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March 2013 Archives

My former spouse owes me over $10,000 in past due spousal and/or child support payments. What can I do to make him/her pay?

If your former spouse is obligated to pay you spousal support, child support, or both, but fails to do so, there are a number of options available to you to enforce that obligation. If the obligation only exists in the form of a settlement agreement-a contract signed by you and your former spouse but not by a judge- then your only option is to file a lawsuit against your former spouse and try to obtain a judgment against him or her for the past due payments. Once you have obtained a judgment, you will have to take the initiative in trying to collect it, such as by garnishing your former spouse's wages or bank accounts.

My husband told me that since he makes more money than me, he will get custody of our children. Is this true?

Income and custody of children have virtually nothing to do with one another. One parent having a higher income or superior financial resources does not, in and of itself, make that parent a preferable custodian for minor children. The factors that the court is required, by Virginia law, to consider in making custody and visitation decisions do not include the relative financial means of the parents, or their respective incomes. Rather, the factors focus on each parents' respective ability to attend to the physical, emotional and academic needs of the children; their respective relationships with the children; their roles in the children's upbringing; each parent's propensity to facilitate the other parent's relationship with the children; and other issues that focus on the children's best interests.

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Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C.
11320 Random Hills Road
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Fair Oaks Commerce Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

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