West Virginia Child Support Enforcement Resource Center

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West Virginia Child Support Enforcement Resource Center

Even if the non-custodial parent lives outside the state of West Virginia, the law requires cooperation between states. The non-custodial parent is legally required to make regular child support payments, regardless of where they live.

West Virginia Support Enforcement Measures

If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with Federal and West Virginia child support law to collect regular and past-due payments.

  • Income withholding
  • Suspend an obligor’s driver’s license and/or commercial driver’s license, professional, occupational and/or recreational license.
  • Deny a passport or have a passport revoked or restricted
  • Report the noncustodial parent to credit reporting agencies
  • Charging the noncustodial parent with civil contempt of court or criminal nonsupport
  • Require the noncustodial parent to post bond, security or guarantee to insure that he/she pays child support
  • Put a lien on the noncustodial parent’s property

Who Can Enforce Court Ordered Child Support in West Virginia?

The West Virginia Bureau for Child Support Enforcement is the state-run child support enforcement office for West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services is required by federal law to provide services through the BCSE and is funded by the federal government and the state of West Virginia.

Full Time Equiv. Staff 531
Total Caseload 114,708

1 U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Boxscores for FY 2005

Interest on Missed Child Support Payments

West Virginia provides for interest to be charged on late child support payments, retroactive support and adjudicated arrears at a rate of 10% simple interest. (WV Code 56-6-31 and 48-1-302)

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Back Child Support Payments (Arrears)

Past due child support in West Virginia must be enforced within 10 years from and after date of judgment. Undischarged and accrued support becomes a decretal judgment by operation of law on date and not paid. (WV code 38-3-18)

West Virginia Statute of Limitations for Determination of Paternity

In West Virginia, paternity actions must occur by the child’s 18th birthday or the 21st birthday if actions are brought by the child. (WV code 48-24-101(e)(7))

Age of Emancipation / Age of Majority in West Virginia

The age of emancipation in West Virginia is 18 years of age.

Courts may order support extended up to 20 years as long as the child remains in secondary school and is making substantial progress toward a diploma. In some situations, child support may be extended if the child is handicapped.

How Are Child Support Payment Amounts Determined in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the amount of support is determined by the court using a formula called the child support guidelines.

Custody and Visitation Issues

Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. The court determines both and will usually order the non-custodial parent to pay support and the custodial parent to make the child available for visits.

The custodial parent must obey the court order for visitation, even if the non-custodial parent cannot or will not pay child support. The court can enforce any of its orders against either parent.