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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default When Will You Go to Jail Over Child Support Arrears

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: VA

    We went to court on the 4th and my ex was told that because he is going to jail he has the right to get a lawyer and if he wanted to do that. He said yes and we have to go back to court next month. I read online that a lawyer would usually (depending on the case of course) tell the non custodial parent to pay as much as they can before the court case and find a way to explain the non payment and request a way to catch up or some other plan to avoid jail. I know, no one can predict what will happen but I was wondering if anyone has any experience?

    Quick back story. He has not paid anything since 6/22. Between Jan-Jun he paid a total of $980 and his monthly child support is $550 a month plus $90 a month towards arrears. We agreed to that amount during court ordered mediation which was finalized in May. He is an independent contractor so wage garnishment is not an option. I assume he is working as he uses that as an excuse for not getting his daughter for visitation every other weekend.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,426

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    If he gets an attorney his attorney might very well give him similar advice. His attorney also might not. That also doesn't guarantee that he will listen to his attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    I suspect that the judge did not tell him to get a lawyer because he is going to jail. Probably that he should get a lawyer because the consequences include the possibility of going to jail. A lawyer he retains will do what s/he can to keep him out - most likely by making some sort of purge payment and a payment agreement for the rest. Since he's alreadt under order to pay off arrears, the judge may be less than sympathetic, but much depends on what the lawyer can come up with.

    ETA: As requested previously, please try to keep things in one thread - you complicate matters for yourself and the volunteers here when creating numerous threads. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    Yes, it is absolutely possible tha the Judge meant that there is a possibility but she pretty much just said to me that because he is going to jail he can talk to a lawyer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    2,287

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    What do you mean the judge "just" said to you he's going to jail? Anyone can talk to a lawyer at any time for any reason. I would think he'd be in jail by now if that was going to happen but sounds like he's been given time to find a lawyer and will probably get the opportunity to explain how he will pay and get time to pay it - and if he doesn't pay what's agree to in front of the judge THEN he may get a warrant for failure to pay child support.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    You are complaining about not getting a payment since 6/22. There are people on this forum who have not received any payment in YEARS and have 10s of thousands in arrears.

    You need to resign yourself to many, many years of non, slow or minimal payments. you need to plan to support your children on your own.

    If he is in jail, he is not working. No job equals no money. Be careful of what you wish for.

    Have realistic expectations. It will be difficult but not unusual.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,043

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    Quote Quoting kathak
    View Post
    I apologize. I misunderstood your request! I will do that from now on!
    And yes, that is absolutely possible tha the Judge meant that there is a possibility but she pretty much just said to me that because he is going to jail he can talk to a lawyer.
    In one of your previous posts, maybe the first one, you said the judge said that since there is a chance he would go to jail he needs a lawyer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,059

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    It is required of judges in Virginia to warn pro se defendants facing a possible jail time that they should consider an attorney. The judge doesn't need to consider whether he would jail the defendant or not. The only time this is not required is if the Commonwealth waives the jail option. Still I've seen judges warn defendants charged with misdemeanors.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    I hope it makes sense to continue this here.

    New court date is the 10th, he is in contempt of court (non payment of child support) and was given the chance for a lawyer. My ex suddenly sent me an email (probably after talking to a lawyer) asking all these questions about her school, after-school program, medical insurance, pediatrician, dentist, future doctor visits and so on. I answered most of them. Like, I dont think there is anything wrong with him knowing what school she is attending or what after school program he i supposed to pick her up from on fridays.

    He now wants to see the contract and proof of payment for her after-school program. I am certain he wants to use it to see if there is anything he can do in regards to child support.

    In our court order is written that he has to give me the address that he lives at. Makes sense to know where he lives should he actually get his daughter. I requested twice about his current address via text and once via email. He just sent me an answer in an email: The current address where I reside and is listed on my driver’s license is the XX address. That’s what was requested in the court order and our agreement and that’s the address you need.

    But its not the address he resides at. He is engaged (probably already married) has another child and lives with the family there. I know its getting kind of pitty but he has shown 0 interest in anything related to his daughter and now that we are going back to court he wants to know all these things. My question is, do I actually need to provide him this info? Our court order does not mention anything about what info we have to give to each other besides current address.

    Also, what info do I actually need to give him if any? He can ask for it yes, but am I required to give it to him? Anything not related to his daughter directly but in regards to taking care of her? Or can I just ignore his emails until court date? The court date is about child support not about custody or visitation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,059

    Default Re: Will He Go to Jail if a Judge Tells Him to Get a Lawyer

    Turn it over to your lawyer. Frankly, unless you have some unusual agreement all he has asked for is 100% immaterial as Virginia doesn't use any of that stuff in computing child support. It's pretty much a direct function of your respective salaries.

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