Virginia has an agency with the sole mission of collecting child support. It’s called the Division of Child Support Enforcement and is known by the acronym DCSE. Here is the link to their site.
DCSE will go to court for the custodial parent to get an order for child support. They will also go to court to enforce that order. Every day, all over Virginia, lawyers for DCSE get child support orders started and have parents who fail to pay their support put in jail.
DCSE suffers from the usual problems of a large government agency. It can be frustrating to deal with them both for the person paying and the person receiving the child support. Parties who have to pay support complain to us that DCSE treats them rudely and is unresponsive when they call. Recipients complain to us that DCSE is slow to act.
When we are representing recipients what we often do is try to jump start the DCSE process. We will file a petition for support and ask the clerk’s office to set the hearing on a day when DCSE will have its lawyer in court. When we want to have a non-paying parent held in contempt but want to save the client money, we will file the petition and have it set on a DCSE day.
When we represent the paying parent, we try to negotiate with DCSE but often have to file a case in court to have a judge resolve the issue.