If you have a child and are no longer with the other parent, you should be aware of the laws regarding child support. You will need to know if you are the one who owes money or if you are entitled to receive it. In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) can help you figure that issue and other child support issues out.

Who Needs to Pay Child Support?

Whichever parent has full custody is the one who is entitled to child support. If there is shared custody, the amount might be lower than usual because the parent with less parental time is sharing more of the financial burden of raising the child than if they did not have partial custody. Also, if custody is shared but one parent makes a lot more money, then the calculation for child support is usually based on regular custody.

How Do I Go about Getting for Child Support?

You can petition the court for child support or you can start an application with the DCSE. The application will ask for information about the child and the noncustodial parent. For the other parent, you will be asked for their name, address, email address, social security number, phone number, employer information, and a physical description.

What If I Fail to Pay Child Support?

The DCSE has multiple options it can take against the noncustodial parent if the parent is not paying child support. First, it will take child support out of your paycheck. The DCSE can also ask the court for a property lien, take your tax refund, report the debt to credit agencies, and suspend any licenses you have.

Can the Other Parent Take Away My Visitation If I Do Not Pay?

Only the court can deny or terminate visitation. Even if you are behind on child support, you can still see your child. The other parent cannot decide on their own to stop visitation. If you are having a hard time exercising your rights, you can go to court and ask that the visitation be enforced.

How Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

Stopping payments on your own without the approval of the court is not legal and can cost you later on. You can seek to avoid paying child support by ending your parental rights and having your child adopted. Child support may also end if the child is emancipated. Finally, you can get off the hook for child support if you can prove that you are not the biological parent of the child through a paternity test.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

Child support can be incredibly complicated and stressful to sort out. Thus, it is advisable that you discuss your case with a Virginia child support lawyer immediately.