How Long Can You Be Held For Child Support Debt?

resized jail imageQuestion:

How long can you be held for missing child support payments?


I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information regarding your situation.

In Virginia where I practice, a person can either be brought to court for not paying child support by a criminal or a civil contempt proceeding.

Virginia Beach divorce attorney Jonah Dickey
Virginia Beach divorce attorney Jonah Dickey

If served with a criminal violation of not paying child support the court may issue jail time up to 10 days or up to 12 months, depending on what statute the proceeding was filed under.

If served with a show cause for civil contempt the court can issue jail time up to 12 months, but often if the judge gives the party active jail time he will also issue a “purge clause,” which is an amount of money, which if paid towards the support arrearages will allow the party to be released from jail.

Anyone facing criminal or civil contempt for failure to pay child support needs to immediately seek the counsel of a domestic litigation attorney in their state.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Virginia divorce lawyer Jonah Dickey, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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2 comments on “How Long Can You Be Held For Child Support Debt?

    Yes, if the issue was preserved in the trial court.
    The woman had already entered into a child support contract, and now sought to break that contract with other terms.
    Would seem that the terms of the original agreement are precedential.
    That would be the issue to appeal on.

    Recently, my husband was involved with a woman in court who wanted back support for 18years 2 months before her son turned 18 yrs of age. The judge listed documents to bring to the trial and set a discovery date. She did not have tax returns for 8 of the years in question. At the trial she brought only w-2s and estimated some expenses such as the amount of support two other men paid her. My husband had to have complete tax returned and receipts for everything, no estimation. It was very discrimatory that she could skate by with incomplete financial documentation. They found in her favor for $50,000. We want to appeal as she never asked for this money until he was almost 18 yrs. She had requested to not go through the court system and set the amount she wanted each month. My husband never missed a payment. Do you think we have rounds to appeal.

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