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Why do I suddenly owe so much in child support? (VA)

Falls Church, VA |

I live in Virginia and I signed the child support papers back in April. I was ordered to pay $218 a month. No biggie, as I had already been giving money prior to the order.I expected it to kick in a week or two after that. I even checked in on my case weekly on DCSE , it kept saying i owed nothing. Today, I got my paycheck and I see that they just started deducting $70. I get paid weekly, that is 280 per month. I checked my case online and I suddenly owe $1534 and some change to the state of Virginia. I have consistently transferred money to help the mother every paycheck. I would like to know how I suddenly got a large sum of debt and is there anything i could do about it.

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Attorney answers 2


It's difficult to know for sure. If you owe the state it may be because she signed up for and received some assistance from the state.


Do you have proof of the transfers to the mother since April? If you do, then take them to your DCSE office to request credit against the back amount owed. They will probably follow up with the mother to see if she agrees, and then should credit the amount you can prove, or the amount she agrees you transferred.

There are a few possibilities here for the large amount owed:
- Once child support is awarded, it is generally retroactive to the date the custodial parent filed her request. So even if you signed the papers in April, she may have filed months prior. But $1534/ $218 is about 7 months worth of arrearages. So it looks like that is from April- October.

-The reason it appeared all of a sudden, and they only began deductions now, is likely just the time lapse it took for them to enter the child support amount in the system and contact your employer to begin the pay check deductions.

- The extra $62 per month over the monthly $218 is likely to go towards the $1534 in arrearages they have in the system (and will have until they credit you the amounts you transferred directly and can prove.)

If you are unable to correct the arrearages directly with DCSE, even though you have proof of the payments, you may need to file the case with your local Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court to get the amount adjusted, and the longer it takes, the more interest will pile up. If you need to go to court, you should consider hiring a lawyer.

REMEMBER, my answer to your question is general in nature, as I don't know all the facts and circumstances relating to the specific person(s) and situations involved. You should always consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decision. This response does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

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