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What happens if I stop making child support payments in Virginia?

There are many reasons why you may be asking the question posed in this headline. Maybe you have hit a financial obstacle that makes it exceedingly difficult to keep up with child support; maybe your ex has told you that missing a payment will mean that you don’t get to see your kids anymore; maybe you simply don’t want to pay child support anymore.

Whatever your reasons may be, it is important to know what the consequences are for not making child support payments. There are essentially three types of penalties Virginia parents face if they do not pay child support. 

  1. Financial penalties: These include fines, wage garnishment, tax refund garnishment and withholding of government benefits. You could also have a lien placed on your house or other property.
  2. Personal penalties: You can have your driver’s license suspended, as well as any professional or recreational license you might hold. You may not be able to renew or secure a passport, and your employer, credit agency and community can be informed of your arrearage.
  3. Criminal penalties: If you do not pay child support, you could be found in contempt of court and be sentenced to jail.

These penalties should not be taken lightly, and it is crucial for you and your child that you stay current with child support payments.

It is important to note here that the other parent cannot deny visitation for non-payment, and you aren’t giving up your parental rights by failing to pay child support. Only the courts can take these actions.

If you cannot make payments, or if you believe an order for support is outdated, then you would be wise to consult an attorney before stopping or changing your payments. With legal guidance, you can pursue legal avenues for ensuring you have a fair child support order in place.

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