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West Virginia State Law

1. General Program-At-A-Glance

1. How many local child support 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.
2. What is the name of your IV-D agency?
Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE).
3. Is your state administrative, judicial, or a combination of both? In particular, does your state primarily use judicial or administrative procedures to establish and/or enforce support orders? Please describe.
Establishment requires judicial action. Enforcing support uses both. Administrative remedies are I/W, credit bureau, tax offsets, etc. Judicial remedies are contempt, liens, writs, criminal, etc.
4. Does your state use the following applications: EDE, CSENET, QUICK?
Yes, WV uses all of the applications.

2. Duration Of Support

1. What is the duration of support in your state? Include the age of majority when the support obligation ends in the absence of other factors. Include your state's statutory citation(s).
Ordinarily, the obligation to pay child support will end when a child reaches the age of 18. Age of majority is 18 per WV Code 2-3-1. However, payments of support may continue past the age of 18 if the child is unmarried and residing with a parent, guardian or custodian, and is enrolled as a full-time student in a secondary educational or vocational program and making substantial progress towards a diploma. Child support payments can't extend past the date the child reaches the age of 20 per WV Code 48-11-103(a) (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-11-103/). Factors that would end child support: The child marries, the child is adopted, the child dies, or the Court ceases support for other reasons.
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2. If not addressed in the order, at what age is child support automatically terminated as a matter of state law? Qualify, if necessary.
18, but all orders entered in WV must have language that provides for support after 18 if the child is enrolled as a student, see answer to #1.
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3. Does the date of the order determine the law that is applied to the duration of support? If yes, describe.
No
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4. Does your state law allow support to be paid beyond the age of majority under certain circumstances (for example, if the child has a disability or is in college)? If yes, describe.
Yes, the Court may extend based on the special needs of the child who is mentally or physically disabled. See answer listed in #1 above.
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5. What are your state's laws regarding the emancipation of the child that would result in early termination of the child support obligation? Describe.
Emancipation automatically occurs when the child marries, or when a court declares the child emancipated. Please see WV Code 49-4-115(c).
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6. Does child support end if the child no longer lives with the custodial parent but does not emancipate according to state law? For example, the child graduates from high school at 17 and no longer lives with the custodial parent?
No, continues until child reaches age of majority or other conditions in #1.
7. For orders that include multiple children, does your state automatically reduce the current support owed for remaining children after one of the children in the order reaches the age of majority or otherwise emancipates? If yes, describe.
No, support is not reduced unless the order is a per child order.
8. Does your state provide IV-D services to establish support for a child who is no longer a minor but for whom state law provides post-majority support (for example, if the child has a disability or is in college)? If yes, please describe the specific circumstances.
Yes, if child becomes disabled prior to graduating from secondary education. If child is in college, BCSE will not establish support. Please see WV Code 48-11-103 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-11-103/) for the specific circumstances.

3. Statute Of Limitations

1. What is your state's statute of limitations for the collection of past-due support?
10 years for court cases originating before June 6, 2008. Court cases filed June 6, 2008, or later - 10 years from the date the last child covered under the order emancipates.
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2. What is your state's statute of limitations for the establishment of paternity/parentage? Please explain.
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.
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3. Is dormancy revival/renewal possible? If yes, under what circumstances and for how long?
Yes, renewal is possible. Dormancy revival is not possible. 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.
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4. Support Details

1. What guideline type or method does your state use to calculate child support (for example, Income Shares Model, Percentage of Income Model, Melson Formula)?
Income Shares Model per WV Code 48-13-101 et seq.
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2. Does your state have any statute(s) addressing interest on arrears? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged, any related conditions, and the statutory citation.
Yes, 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.
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3. Does your state's IV-D agency calculate interest on arrears? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Yes, 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. Please see WV Code 48-1-302 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-1-302/).
4. Does your state charge interest on retroactive support? If yes, indicate the amount of interest charged and any related conditions.
Yes, 1) No pre-judgment interest is charged. 2) Once the retroactive support is ordered, interest is charged from the date of the order forward. See #2 above.
5. Will your state enforce a medical debt for any uninsured portion? If yes, under what circumstances?
Yes, if a judgment is awarded for the obligors portion.
6. If your state has issued an order, and another IV-D agency asserts that the person/entity entitled to receive child support payments has changed from the person/entity designated in your state's order (due to a change in placement or foster care status), what does your state require in order to change the person/entity entitled to receive payments?
1) The applicant/recipient (new caretaker or child support worker) signs an affidavit stating that the child is living with a new caretaker, in foster care, or receiving TANF; 2) A letter along with a copy of the affidavit is mailed to the obligor, the court-ordered payee, the new caretaker, and is filed with the Court; The parties have 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 filed with the Court. The redirection informs the parties 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 appropriate entity. Please see WV Code 48-18-114 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-18-114/).
6.1. Does it matter if the child receives TANF or Medicaid-only? If so, explain.
No, the process remains the same as indicated in #6.
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7. Does your state require that a custodial party, who is not one of the biological parents, have legal custody of a child before enforcing an order for support that was issued to the biological parents as the parties for non-public assistance cases?
No, please see WV Code 48-14-102 & 48-18-114 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-18-114/).
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8. Does your state IV-D agency give the noncustodial parent credit toward child support for Auxiliary Benefits received directly by the custodial parent on behalf of a child as a result of the noncustodial parent's Social Security Retirement, Survivors, or Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefit?
Statutory benefits may be in lieu of support ONLY when the Court order states specifically that the child's portion of the benefit is to be in lieu of the support obligation. If there is a current order of support, BCSE would file a request to modify. The child support calculation submitted to the Court would subtract the amount of disability benefits the child(ren) received from the proposed child support amount and request credit of any lump sum monies received as a result of the obligor's disability benefits.
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9. Does your state abate support? If yes, explain the circumstances and provide your statutory citation.
No
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5. Paternity/Parentage

1. Does your state law require custody and visitation to be addressed at the time of paternity/parentage establishment? If yes, please describe and provide the statutory citation.
No. The Family Court Judge may address custody and visitation; however, the BCSE does not litigate nor participate in custody and visitation issues.
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2. What is the percentage of probability for genetic testing that creates a rebuttable or conclusive presumption of paternity?
The percentage is 98%.
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3. What is the state law citation that makes paternity acknowledgment conclusive? Please describe (if appropriate).
WV Code 48-24-106 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-24-106/), and 16-5-10 are the statutes concerning paternity acknowledgments. Paternity affidavits are conclusive after the rescission period expires.
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4. Does marriage constitute a rebuttable presumption of paternity/parentage without exceptions? Please describe and provide your statutory citation.
Yes, there is presumption but there are exceptions. Please see WV Code 16-5-10 and 48-24-101(e)(2) (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-24-101/).
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5. Does the father's name on the birth certificate constitute a conclusive presumption of paternity? Please provide your state citation. If no, please describe.
Yes
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6. Does your state have any other paternity/parentage-related presumptions? If yes, please describe.
No
7. What, if any, is the agency name and link for your state's putative fathers' registry?
WV does not have a registry.
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8. What documents regarding paternity can your state's IV-D agency provide to other IV-D agencies? Are there any charges to the requesting IV-D agencies?
Copies of birth certificates or paternity affidavits. The BCSE does not charge a fee for providing copies to another IV-D agency. Requests should be emailed to DHHRBCSEDVSResearch@WV.GOV
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9. Does your states bureau of vital statistics charge any fees to other states or private individuals for requesting searches, paternity/parentage documents, and data?
Yes. DVS charges a $12 fee. IV-D agencies can request assistance by emailing the BCSE at DHHRBCSEDVSResearch@WV.GOV
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9.1. Describe any circumstances under which these fees may be waived?
Contact the WV Division of Vital Statistics (http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/hsc/contactUs.asp).
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10. Is common-law marriage currently recognized in your state? If yes, describe the standard that defines common-law marriage and the date the standard went into effect.
No
11. If there was a prior common-law standard in your state that is no longer in effect, what were the dates that standard was in effect? Describe the standard.
NA
12. If there is more than one child with the same custodial party and the same alleged father, should an initiating jurisdiction send one intergovernmental packet to your state (with a separate Declaration in Support of Establishing Parentage forms for each child) or a separate intergovernmental packet for each child?
Send one set of documents.

6. Support Order Establishment

1. Does your state use an administrative, judicial, or a combined process to establish a support obligation?
WV only uses a judicial process.
1.1 If your state can establish both administratively and judicially, under what circumstances would your state use the administrative process? Please provide the statutory citation for your state's administrative procedures.
WV only uses a judicial process, see WV Code 48-11-101 et seq., 48-13-101 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-13-101), 48-14-101 to 107 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-14-101/) to (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-14-107/)
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1.2. Under what circumstances would your state use the judicial process? Please provide the statutory citation for your state's judicial procedures.
All circumstances are judicial.
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2. When setting support using your state's guidelines, whose income is considered in addition to the noncustodial parent's (for example, custodial parent, spouse, child)?
The obligee and obligor's income are used for WV's guidelines, see WV Code 48-13-103, 48-13-201 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-13-103/), and 48-13-603 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-13-603/). Also need information on the child's portion of SSD if based on the obligor's disability. WV Code 48-1-228 (https://code.wvlegislature.gov/48-1-228/).
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