Yes. If your former partner got a significant raise, you may be entitled to obtain a child support modification in Virginia. Under state law (Va. Code § 20-108.2), there are pre-established guidelines that are used to calculate child support awards. Each parent’s financial means is one of the most important factors in determining how much child support will be granted. When financial circumstances change, such as when the non-custodial parent’s income increases, that can be good cause to obtain a child support modification
A Substantial Change in Income Could Justify a Child Support Modification
Virginia courts are not interested in re-litigating the same child support case over and over again. For this reason, parties are typically required to wait three years to get their child support arrangement reviewed by a court. That being said, exceptions are made when there is good reason to do so. In special circumstances, a court will not make you wait three years to get a review of a child support order. More specifically, if there has been a material change in circumstances then you may be eligible to get a child support award modified — regardless of how long it has been since the child support order was initially put into place. If your former partner got a very large raise, that may qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. It depends on the nature of the change in income. A couple of extra dollars per month is not likely to be sufficient.
Understanding the Process for Modifying Child Support in Virginia
If your former partner is willing to cooperate, modifying child support is fairly straightforward. However, the process can be far more complicated if your ex refuses to cooperate or refuses to make payments. If you are seeking to get increased child support on the grounds of that your ex is bringing in substantially more income, you will generally need to submit a Motion to Amend or Review Order (Virginia Form DC-630). It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer regarding this form.
There are Tools Available to Collect Delinquent Child Support
Unfortunately, even after child support awards are modified, some parents still refuse to make full payments. In Virginia, custodial parents have several different enforcement options available to collect overdue child support payments. As explained by the City of Virginia Beach, the Virginia Department of Social Services can take legal action against the delinquent parent. Among other things, state authorities can:
- Order additional withholding or garnish wages;
- Suspend a person’s driver’s license or other professional license;
- Intercept a state/federal tax return; and
- Attach a lien to personal property.
Contact Our Virginia Child Support Modification Lawyers Today
At Shannon & Associates, P.C., our Virginia child support attorneys have extensive experience handling the full range of child support modification claims. If you are seeking a child support modification, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm for a strictly confidential consultation.
With offices in Suffolk and Chesapeake, we represent parents in Virginia Beach and throughout the Hampton Roads region.