What happens if you fall behind on child support?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2021 | Family Law

You suddenly lose your job. You get sick and cannot work. Whatever the reasons, issues with your job often result in financial problems. As a support-paying parent, this may cause challenges in your relationship with your child and your child’s other parent, as well as with the court system.

To help protect yourself and your interests, it benefits you to understand some of the enforcement actions you may face if you fall behind on your court-ordered child support.

Income withholding

According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, the division of child support enforcement may issue income withholding orders to compel you to fulfill your court-ordered obligation. To this end, the division sends notice to your employer, directing them to hold back your support payments from your earnings. The division also has the ability to intercept funds from state and federal payments or refunds due to you. For example, if you owe past-due support, the division may seize your tax refund to apply to your arrears.

Liens and seizures

To recover owed child support, the division of child support enforcement may also issue liens and conduct seizures. The division may take and sell certain property. Additionally, it may place liens on your banking or other financial accounts. A lien may prevent you from accessing, transferring or taking other actions with your funds.

License suspensions

In some circumstances, the division may seek to have your driver’s license suspended. Additionally, it may also require you to forfeit your professional or recreational licenses or both. The division may pursue this option if you fall 90-days or more behind, owe at least $5,000, or neglect to respond to a summons or subpoena.

As a parent, you want to provide the best you can for your child. Should issues arise that affect your ability to make your court-ordered payments, you may consider options to modify your support obligation.