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West Virginia State Law

A. General/Program-At-A-Glance

A1. How many local IV-D offices are in your state (excluding agencies with cooperative agreements)?
Of the 55 West Virginia Counties, 35 are served by full time offices. The others are served part time from a larger office.
A2. Does your state have statutes that define the attorney-client relationship between the state's attorney and the agency only?
Yes
A2.1. If yes, what is the statutory citation?
WV Code 48-18-110; 48-19-101 to 105;and 48-24-105.
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A2.2. Did your state have the state's bar counsel issue an opinion setting the attorney-client relationship?
No
A2.3. If yes, please explain.
NA

B. UIFSA

B1. What is the statutory citation for your state's UIFSA?
WV Code 48-16-101 to 903.
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B2. How many copies or sets of documents does your state need for an intergovernmental case referral?
Two copies, including one certified copy of all orders to be registered (including modification orders).

C. Reciprocity

C1. With which foreign countries does your state have a state level reciprocal agreement for child support enforcement? (Do not include federal foreign reciprocating countries in your answer.)
No agreements.
C1.1. Does your state exercise its option to receive Federal Funding Participation (FFP) for enforcement of spousal-only orders for foreign reciprocating countries?
No
C1.2. If yes, please explain.
N/A
C2. Has your state established reciprocity with any Native American tribal courts?
No
C2.1. If yes, list the tribes and identify services provided, if less than full services.
N/A
C3. Does your state accept direct applications from parents in non-reciprocating or non-treaty countries?
Yes
C4. When a Hague Convention country seeks registration of a Convention support order in your state, does your state allow the country to send an abstract (or summary) of the order on the Hague Abstract of a Decision form in lieu of the complete text? (See UIFSA 706 (b) (1).) **
Yes, WV Code 48-16-706

D. Age of Majority

D1. What is the age of majority in your state?
18 years.
D2. What is the statutory citation for the age of majority?
WV Code 2-3-1
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D3. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
18 years
D4. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied?
No
D4.1. If yes, please explain.
N/A
D5. Does child support end if the child leaves the household, but does not emancipate?
No
D5.1. Optional comments regarding emancipation.
Occurs automatically upon marriage. (WV Code 49-4-115(c))
D6. Does your state allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under any circumstances (for example, the child is handicapped or in college)?
Yes
D6.1. If yes, please explain.
Courts must order support for an 18 and 19 year old when the child is NOT married, remains in caretaker's household while enrolled in secondary school and is making substantial progress toward a diploma. In some situations, child support may be extended if the child is handicapped. (WV Code 48-11-103)
D7. Does your state automatically reduce current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in an order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates?
No
D7.1. If yes, please describe the procedure.
N/A
D8. Does your state accept a application from a party after all of the children on the case have emancipated?
An adult child may apply between the ages of 18-21.
D8.1 If not, how does this affect interstate referrals?
N/A

E. Statute of Limitations

E1. What is your State's statute of limitations for collection of past-due support?
10 years. (WV Code 38-3-18) For cases originating after June 7, 2008, 10 years from the date the last child covered under the order emancipates.
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E2. What is your State's statute of limitations for paternity establishment?
Child's 18th birthday. Child may bring an action in his/her own right after the child's 18th birthday, but prior to the 21st birthday. (WV code 48-24-101)
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E3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible?
Yes
E3.1. If yes, please explain the circumstances when it's possible and how long it's possible.
Dormancy revival is not possible. However, issuance of a writ of execution before the statute of limitations runs out will renew a judgment for another 10 years. There is no limit upon the number of renewals.(WV code 38-3-18)
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F. Support Details

F1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Shared Income Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Shared Income Model (WV Code 48-13)
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F2. Does your state charge interest on arrears?
Yes
F2.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
5% per annum simple interest beginning 7/1/08; 10% per annum simple interest from 7/1/95 to 6/30/08. Other rates applied prior to July 1995. (WV Code 48-1-302)
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F3. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support?
Yes
F3.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
See F2.1 1) No pre-judgment interest is charged. 2) Once the retroactive support becomes a judgment, interest is charged from the date of the order forward.
F4. Does your state charge interest on adjudicated arrears?
Yes
F4.1. If yes, please indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
See F2.1
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F5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for 50 percent of the uninsured portion?
Yes
F5.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
If the obligor's amount is reduced to a judgment.
F6. Does your state elect to recover costs or charge fees in your IV-D state plan?
No
F6.1. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligee?
N/A
F6.2. If yes, what costs are recovered from or fees charged to the obligor?
N/A
F7. Does your state recover costs on behalf of the initiating state?
No
F7.1. Optional comments regarding recovery of initiating state's fees.
N/A
F8. What is the statutory citation for your state's long-arm statute to establish or enforce child support?
WV Code 48-16-201
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F9. Does your state establish, enforce, or modify spousal maintenance orders?
Yes
F9.1. If yes, under what circumstances?
WV will only enforce an existing order. WV Code 48-16-211
F10. Does your state require the initiating state to include information about the new spouse or partner upon a request for establishment or modification? (See General Testimony, AT-11-07)
N/A
F10.1. Optional comments regarding required information on spouse or partner.
N/A
F11. How does your state impose and collect the mandatory annual fee applicable to IV-D cases for people who never received IV-A assistance?
Currently, the State pays the fee.
F11.1. Does your state collect the fee by retaining the support collected on behalf of the person but not the first $550?
No.
F11.2 Does your state collect the fee from the person applying for IV-D services?
No.
F11.3. Does your state collect the fee from the absent parent?
No.
F11.4. Does your state pay the fee out of its own funds?
Yes.
F12. When did your state implement the required Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) limited-assignment provision?
7/1/2009
F13. Will your state pass through (and disregard for TANF eligibility purposes) the excepted portion to families in current assistance cases?
Yes
F14. Does your state participate in the pass-through in former assistance cases?
No
F14.1. If yes, provide the date.
N/A
F15. Will your state discontinue eligible assignments under the DRA of 2005?
Yes
F15.1. If yes, list the eligible assignments your state would discontinue.
1. All assignments executed prior to 10/1/97; 2. Assignments of pre-assistance arrears executed from 10/1/97 to 6/30/2009.
F15.2. When will your state discontinue each type of assignment?
7/1/2009
F16. Does your state follow PRWORA or DRA distribution ordering rules in former assistance cases?
DRA
F17. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving TANF with a different payee?
1) The TANF applicant/recipient (new caretaker) (or BCSE worker) signs an affidavit stating that the child is now living with her/him and is receiving TANF benefits; 2) A letter along with a copy of the affidavit are mailed to the Obligor, the court-ordered payee, the new caretaker, and the Circuit Clerk that issued the order giving them 10 days to object to the redirection of support; 3) If no objection is received, a notice of the redirection is mailed to the parties and to the Circuit Clerk that issued the original order informing them that payments will be redirected to the new caretaker. Any support received for that child after the notice of redirection is mailed is retained by the State to reimburse the TANF benefits. WV Code 48-18-114
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F17.1. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is receiving Medicaid only with a different payee?
1) The adult custodian of a child receiving Medicaid only (the new caretaker) signs an affidavit stating that the child is now living with her/him; 2) A letter along with a copy of the affidavit are mailed to the Obligor, the court-ordered payee, the new caretaker, and the Circuit Clerk giving them 10 days to object to the redirection of support; 3) If no objection is received, a notice of the redirection is mailed to the parties and to the Circuit Clerk that issued the original order informing them that payments will be redirected to the new caretaker. Any support received for that child after the notice of redirection is mailed is forwarded to the new caretaker. WV Code 48-18-114
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F17.2. What are your state's requirements to redirect payments from the court-order payee when a child on the order is with a different payee and not receiving TANF or Medicaid only?
1) The new caretaker must first apply for BCSE services; 2) The new caretaker signs an affidavit stating that the child is now living with her/him and provides documentation that she/he is now responsible for the child; 3) A letter along with a copy of the affidavit are mailed to the Obligor, the court-ordered payee, the new caretaker, and the Circuit Clerk giving them 10 days to object to the redirection of support; 4) If no objection is received, a notice of the redirection is mailed to the parties and to the Circuit Clerk that issued the original order informing them that payments will be redirected to the new caretaker. Any support received for that child after the notice of redirection is mailed is forwarded to the new caretaker. WV Code 48-18-114
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F17.3. How does your state collect the $35.00 annual fee on never-TANF cases?
The State pays the fee out of its own funds.
F18. Will your state recover costs from a U.S. resident non-custodial parent in foreign reciprocating or treaty cases?
No
F18.1 If yes, describe all costs arising in practice (for example, court costs or legal fees).
N/A
F19. Does your state send CSENet transactions to request interest information?(MSC R GRINT)
Yes
F20. Does your state send CSENet transactions to provide another state with interest and arrears information? (MSC P GSTAI)
Yes

G. Income Withholding

G1. What specific source of income is not subject to withholding?
TANF benefits, SSI, VA Disability. (WV Code 48-1-228(d))
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G2. Does your state have any limits on income withholding in addition to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits?
Yes
G2.1. If yes, what are those limits?
WV Code 48-14-408 reduces the CCPA limits by 10% each, i.e., to 40% - 55%. Also, in a case with current support, the arrearage collection cannot be more than 25% of the current support amount. The 25% limit can be increased by $100 per month if the Obligor owes an arrearage greater than or equal to 6 months support. The 25% limit can be increased by $200 per month if the Obligor's income is $65,000 or more and the arrearage greater than or equal to 12 months support. In addition, the source of income may withhold up to 50% of any bonus. (WV Code 48-14-408; and 48-14-801.)
G3. What is the allowable fee per pay period employers may charge for processing income withholding payments?
The employer is entitled to deduct a fee of $1 for each withholding. (WV Code 48-14-406(c))
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G4. After receiving an income withholding order or notice, what is the date by which the employer is required to implement income withholding?
No later than the 1st pay period or first date for payment of income that occurs after 14 days following the date the notice to the source of income was mailed. (WV Code 48-14-407; 48-14-409)
G5. What is the date by which an employer must remit amounts withheld from an employee's pay?
Same day as employee is paid. (WV Code 48-14-407)
G6. What are your state's procedures for sanctioning employers for not implementing income withholding?
Provides misdemeanor with fine up to $100 or civil suit for damages. Contempt proceedings may be filed against the employer and the employer is liable for the accumulated amount the employer should have withheld from the obligor's wages. (WV Code 48-14-407(6) and (8); 48-14-13; 48-14-414; 48-14-415)
G7. What is the penalty to an employer for failure to remit payments withheld?
Same as G-6.
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G8. Does your state allow direct income withholding of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits across state lines?
No
G8.1. Explain your process for receiving direct withholding orders across state lines.
N/A
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G8.2. What documents are required to intercept UI benefits?
Transmittal-1, Confidential Information Form, a certified copy of all orders, and certified accounting.
G9. Does your state allow direct income withholding of workers' compensation (WC) benefits across state lines?
Yes
G9.1. Optional comments regarding direct withholding of WC benefits across state lines.
The WV workers compensation market has over 300 carriers. https://www.wvinsurance.gov/Workers-Compensation
G10. How does an obligor contest income withholding in your state?
The Obligor may contest the income withholding, in writing, to the BCSE and an administrative review will be scheduled. If the issues cannot be resolved at the administrative review, the obligor may petition the court for a resolution. (WV Code 48-14-405)
G11. When the obligor has more than one claim for child support against his or her income, what is your state's priority scheme for income-withholding orders? For example, the employer should allocate the available amount for withholding equally among all orders or prorate available amount across orders.
The employer should withhold the amount requested in each of the withholdings, if possible. However, if the obligor's income is not enough to pay the full amount, the employer should withhold up to WV's limit. Money is remitted under the obligor's SSN and the State's system allocates. Current support is paid proportionately between all the obligor's cases. Current support is paid first on all cases before any money is distributed to arrearages. Arrearages paid are divided evenly between all of the Obligor's cases owed an arrearage. (WV Code 48-14-408). The employer may call the WV Employer Relations Unit hotline at 800-835-4683 for clarification or online at https://dhhr.wv.gov/bcse/employers/Pages/Contact Employer Relations.aspx
G11.1. If an employer in your state receives more than one income withholding order for child support from other states, can the employer request your assistance?
Yes
G11.2. If assistance is not available, explain how employers should proceed. Provide a citation for the state law that governs how they should proceed.
WV Code 48-14-408
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G12. Does your state require any mandatory deductions, such as union dues or medical insurance premiums, to arrive at net pay from gross pay when calculating disposable income for child support purposes?
Disposable income means that part remaining after the deduction of any amounts required by law to be withheld. (WV Code 48-1-223)
G13. When does your state require the employer to send notice of an employee's termination?
The source of income is required to notify the BCSE promptly when the obligor terminates employment or otherwise ceases receiving income from the source of income. (WV Code 48-14-412)
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G14. How long should an employer retain the income withholding orders (IWO) after terminating an employee, in anticipation of reinstating the withholding should the employee be rehired?
WV law does not provide a time limit.
G15. Does your state charge any fees to the obligor that the employer must withhold and remit to the state?
No.
G16. Does your state offer an alternate web-based payment mechanism in addition to paper and EFT/EDI?
Yes. Payments can be paid by credit card or electronic check online or by calling 1-866-842-7317 (automated system) or 1-800-385-7097 (live person).
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G17. Can another state send a direct income withholding order to any of the following in your state: employer, financial institution (explain which institutions), bureau of workers' compensation, or other income payer?
Yes - to employers, financial institutions, and Workers' Compensation. WV Code 48-14-307
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G18. If there is insufficient income for an employer to withhold for both the total amount of child support and medical support, describe your state's prioritization between child support and medical support.
The current month's child support obligation shall receive priority and be deducted in full prior to any deduction for payment of either current medical support or health insurance premium. WV Code 48-14-408
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G19. If your state has more than one state or jurisdiction requesting to collect support for the same obligor/obligee combination under the same court order for the same children, (for example where current support goes to the CP and other states have claims for past periods based on payment of TANF), what is your state's procedure for distributing payments among these arrears claims?
Current support is paid first and divided proportionally among current support orders. Payment on arrears are divided evenly among the cases.
G20. If your practice for distribution of payments between cases is directed by state law or rule, what is the citation?
WV Code 48-18-113
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G21. Does your state's law require a signature on the income withholding order?
No

H. Paternity

H1. When your state enters an order establishing paternity, do you also address issues of custody and visitation?
No
H1.1. If yes, please explain.
Not in most circumstances. The Family Court Judge may address custody and visitation; however, the BCSE does not litigate nor participate in custody and visitation issues.
H2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
98% (WV Code 48-24-103)
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H3. Optional comments regarding legislation that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive.
WV Code 48-24-106, WV Code 16-5-10 are the statutes concerning paternity acknowledgments. Paternity affidavits are conclusive after the rescission period expires. The affidavit may be rescinded within the earlier of 60 days from the date of execution or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child in which the signatory is a party. After the rescission period ends, the affidavit can only be challenged on the grounds of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, upon a finding of clear and convincing evidence by a court of competent jurisdiction.
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H4. What is the effective date of the state law that makes paternity acknowledgments conclusive?
06/01/1989
H4.1. Were acknowledgments prior to that effective date rebuttable?
No
H4.2. Optional comments regarding paternity acknowledgments prior to that date.
No formal acknowledgment process existed before that date.
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