How does WV child support work?
Parents in West Virginia are responsible for the care of their children. West Virginia child support payments depend on the number of children a parent has and the combined monthly incomes of both parents. WV child support is determined by a set of guidelines outlined by the state.
The court determines the fairness of the guidelines. West Virginia’s courts decide on a reasonable amount of child support based the two factors of number of children and combined monthly incomes of both parents. Although the court sets out a specified amount of child support that must be paid based on the guidelines, parents may choose to pay more than required.
While parents can increase the amount of money they pay in WV child support, they are unable to reduce the payments. Only a court can legally decrease the amount of money a parent pays in child support.
Which parent pays WV child support?
Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is the individual that spends less time with the child. The custodial parent is the individual that has the largest amount of time with the child and most often, the custodial parent is the person that the child lives with. The non-custodial parent may receive visiting rights or custody of the child at certain times.
Although the non-custodial parent pays child support in West Virginia, both parents must share in the cost of raising their child. When parents are divorced, the money they spend on their child does not come from one central source or bank account. This means that the parent with less time with the child makes monthly child support payments to the other parent.
West Virginia courts assume that the custodial parent covers the costs of raising the child on a daily basis. The assumption is that the non-custodial parent does not cover the day to day costs. Therefore, they must make monthly WV child support payments.
WV child support calculator
The non-custodial, or paying parent, does not pay the total amount of child support. Rather, each parent has a responsibility to cover a percentage of the total child support amount. Payments are made on a percentage of the parents’ income. Therefore, the parent who makes more money, pays the higher percentage of child support in West Virginia.
Parents can calculate the percentage of child support they must pay by taking both gross income and adjusted gross income into account. The gross income of both parents is the combination of unearned and earned incomes. Gross incomes include:
- Wages or salary
- Profit sharing
- Interest earned on an asset
- Business expense accounts
- Stock dividends
Other factors that are included in child support decisions include:
- The number of children involved
- Other dependent children of each parent
- Cost of medical insurance premiums
- Daycare costs
- Other child support obligations
- The number of overnights the child spends with each parent
Virginia child support laws permit judges to disregard the guidelines under certain circumstances.
Can parents adjust the amount paid in child support?
West Virginia courts make the assumption that the child support amount set by the guidelines is correct. Parents have the right to argue the amount and ask the court to decrease or increase the amount outlined.
Parents must show the courts that the child support paid or not paid is unjust and inappropriate. The child’s needs and circumstances of the parent will be taken into consideration when a decision is made. There are common factors that West Virginia courts observe when increasing or decreasing the amount of money paid in child support. These factors include:
- The child’s special needs or disabilities
- The non-custodial parent’s special needs or disabilities
- The child or the parent’s education expenses
- Families with more than six children
- Long-distance visitation and travel costs
- Whether the child lives with a third-party parent or person other than a parent
- Whether the parent pays child support for another child elsewhere
- Whether the non-custodial parent has regular income
- Whether the total amount of spousal support, child support, and child care costs leaves the paying parent below the federal poverty level
West Virginia child support continues until the child turns 18. However, certain circumstances dictate that parents pay child support after the individual turns 18.
WV child support agreement
When it comes to WV child support sometimes judges go along with agreements with regards to child support but it’s really going to vary from judge to judge as to whether that’s acceptable. Even when there is some sort of agreement, the court still applies the child support formula and takes into account the parenting plan along with both parties incomes.
This is useful to families because maybe the child support amount is higher than what it should be. Maybe the child support amount is lower than what it should be based on an application of the formula.
West Virginia Family Court judges do not necessarily go along with an agreement when it comes to child support from the perspective of the courts. They look at it as though the money is not one person’s money, or the other person’s money because from the perspective of the court oftentimes it is viewed simply as money for the child.
How long does West Virginia child support last?
The short answer to that is that it’s generally going to last until the child gets to the point where they’re both 18 and graduated from high school. Sometimes there’s some confusing language in an order and it says something to the to the effect of completion of secondary school. Well, under West Virginia law, secondary school is not college. It means high school. So if they’ve gotten to the point where they’ve graduated from high school and they’ve turned 18, that’s generally the age at which child support is going to stop.
One exception to that is if the child has some sort of disability then child support can continue beyond that and it can continue indefinitely.
What happens to WV child support if the kids don’t graduate from high school?
As long as they’re making consistent progress towards achieving their high school diploma, the child support is going to continue so long as they haven’t reached the age of twenty one. So it can go up to age 21. But there are limitations on it, for example if they’re just not making reasonable progress with their education you can make a case that the child support should stop. They’re not being serious about their studies and so forth. So that’s one of the things that you can actually bring up in court.
Now, what’s going to happen, though, is you’re going to have to go back and let’s say that you have more than one child. You’re going to have to go back and reassess the child support once one child has graduated from high school. Sometimes the child support won’t change that much of anything because wages have gone up over the years.
Do you pay more child support in West Virginia based on amount of time with the children?
The answer to that is yes. But there are some exceptions and caveats to that. OK, first of all, let’s talk about a situation where the parent has less than 35 percent of the time with the children. It could be zero percent of the time. It could be 34 percent of the time. And that roughly translates translates to 120, less than 128 overnights.
What the court will do is run what’s known as a basic shared formula. And what that means is that when it’s a basic shared formula, the child support is going to be the same no matter what. And that’s just how it’s written into the law. Some people might think that’s unfair, but it is what it is. That’s how it is actually written into the law.
So if a person has between zero, one hundred and twenty seven every night, then the child support is going to be the same. Now, what happens, though, is if you get above that 35 percent of the time with the child, then the child support is going to go down. Now, it’s not just something where it it totally switches from that point forward. It’s going to go gradually down, so there’s really a big difference in many instances between having the children 50 percent of the time and having the children, for example, 36 percent of the time. The other part of this is if you have the children less than 35 percent of the time, generally speaking, in most instances, but not all the person is going to be paying some sort of child support.
Its a common mistake when parents assume if they have a 50/50 parenting plan, that means they are not going to be paying child support.