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How do I collect unpaid child support?

Leesburg, VA |

My ex husband is now over $2,000 behind in child support payments. I have taken him to court in Fairfax County (where the divorce decree was processed) multiple times now. He was found in contempt for not paying arrears in a timely manner and spent a week in jail until he was able to come up with the past due in full. I have been trying to work with him on his payments but he is still not up to date. He is now refusing to pay any child support because he is upset about a provision in the divorce decree regarding child tax credits. What recourse do I have to get the past due child support paid in full? We have three children and I am unable to afford daycare, etc. without his child support. Am I able to take him to court in Loudoun County since that is where we both now live?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. If everyone has moved from Fairfax to Loudoun, you could ask to transfer the file. You did not specify whether you are presently in Fairfax JDR or Circuit court. Your transfer would be to Loudoun JDR. You many want to consider the convenience of litigating in Loudoun versus the history of your case that the Fairfax judge has if one judge has been hearing your cases.

    You could ask that the Department of Child Support Enforcement, DCSE, become involved. They could help you issue an income deduction order so that support is withheld from the father's wages by his employer and the employer transfers the money to Richmond. DCSE can also address whether to intercept income tax refunds that may be due the father.

  2. I concur with Mr. Miller's response. My suggestion, however, would be to start with the Division of Child Support Enforcement.

    You will need to check to see if there is a local office in Loudoun County or not. If not, then you should contact the DCSE office in Fairfax (they are located on Pender Drive, just off of the Rt. 50/I-66 interesection). In Fairfax they have walk-in days on Wednesdays (though you should contact them to verify the walk-in days and times).

    You will want to take a certified copy of your Final Decree containing the child support provisions of the order, as well as any other subsequent orders of contempt and/or evidence of non-payment and findings as to the amount of arrears, to that appointment/meeting with DCSE. You will need to fill out the DCSE application of services and, provided that you currently qualify for services (i.e., the payor needs to be 90 days past due or $5,000 in arrears), then DCSE will take over these enforcement headaches for you via Income Deduction Orders to employers, interception of tax refunds, and pursuing show cause/contempt proceedings against the father.

    This will save you all of the hassles that you've been experiencing, plus any attorneys fees and costs you may have incurred.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.

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