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How to not go to jail when I owe back child support?

Staunton, VA |

I am not trying to get out of paying it. The amount that I was ordered to pay was because I use to have a great job. I did not know that I could lower it, so it has been in effect for years. Now I am 8k in the hole. I go to court and if I have documentation that I have desperately been pursuing a job but there are not any due to the recession, but have some money to pay, can I not be thrown in jail. I see my kids and don't want them to see me in jail. What can I do? Thanks.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The best way to keep yourself out of jail is to pay what you can towards the back support you owe. If you have not already filed a Petition to Modify Child Support, you should do so immediately so the arrears do not continue to accumulate.

    You should consider hiring an attorney to help you with this issue.


  2. Making as large a payment as possible toward the arrearage is always helpful. Frequently, a court wants to see a big lump sum payment made, and usually it's even better to have the payment made either prior to the day of court and to bring the money with you to court. A cashier's check or money order is usually best, because the parent who is owed the money can be certain that the funds will clear the bank account. If you pay by any means other than a check, it would be wise to get a receipt.

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