One of the more common issues when dealing with family law is the issue of Child Support. Within this topic are several areas that become common pitfalls for many individuals.
“Backed up” Child Support (Arrears)
This type of child support issue is by far the most common. This typically involves a petition that is filed by an individual that is Ordered to be paid child support by another biological parent. When child support is Ordered by a court, typically child support must be paid immediately. The petition for child support may be done by the biological parent or, a full services DCSE (Department of Child Support Enforcement) case may be pending, in which your local DCSE attorney will be responsible for the matter. In either case, failure to pay child support may result in a Motion to Show Cause. If you find yourself facing such a Motion, please contact me immediately as there are many viable solutions to assist you.
Inability to Afford Current Child Support Arrangements/Payments
This type of child support issue is very common because, quite frankly, not many individuals are aware of what can be done once a court Order is in effect with respect to child support. What do I mean? What I mean is that when an Order is given by a Court to pay child support, many individuals fail to think long term in providing reasonable financial numbers to calculate child support obligations. By failing to do this, many people feel as though they are forced or locked into paying a certain amount of child support each month, which could ultimately lead to a Motion to Show Cause for backed-up child support payments. Fortunately, there is no need to panic or worry! There are several things an individual can do to adjust the amount of child support obligations according to what he/she can afford.
Much like child support, spousal support is a point of concern for many individuals. Similarly, spousal support has some common areas that many people find themselves in.
Re-Marriage or New Boyfriend/Girlfriend
One of the most popular questions I come across is, “what can I do if I am paying spousal support and my ex is now married (or has a new boyfriend or girlfriend)? The answer is…a LOT. Many people do not realize that spousal support obligations can be terminated if the person receiving spousal support gets re-married or has a new boyfriend/girlfriend. Many jurisdictions, including Virginia, are not fond of the idea of “double dipping” and getting benefits from a former spouse or significant other, while getting benefits from a new counterpart. As such, motions can be filed to discontinue or stop your current spousal support obligations. If you feel you are in a situation where you are unjustly paying for spousal support, feel free to contact me as soon as possible!
Spousal Support (or Child Support) Calculations were Used with Incorrect Numbers?
If you are reading this portion, then chances are you have already gone through the child/spousal support calculation guidelines and have already been in court. You are probably also telling yourself that the calculations that were used to derive the obligation numbers were inaccurate. If that is the case, hope is not lost. In many instances, you may be able to get right back in to court and adjust the obligation numbers to where they need to be. If you would like to do so, please do not hesitate to contact me as needed!