Modifications & Enforcement

Fredericksburg Modification & Enforcement Attorneys

Serving Clients Throughout Northern Virginia

At Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC, we understand the constantly changing dynamics of family life. As such, we recognize that there may be times when existing court orders related to family law matters, such as custody, visitation, or support, may require modification or enforcement.

Whether you wish to enforce a parent’s child support obligation or modify your custodial arrangement because of a change in circumstances, our modification and enforcement attorneys can offer you personalized counsel. We bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to each case, backed by a commitment to deliver personalized, compassionate, and effective legal solutions. We also have a proven track record of assisting our clients navigate through these challenging processes with dignity and respect.

Reach out to our team online or via phone at (540) 306-5780.

Common Violations of Custody/Visitation Orders

Here are some of the most common ways parents or guardians violate child custody or visitation orders in Virginia:

  • Refusing to conduct custody exchanges (in general or as a means to try to force payments of child support arrears)
  • Concealing the child’s whereabouts during visitation times
  • Taking the child on unapproved trips and/or across state lines
  • Allowing unauthorized parties around the child during custody or visitation time

Enforcing Child Custody & Support Orders

When a parent violates a custody or visitation order in Virginia, the court takes it seriously. The aggrieved parent can file a motion for contempt, and if the court finds the offending parent in violation, it can impose various penalties, including fines, modification of the custody or visitation order, or even jail time in severe cases.

If you file a motion of contempt, you will need to have proof to present to court to substantiate your claim. Be sure to collect and keep any evidence of order violations. Evidence can include:

  • Messages exchanged between both parties
  • Audio recordings
  • Protective orders

Can Virginia Police Enforce a Child Custody Order?

Yes, law enforcement officers can intervene and enforce custody orders in Virginia. However, they primarily get involved with cases that involve abuse, kidnapping, violence, or other criminal violations as well.

Please note that you should not call the police every time your co-parent is late for a drop-off or violates your existing orders. You should only contact the authorities if you believe your child is in danger.

Call (540) 306-5780 to Request a Consultation

The impressive track record of Butler Moss O'Neal, PLC is underpinned by the vast experience, education, and credentials of our team of attorneys. We are proud to be equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of the legal system confidently.

If you need help modifying or enforcing your family court orders, our Fredericksburg attorneys are here and equipped to help. When you retain our services, you can trust our team to work to keep you informed at every stage, providing practical and functional legal solutions tailored to your unique situations.

Contact our team to discuss your case with our attorneys.

They made going through a divorce as pleasant as can be... they kept me laughing when I felt like crying.

- L.F.
  • Can a Virginia Court award a spouse military survivor coverage in a divorce?

    Yes, Section 20-107.3(G)(2) authorizes the Circuit Court in a Virginia divorce to “order a party to designate a spouse or former spouse as irrevocable beneficiary during the lifetime of the beneficiary of all or a portion of any survivor benefit or annuity plan of whatsoever nature, but not to include a life insurance policy except to the extent permitted by Section 20-107.1:1.”

    This includes the Survivor Benefit Plan, commonly referred to as SBP, which is available to spouse and former spouses of military service members.

  • Can child support in Virginia be ordered to continue past the age of 18?

    Yes. Section 20-124.2(C) of the Virginia Code provides that support will continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs.

    The court may also order the continuation of support for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) severely and permanently mentally or physically disabled, (ii) unable to live independently and support himself, and (iii) resides in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support. In addition, the court may confirm a stipulation or agreement of the parties which extends a support obligation beyond when it would otherwise terminate as provided by law.

  • When can a Virginia Court issue a Protective Order, and what can a Protective Order Do?

    Protective Orders 101

    In Virginia protective orders can be issued between family or household members under Virginia Code Section 16.1-253.1 or if the parties do not meet the definition of family or household member, under Virginia Code Section 19.2-152.9.  Family or household members is defined by the Virginia Code as, “the person’s spouse, the person’s former spouse, the person’s parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, in-laws, individuals with a child in common and individuals that cohabitate within the previous 12 months.”

    Under Virginia Code Section 16.1-253.1, a preliminary protective order in cases of family abuse may be granted in an ex parte proceeding.  Ex partemeans that only the petitioner goes before a judge seeking a protective order. The Court may grant the preliminary protective order upon an affidavit or sworn testimony by the Petitioner.  In order to grant the preliminary protective order, the court must find the following:  The Petitioner was the subject of an act involving violence, force, or threat that resulted in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.  The events alleged by the Petitioner under Virginia Code Section 16.1-253.1 must have taken place within a, “reasonable period of time.”

    When granting a preliminary protective order, the Court may impose the following conditions: prohibit acts of family abuse, prohibit contact between family members, grant possession of residence to petitioner, grant possession of vehicles, grant possession of companion animals as defined and prohibit either party from cutting off utilities to homes.

    Within 15 days of the issuance of a preliminary protective order, the court under Virginia Code Section 16.1-279.1 must hold a full hearing on the matter.  This means that the Respondent has the ability to hear the evidence against them, confront their accuser, cross-examine the accuser and put on any evidence they wish for the court to hear.  At the conclusion of the full hearing, if the court finds that by a preponderance of the evidence that the Petitioner has proven they are the victim of family abuse, a final protective order, for up to two years may be issued against the Respondent.  At the conclusion of a full hearing for a protective order in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, either party may appeal the outcome to the Circuit Court within 10 days of the ruling.

    Individuals that do not meet the definition of family or household members may seek a protective order under Virginia Code Section 19.2-152.9, in the General District Court if they have been subjected to violence, force or threat.

  • Can a Virginia court order that a parent pay college expenses for a child?
    Yes and no. Virginia law does not allow the court, on its own, to order that child support include the payment of college expenses. However, if the parents enter into a written agreement providing that one or both of the parents have to pay for college, the court can enforce the parents’ agreement.
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