This is the first post in what will be a discussion on modifying child support in Virginia. I am writing on this topic due to the fact that there are many instances where a parent is paying more than they should be or, inversely, one is receiving less than they should. Too often, such parents do not take action because they do not understand their options. The goal of my coming articles is to provide information which can help people understand that they do have options. It is also my goal to provide information which will assist in the selection of an attorney. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
I will be addressing a number of topics over my coming articles. Issues which I will analyze include:
- Situations in which one may request a modification of their child support
- Why one should immediately request a modification if their income has gone down
- How “underemployment” can result in a child support modification
- The process of modifying child support
These are important topics to address. First, contrary to what some believe, the Court’s support order is not set in stone. It is possible to request a modification when one’s income has gone up or down, or when enough time has elapsed. Second, it is important to immediately request an adjustment if your income has gone down. Many make the mistake of engaging in “self help” and simply paying an amount less than what is required by their current order. Such conduct, however, can result in one being found in contempt of court. Third, when a parent is choosing to earn less than what they are capable of then the Court may find that they are “underemployed.” Such a finding can result in the parent paying an amount that is disproportionate to their actual income. Finally, understanding the modification process can help a parent to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
It is crucial that you contact an attorney if you wish to alter your current monthly obligation. If you are unable to make your curren payments then, again, you risk being held in contempt. A contempt finding can result in incarceration and having to pay the other parent’s legal fees. By dealing with the situation sooner, rather than later, you help yourself to avoid unnecessary problems. As a child support lawyer I am able to assist with such cases. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. We serve clients in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, as well as the surrounding counties of Northampton, Isle of Wight, York and James City.