Richard Goldstein

Attorney-at-Law

Serving Mercer and McDowell Counties 

Things To Know About Child Support

In most cases, the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) can provide information and answer questions. Call customer service: 1-800-249-3778. 
The BCSE website provides answers to many questions and the location of local offices: 
http://www.wvdhhr.org/bcse

Child support obligations are based upon court orders. 

Paying child support and visitation (shared-parenting) Orders are separate and must be followed.  Shared-parenting rights do not depend on paying support.  

It is helpful to obtain copies of all court orders in your case.
The Court can modify the current support amount, but cannot  modify arrears.

If either party has a change in income of at least 15%, filing a  petition to modify support is proper.

If there are other substantial changes in the circumstances of either party, such as cost of daycare expenses, medical insurance premiums, or the child becomes eligible to receive Social Security benefits due to the disability of the obligor, a modification will be considered.
Child support arrears may be collected by: liens, credit reports, contempt-of–court, criminal prosecution, and income-withholding.
Child support can be withheld from Social Security benefits, but not SSI.
The BCSE can “redirect” child support to another person who applies for BCSE services based on the fact that the child lives with him or her. The person does not have to have legal custody to have child support sent to him/her.
A person can request the BCSE to file a motion to decrease or increase child support.
There are do-it-yourself (pro se) forms for contempt; to modify child support; or to establish shared-parenting rights (custody and visitation). The forms are available at the Circuit Clerk, or from the WV Supreme Court website.

Establishing Paternity

 Non-payment of child support is a crime:

§61-5-29. Failure to meet an obligation to pay support to a minor; penalties.
(1) A person who: (a) Repeatedly and willfully fails to pay his or her court-ordered support which he or she can reasonably provide and which he or she knows he or she has a duty to provide to a minor; and (b) is subject to court order to pay any amount for the support of a minor child and is delinquent in meeting the full obligation established by the order and has been delinquent for a period of at least six months' duration is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

(2) A person who repeatedly and willfully fails to pay his or her court-ordered support which he or she can reasonably provide and which he or she knows he or she has a duty to provide to a minor by virtue of a court or administrative order and the failure results in twelve months without payment of support that remains unpaid is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned.