How Going to a Restraining Order Hearing Unprepared Can Result in Overpaying on Child Support for Years To Come
People are often surprised to learn that the Virginia courts have the authority to order child support for two years based on a hearing scheduled with 15 days' notice.
Normal Child Support Hearings
Traditional child support cases are scheduled for an initial hearing, then a trial. During the interim period between the initial hearing and final trial date, each party may issue questions and request documents related to income. This period is typically months, and at least several weeks (depending on which jurisdiction has the matter).
Child Support Determined During a Protective Order Hearing
Order of Protection hearings are not set months out. The final Order of Protection hearing is set within 15 days of the Preliminary Order of Protection's issuance. That gives parties a very limited window to do their due diligence regarding the other party's income, health insurance costs, and work-related childcare.
The Respondent (the person against whom the Order is sought) is put at a distinct disadvantage. He or she could be put in a position where the monthly child support payment does not reflect the income of the parties, and the only remedies are appealing the matter to Circuit Court or filing a separate child support action (both of which can take quite a long time).
Additionally, both of the above remedies (appealing or filing a separate child support action) have a distinct down side. While waiting for the appeal or support hearing to be heard the Respondent is still responsible for paying the monthly amount determined in the Protective Order Hearing.
The Importance Of Bringing a Lawyer to a Protective Order Hearing
To protect yourself, it's important to hire an attorney who understands the intersection of Orders of Protection (also called “restraining orders” colloquially) and child support. Two years is a long time to overpay. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.