Virginia strictly enforces child support orders. If a noncustodial parent fails to pay, it means they are violating the law and can face certain consequences, including jail. It’s important to know what can happen and how to make payments.
What is the role of the Division of Child Support Enforcement?
The role of the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) is to ensure that a child support order is obeyed. If a parent has been ordered to pay child support to the other parent of their child, they could be held in contempt of a court order. This could result in being ordered to pay fines or even being sentenced to a jail term. Other consequences can occur as well such as a driver’s license or professional license being suspended.
What can the DCSE do if a parent owes child support payments?
The DCSE can collect money toward back child support payments against a delinquent parent in a variety of ways. The following include how it can collect money owed by a noncustodial parent:
- Wage garnishment by having the person’s employer withhold money from their paycheck
- Seizing and selling the individual’s property
- Issuing liens and orders to withhold money in bank accounts and accounts from other financial institutions
- Taking state and federal payments and refunds that are due to the individual
- Reporting past due support owed toward child support to consumer reporting agencies
- Requesting the Secretary of State to deny, revoke, restrict or limit the person’s passport
- Requesting that the Virginia Employment Commission withhold support from the individual’s unemployment benefits
In the most serious instances, the DCSE can file a contempt of court action, which could lead to the parent being ordered to serve a jail sentence.
No matter what the circumstances, the best thing you can do if you owe child support is to comply with the order and pay.