The Circuit Court in Adcock held that child support obligations were not the type of judgments controlled by Virginia Code § 8.01-251(A), as they were ongoing payments and not liquidated, making the 20-year statute of limitations inapplicable and the father responsible for the past-due payments. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, before being appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court.
Reversing the decision of the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court in Adcock ruled that child support payments are vested unmodifiable judgments when they become due, and are not seen as an ongoing obligation until emancipation of the child or children. As each payment has a determined due date, the Supreme Court held that Virginia Code 8.01-251 (A) applies a 20-year statute of limitations to each child support payment from the date that each payment is due as expressed by the court order.
Therefore, under the Supreme Court’s ruling in Adcock, failure to bring an enforcement action within 20 years after the date that a child support obligation was due will prevent any court or agency from collecting a payment for that obligation. However, since each payment is a separate judgment, a court can bifurcate those payments which are barred by the statute of limitations from those which are not.
If you have questions about past due child support, contact an experienced family law attorney in your area. Livesay & Myers, P.C. has a team of experienced family lawyers across offices in Fairfax, Arlington, Leesburg, Manassas, and Fredericksburg, representing clients across Northern Virginia. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.