My ex-husband—the non-custodial parent for our two daughters—has not paid his child support in over six months. What should I do?

If you have a child support obligation in place, the parent ordered to pay cannot simply ignore that fact. There are a few things that can be done to make sure a child support order is upheld. You should ask your lawyer to file one of a few different motions:

  • A Motion to Show Cause will force the parent who hasn't paid to appear in court and explain to the judge why he has not made his required child support payments. It is up to him to prove why he should not be held in contempt of court.
  • A Motion for an Income Deduction Order requests to have child support payments withheld from the parent's paycheck at work. That puts the non-custodial parent's employer in charge of taking the money out of your ex-husband’s paycheck and making sure you get it. Even if—for some reason—the employer forgets to withhold the money one week, it is still the non-custodial parent's job to make sure you are paid.
  • A Motion and Notice for Judgment for Arrearages has the court calculate how much money the non-custodial parent owes you and enters a judgment against him for that amount.

Not paying child support can result in fines and even jail time.

In some cases, a parent is unemployed and simply unable to pay child support. If you are the custodial parent, remember that this is not your fault and you should not feel bad still needing money to support your child. It is the unemployed non-custodial parent's duty to contact the court himself to plead his case and ask for a modification in the support order. If the non-custodial parent chooses not to tell the judge about his job situation, he is still required by law to pay his child support obligation.

If you need assistance establishing a child support order in Virginia, call 804-325-1245 (Richmond) or 757-941-4298 (Williamsburg) to contact the attorneys at Smith Strong for a consultation.