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Child support in Virginia featured on '16 and Pregnant'

Many people would argue that, in an ideal world, every child in Virginia would be raised by two parents. But, as we all know, that is not reality. Children across the U.S. live in homes which have their income supplemented by child support paid by the children’s non-custodial parent.

For many parents and children, child support can make the difference between making ends meet and being in serious financial straits. The principle behind it is that the children’s economic situation should not be significantly altered by the absence of their non-custodial parent.

Unfortunately, not every parent ordered to pay child support in Virginia keeps up on payments. The court may order that the support be deducted from the parent’s paycheck, but for people who are unemployed, work for cash or are self-employed, that may not be a reliable solution. In those cases, the next step for the custodial parent might be to ask the court to seize the other parent’s tax refunds, seize assets or suspend his or her driver’s license.

The issue of unpaid child support was the subject of a recent storyline on the reality TV series “16 and Pregnant.” On that show, a teenage mother in Virginia had hoped that the father of her child would fulfill his financial responsibilities without a formal child support order. But, as often happens, the father failed to do so.

Parents in that situation should not wait for the non-custodial parent to start participating in the child’s care on his or her own. A child support order could be an invaluable resource for many parents.

Source: MTV, “’16 And Pregnant’: The Lowdown On Child Support Enforcement,” Lauren Mann, April 24, 2014

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