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What Happens When You Miss a Child Support Payment in Virginia?

What Happens When You Miss A Child Support Payment In Virginia?

Skipping a child support payment in Virginia is no minor oversight—it can lead to substantial legal issues that can disrupt your life and your child’s. Falling behind can impact your family’s well-being and potentially get you into hot water with the law. So, what happens when that due date comes and goes without a payment? At Invictus Law, we understand the confusion and stress you feel. Our Virginia Beach child support lawyers are here to inform you of the consequences and guide you through what you can do next.

Penalties for Missing Child Support Payments in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Social Services doesn’t take missed child support payments lightly. They have many tools to enforce child support payments and are not afraid to use them. Let’s dive into the potential penalties you might face:

  • Wage Garnishment: The state can compel your employer to automatically deduct child support from your wages, leaving you with less take-home pay.
  • Bank Account Seizure: If you think your money is safe sitting in the bank, think again. Virginia authorities can issue liens and orders to withhold funds from your bank accounts or other financial institutions.
  • Property Seizure and Sale: Own a car, home, or other valuable property? The state could seize and sell these assets to recover the child support you owe.
  • Interception of Payments: Any state and federal payments or refunds due to you, like tax refunds, can be intercepted and directed toward your child support debt.
  • Credit Score Impact: Your past-due support could be reported to consumer reporting agencies, negatively affecting your credit score and future borrowing capabilities.
  • Passport Restrictions: Planning a trip abroad? You should rethink those plans. The Secretary of State can deny, revoke, restrict, or limit your passport if you’re behind on payments.
  • Unemployment Benefit Deduction: If you’re unemployed and receiving benefits, the Virginia Employment Commission can withhold child support directly from those benefits.

If you owe $5,000 or more in child support or are 90 days or more behind, brace yourself for even stricter penalties. You could face a driver’s license suspension and might even have to turn in any certificates, registrations, or other state-issued occupational, professional, or recreational licenses.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that interest can accrue on unpaid child support debts, making it even harder to pay what you owe and avoid potential penalties. If you are struggling to make child support payments, it’s in your interest to speak to an attorney immediately so they can help you find the best way forward.

Can You Go to Jail for Missed Child Support Payments?

According to the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), they cannot directly send you to jail for missed child support payments. DCSE can petition the courts to send you to jail for missing your payments, but a judge must approve that petition. Information from DCSE indicates that the maximum sentence for missed child support payments is 12 months in jail.

Typically, judges only send someone to jail for missed child support payments as a last resort. Why? Because someone in jail typically can’t earn money to pay back what they owe. Furthermore, an incarcerated parent may accrue additional interest on their unpaid debt, which makes paying that debt even more challenging.

Our Virginia Beach Child Support Lawyers Are Here for You

Acting quickly is essential if you are struggling to make your child support payment in Virginia on time. With so much at stake, including your freedom and finances, it’s imperative to hire a lawyer who can help you solve your problem.

The Virginia Beach child support lawyers at Invictus Law have extensive experience with these cases, and we want to help you find the best way forward. Call 757-317-5125 or complete our contact form for a confidential case review.

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