Virginia child support services are available to custodial parents, legal guardians, non-custodial parents or agencies and certain individuals who have physical custody of a child in the state. Through the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) under the state Department of Social Services, parents or legal guardians receive the financial and medical support they need to properly care for the children in their homes. These child support services are available to parents regardless of whether they were ever married to one another or divorced. Additionally, child support lawyers are available to help custodial parents collect support payments from the non-custodial parent. To get started, parents can find child support legal services here to better understand the process and their rights. To learn more about finding a child support attorney in Virginia, review the sections below.
What is child support in Virginia?
Child support is meant to provide custodial parents or legal guardians with the financial support they need to care for a child after a divorce, annulment, separation or dissolution of a civil union. “What does child support cover?” is a question residents may ask. Child support payments include coverage for food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses, educational fees, child care and basic transportation needs. In some cases, child support costs may cover extracurricular activities for the child, including sports activities, camping trips or college expenses. Child support services and payment amounts vary depending on each specific situation, but a child support attorney can help parents receive the greatest amount of support for their child. Parents who wish to obtain child support in Virginia can search for child support legal services here.
Additionally, the Virginia child support enforcement division (DCSE) is available to assist custodial parents who wish to collect child support payments from non-custodial mothers or fathers. The state’s child support enforcement division offers the following services:
- Free family engagement services
- Online account access
- Paternity establishment
- Assistance in locating absent parents
- Support order assistance
However, there are several child support services the DCSE cannot help with. In Virginia, the DCSE does not represent custodial or non-custodial parents and it does not offer legal advice. Instead, parents can seek counsel from a child support lawyer who specializes in family law. If custodial parents wish to inquire about child support lawyers’ fees in Virginia, then they must contact child support lawyers privately to obtain legal advice.
How to Get Child Support in Virginia
Child support services are available to custodial parents, noncustodial parents and certain agencies who care for a child. As such, custodial parents may apply for child support payments through the child support enforcement by visiting a local DCSE office, downloading and printing an application from the website or by calling the division. To apply for child support in Virginia using the mail-in or in-person method, claimants must complete a Child Support Enforcement Services Application and submit it with all applicable attachments, including birth certificates, court orders, administrative support orders, paternity determination documents, guardianship documents or protective orders. In addition to completing the child support application, claimants may need to complete a Statement of Payments Received. If applicants prefer to receive payments via Direct Deposit, then they must complete the Electronic Funds Transfer Information and Authorization Agreement as well.
After completing the application for child support services in Virginia, custodial parents or legal guardians may submit the forms by mail, fax or in person at a local DCSE District Office. Additionally, claimants may work with child support attorneys if they wish to receive legal assistance during the application process. To find child support legal services in VA, claimants can begin a search by clicking here.
The Importance of Virginia Child Support Lawyers
Hiring a knowledgeable child support attorney is crucial for custodial parents or legal guardians who wish to obtain child support payments from the non-custodial mother or father, even when a divorce or separation is amicable. However, a child support lawyer is especially useful in more difficult cases where the two parties do not get along or share a difficult past. Child support laws can be confusing and difficult to understand, especially during an already stressful time. Additionally, VA child support attorneys can help parents with the various child support services the DCSE cannot provide, such as legal assistance or representation. Other benefits of hiring a child support attorney when making VA child support requests include the following:
- Legal paternity establishment
- Application assistance
- Outlining child support payment terms
- Payment method determination
- Collecting outstanding payments from the non-custodial parent
- Making modifications to existing support agreements
- Ensuring that custodial parents receive all the benefits due to them
Furthermore, child support lawyers’ fees in Virginia often vary depending on the types of services parents wish to receive. In some cases, child support lawyers may work for a flat fee. However, these child support lawyer fees are minimal in comparison to the cost of caring for a child without the help of another parent. Before seeking child support, it is important to take all child care costs into consideration, including the cost of food, shelter, clothing, education and medical expenses. To find an affordable child support lawyer in VA after a separation or divorce, custodial parents can look for child support legal assistance here.