What If Your Spouse Is Consistently Late With Alimony or Child Support?

DiPietro Law Group, PLLC

Fed up with your spouse’s failure to pay child or spousal support on time? You’re certainly not alone. Data from the United States Census Bureau indicate that less than half of those who owe child support actually bother to pay the full amount. Others eventually pay what they owe, but rarely on time. Late payments place a significant burden on custodial parents and their children, as well as divorcees awarded spousal support.

Dealing with a tardy ex, or worse, a complete lack of owed child or spousal support payments? Thankfully, numerous options exist. Keep the following in mind as you seek the support you deserve:

Be Aware of Extenuating Circumstances

Current circumstances may make it difficult for your ex to abide by previously agreed upon child or spousal support arrangements. Examples include job loss or extensive medical bills. These issues may prompt new financial arrangements, especially if your ex seeks modification through the local court system. Consider discussing the matter in mediation and settling upon temporarily reduced payments until current difficulties abate.

Seek Help From the Division of Child Support Enforcement

If your ex willfully fails to abide by previous child or spousal support agreements, Virginia’s Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) can help. DCSE uses a variety of tools in the interest of collecting unpaid child and spousal support, both current and in arrears. Options include wage garnishment, collecting support from Social Security Disability benefits (but not from Supplemental Security Income), obtaining income tax refunds, or filing property liens.

DCSE may report cases to credit collecting agencies or prepare cases involving unpaid support for courtroom action. DCSE draws upon several additional resources to locate noncustodial parents if the other parent struggles to get in touch.

Court Action

Although DCSE can help to prepare unpaid support cases for court, only the judge determines whether noncompliant spouses or parents are incarcerated. Those found in contempt due to failure to pay child support could be sentenced to jail for up to twelve months. You’ll enjoy far greater chances of serving justice if you work with a skilled family attorney, who can advocate aggressively on your behalf.

If you’re struggling with child or spousal support arrangements in Virginia, contact DiPietro Law Group at your earliest convenience. With prompt legal support, it may be possible to enforce existing orders.


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