West Virginia calculates child support payments using the “income share” approach, which ensures that both custodial and non-custodial parents contribute to their child’s upkeep. The amount is determined by the West Virginia child support calculator.
West Virginia’s child support formula to calculate shared custody of a child into consideration and support payment levels are linked to the custody split. Childcare fees and unusual medical expenditures are two more specific conditions covered by West Virginia’s child support legislation. These charges may be in addition to the regular child support order in West Virginia.
How Child Support Calculated In West Virginia (WV)
Both parents are accountable for their child’s care and support in West Virginia. The amount of average child support you must contribute or obtain is determined by the number of children you have and both parents’ combined income which is calculated by the West Virginia child support calculator.
West Virginia provides rules for determining a reasonable and sensible amount of average child support based on these two variables. Parents can opt to pay more than the amount set by the guidelines, but only the court has the authority to lower the child support payment.
Since both parents contribute to the expense of raising a kid doesn’t imply they have to give each other cheques. One parent will always make the payments while the other receives them.
Typically, the parent who receives compensation is the one with whom the kid spends the majority of his or her time. It is presumed that the acquiring parent already covers the child’s daily expenses.
On the other hand, the paying parent does not pay the full amount of child support determined by the standards. Instead, each parent is accountable for a certain percentage of the overall price, based on their income.
Let’s assume Parent A earns $400 per month and Parent B earns $600 per month. Their combined monthly salary is $1,000. As a result, according to the income apportionment principle, Parent A is accountable for 40% of the child support amount, while Parent B is responsible for 60%.
Parent A (the custodial parent) will receive averagechild support from Parent B if the kid resides mostly with Parent A (the custodial parent) and Parent A has the lower-income (the non-custodial parent).
Let’s pretend that the entire child support requirement is $300 per month, depending on both parents’ income. Parent A is accountable for 40% of the total, or $120. As a result, Parent A will get $180 each month from Parent B—$300 less the $120 Parent A owes.
It’s also important to note that child support judgments will include provisions for the kid’s health insurance. Non – deductible child health care expenditures, work-related child care expenses, and any other special expenses agreed to by the parents or imposed by the court will be added to the standard child support obligation. These expenses are usually split between the parents based on their income.
How to use the West Virginia Guidelines: the Worksheets
The child support rules in West Virginia are only a formula to calculate child support. The basic child support payment is calculated by multiplying the number of children by both parents’ adjusted gross income.
Perhaps there would be less math-induced worry if the computations ended there, but the conclusion would not necessarily be fair. Other variables will be considered by the court to arrive at an amount that accommodates the specifics of each parent’s financial situation and the necessities of the kid.
WV provides worksheets to help you calculate child support. These aren’t simply options; you have to employ them, even if both parents agree on a child support sum.
In a typical “shared parenting” agreement, one parent has custody of the kid for less than 35% of the year/127 days. Worksheet A is also used in situations of “divided custody.” If the parents have two or more children, split custody implies that each parent has primary custody of at least one of them.
The quantity specified by the guidelines is presumed to be the correct amount. You can, however, try to disprove that assumption and persuade a court to lower or enhance WV child support payments. To be successful, you must demonstrate that the guidelines’ support requirement is unreasonable or inadequate in light of the child’s needs or either parent’s situation.
Before modifying payments up or down, a court will examine the following factors:
- The unique requirements of the kid or the paying parent.
- The educational costs of the kid or the parent.
- Families with more than six children are referred to as “large families.”
- Costs of long-distance visits.
- Whether or not the youngster lives with someone other than his or her parents.
- If the parent is required to pay child support for a second child.
- Whether the paying parent has a steady source of income
- Whether the paying parent’s total spousal support, child support, and child care payments fall below the federal poverty line.
You may be curious if there are any exemptions for parents with a modest or high income. If both parents’ adjusted gross income is less than $550 per month, child support will most likely be $50 per month. If both parents’ adjusted gross income exceeds $15,000 per month, the court may raise payments based on the amount over $15,000.
Also, if the contributing parent’s adjusted gross income is less than $1,550 per month, the amount of child support ordered by the court may be less than what the guidelines suggest. Fill in both Part 1 and Part 2 of Worksheet A to determine the adjusted amount.
What Constitutes Income for Child Support?
You’ll need to know both parents’ gross and adjusted gross incomes to figure out what percentage of child support you’ll pay. All earned, and unearned income is included in gross income.
Wages or salaries, commissions, bonuses, gratuities, and profit-sharing are all examples of compensation. Interest on a specific asset (such as a savings account), company expenditure accounts, and stock dividends are all examples.
Even if you haven’t worked in a while, you are likely to have gross income from sources such as social security, unemployment, workers’ insurance, or spousal support (alimony). The court may also award severance compensation and gifts and awards, depending on the case. A court may also consider alternative sources of income.
A court will consider whether this money would have been available to assist the kid if the family had stayed together or, in the circumstances involving a birth outside of marriage, if the parents and child had established a home when considering what income will be included.
The following information is not included in gross income:
- Other household members’ earnings, such as a new spouse’s.
- Child maintenance for children from a previous relationship.
- Interim support for needy families, supplementary security income (SSI), and food stamps are examples of means-tested aid.
- A child’s earnings, unless the court finds that the child’s earnings significantly lower the family’s living costs.
You’ll use a mandatory worksheet to calculate your particular quantity due once you know both parents’ adjusted gross income.
Imputed Income for Child Support
If a court determines that a parent is not earning to his or her potential, the court might assign (impute) income to that parent. In other words, instead of relying on actual present income, the court might base a parent’s child support obligation on what the parent should be earning.
When making its decision, the court will consider whether the parents:
- They voluntarily abandoned their jobs or changed their work patterns, resulting in unemployment, underemployment, or employment below their full earning capability.
- They can work full-time and are available for jobs for which they have prior skills or education.
- They aren’t looking for work in the way that a reasonable, wise individual in their situation would.
Suppose the court cannot get necessary information about the parent’s work history for whatever reason. In that case, it can, at the very least, base imputed income on full-time employment (forty hours per week) at the federal minimum wage in place at the time the support obligation is imposed.
The court does not have to conclude that a parent’s income shortage was motivated by a desire to avoid paying child support in order to attribute income.
Of course, there may be valid reasons for a parent’s inability to earn to their full potential. The law acknowledges this and states that if any of the following criteria present, income shall not be attributed:
- The parent is providing care for children to whom both parents have a legal responsibility to uphold and who are of preschool age, disabled, or otherwise in a circumstance needing special attention from the parent.
- The parent is pursuing a plan of economic self-improvement that will result in a financial advantage to the children to whom the support obligation is owed, such as self-employment or education, within a reasonable period of time, provided that the parent is attempting to make significant strides toward program completion.
- Due to legitimate medical reasons, the parent is now generating a lower income than before.
- According to the court’s written findings, other situations would make assigning income unjust.
A parent’s non-performing or under-performing property (other than their principal house) may also be attributed income by the court. Assets may be termed non-performing or underperforming if they do not generate income at a rate equal to the current six-month certificate of deposit rate or any other appropriate rate determined by the court.
Also, read about: Grandparent’s rights in WV.
How Is Child Support Paid in WV?
The majority of child support orders require payments via income withholding. The amount of child support you owe will be deducted from your paycheck and forwarded to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE).
Withholding can be applied to a range of income, including workers’ assistance, unemployment insurance, pensions or annuities, and Social Security for certain payments, according to the BCSE.
If the BCSE is unable to collect through income withholding due to a court order, you can send a check or money order to the agency. There are various options for paying by credit card or e-check.
If you receive child support, you can choose to have your pay direct deposited into your bank account by the BCSE. Instead, they’ll provide you with a debit card and charge the paid support amount to it on a monthly basis.
You can make money by check, bank transfer, or payment applications like Venmo if you don’t have an income withholding order.
Modifying a West Virginia Order
After a child support order is established, any parent can request a modification at any time. If it has been fewer than 36 months since the court-ordered payments, the parent must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances. Events such as the loss of a job or even a promotion can result in significant changes.
It might also be a change in who has physical custody of the kid or a change in the requirements of the child. Furthermore, under the statute, if applying the guidelines results in a new order that differs from the present order by more than 15%, the court will consider it a significant modification.
You can analyze the amount owed if the support order has been in place for at least 36 months. Even if your circumstances haven’t changed much, the BCSE should approach you every 36 months to reassure you that you have that right.
Termination of Child Support
When a kid reaches the age of 18, the duty to pay child support usually ends. Suppose the kid is unmarried and living with a parent, guardian, or custodian and is enrolled as a full-time student in a secondary educational or vocational programme and making considerable progress toward a diploma.
In that case, support payments will continue through the age of 18. Kid support payments, however, cannot be made when the child reaches the age of 20. Be conscious that the guidelines for children who are handicapped or impaired may differ.
Enforcing Child Support Obligations in West Virginia
If you’re behind on your WV child support payments which are determined by the West Virginia child support calculator, the BCSE has a number of tools at its disposal to get you to pay up. Based on the quantity owed, some of these options include:
- You are submitting your information to a credit bureau.
- You are requesting that your federal and state income tax refunds be seized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the State Treasurer.
- Filing a contempt motion in court for nonpayment of child support, which might lead to jail.
- They are refusing to issue you a passport.
- Suspension or revocation of a driver’s license and all professional and amateur licenses (such as hunting and fishing permits, contractor’s license, and real estate broker’s license).
- Putting a lien on your real estate and personal property, as well as attaching your assets, in order to prevent you from selling the property without paying child support.
- You are being prosecuted for criminal non-support.
How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in West Virginia?
In circumstances when the custody agreement allows for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents, all states provide a mechanism of adjusting the amount of child support payable.
The child support formula to calculate in West Virginia considers joint custody of a child directly when calculating payment amounts. This implies that in circumstances where custody is shared, the paying parent’s child support payment will be decreased in proportion to the length of time they have custody of the kid.
How does child support in West Virginia treat child care costs?
WV has unique standards that treat child care expenditures independently from the basic costs of raising a child to determine WV child support payments due to the high costs of child care for a single transaction.
Child care fees are treated as a “required deduction” for basic child support in West Virginia. Suppose the non-custodial parent pays child care costs. In that case, the share of the total monthly child care expenditures ascribed to the custodial spouse is taken from the non-custodial parent’s monthly child support contribution. In addition to basic child support, if the custodial parent pays for child care, the non-custodial parent must pay their portion.