Virginia Child Support Enforcement Resource Center

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Virginia Child Support Enforcement Resource Center

Even if the non-custodial parent lives outside the state of Virginia, the law requires cooperation between states. The non-custodial parent is legally required to make regular child support payments, regardless of where they live.

Virginia Support Enforcement Measures

If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with Federal and Virginia child support law to collect regular and past-due payments.

  • Income withholding – a portion of the noncustodial parent’s paycheck is automatically taken out and applied to the child support order
  • Intercepting state and federal income tax refunds
  • Placing liens on real or personal property
  • Reporting the noncustodial parent’s child support debt to credit reporting agencies
  • Garnishing other income or financial assets
  • Suspending Virginia driver’s and occupation licenses

Who Can Enforce Court Ordered Child Support in Virginia?

The Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement is the state-run child support enforcement office for Virginia. The Virginia Department of Social Services is required by federal law to provide services through Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) and is funded by the federal government and the state of Virginia.

Full Time Equiv. Staff 1,005
Total Caseload 349,243

1 U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Boxscores for FY 2005

Interest on Missed Child Support Payments

Virginia provides for interest to be charged on late child support payments and adjudicated arrears at a rate of 6% on amounts unpaid after 30 days.

Virginia Statute of Limitations on Back Child Support Payments (Arrears)

Enforcement of past due child support in Virginia is not subject to a Statute of Limitations.

Virginia Statute of Limitations for Determination of Paternity

In Virginia, paternity must be established by the child’s 18th birthday.

Age of Emancipation / Age of Majority in Virginia

The age of emancipation in Virginia is 18 years of age. Support may continue for any dependent child that is a full-time high school student and living in the home of the parent, until the child reaches age 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. (Code of Virginia, 16.1-228)

How Are Child Support Payment Amounts Determined in Virginia?

Virginia uses the Child Support Guideline established by the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia’s Guideline takes into account things as the needs of the child and each parent’s income. The Guideline is available at all public libraries and child support offices throughout the Commonwealth. The actual amount of the order ultimately depends on the individual circumstances of each case.

Custody and Visitation Issues

Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. The court determines both and will usually order the non-custodial parent to pay support and the custodial parent to make the child available for visits.

The custodial parent must obey the court order for visitation, even if the non-custodial parent cannot or will not pay child support. The court can enforce any of its orders against either parent.