawyer will first attempt to get your children’s mother to pay, without petitioning the court; it is a reasonable response, whether she is a few weeks late with payments or has never even begun paying child support
If that does not get her attention and action, your attorney can file a motion for contempt of court, in which you and your child support lawyer inform the court she is ignoring the judge’s ruling. Judges are human; judges have compassion; but Virginia judges famously do not take kindly to being ignored, so she will quickly feel the full press of Virginia’s Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) which has wide latitude to collect arrearages.
You Owe The Child(ren)’s Mother Back Child Support
Suppose you, as the Virginia father, owe child support to the mother of your children. You may have any number of reasons why you have not met your financial obligation to your own children:
- Lost your job
- Reduced income
- Medical issues or accident
- Compelled to move
- Sudden expenses like a car or home repair
- Drug or alcohol dependency
Unfortunately for you, Virginia does not listen to excuses. It holds the best interests of your child above all else (repeatedly throughout the Code of Virginia) and will use just about any means possible to get you to pay. Having a child support lawyer on your side can help, but it cannot remove your duty to your children.
A child support attorney can help you arrange a payment schedule, petition for a modification of child support based on your new circumstances, and attempt to stave off the DCSE’s many methods of reaching into your wallet.
If you find yourself falling behind in payments for child support, make every effort to pay what you can, as much and as often as possible. If you know your situation is not likely to improve, work through your child support lawyer to resolve the matter. Do not attempt to contact your children’s mother to ask for relief or to threaten her.
We’re Child Support Lawyers for Fathers
Your child support lawyer is, though taking you as a client, really working in the best interest of your children. A reasonable, balanced approach that takes everyone’s needs into account can often lead to a satisfactory resolution of child support disputes. If you keep in mind the state, the legal system, and you as a parent all have the best interests of your children in mind, you and your lawyer can find an answer.
If you need a child support lawyer, a call to 757-383-9184 will connect you with The Firm For Men and an experienced child support lawyer. You can also contact our offices online and receive useful, helpful information about child support, modifications, imputed income and more.