West Virginia and Child Support Services
Many people access and apply for child support in the state of West Virginia each year. Some of those filing do so as a result of a divorce, while many have established paternity and wish to file for support, and yet others apply because they have become the legal guardian to a child. In any of these cases an application process must be followed and corroborating documentation provided.
How to Apply for Child Support in West Virginia
When you apply for child support you must have the following documents in hand:
Not all of these will be needed, depending on your circumstances. The application can be found here: http://www.wvdhhr.org/bcse/application/bcse.application.form.pdf
ON the form you are asked to select how you would like to receive your funds. Most opt for the full services since this will allow them to legally search for a parent that has gone AWOL, has refused to pay, will track payments for you, and collect payments to be disbursed to you. The other options: collection, or income withholding only, are options that you would choose if you only wanted the money collected for you and paid to you without all of the additional services. The terminology can be a little confusing, but if you will just keep in mind that the ‘Obligee’ is the person that the child lives with, and the ‘Obligor’ is the person that the child does NOT live with…you’ll be okay.
Once you’ve filled out the form, there will be an interview. They will want you to bring the completed application with you, all court orders that you have, birth certificates as well as social security cards (if you have them), military records, W-2’s and tax return statements from the last year, and verification of medical insurance. This interview will take about an hour. Be prepared to be honest. They will ask if there has been a record of any domestic violence in the household.
Child Support Money Amounts
Once a decision has been made, and an amount agreed upon, you can elect to have the funds sent directly to your bank account (there’s another form to fill out for that), or they can be loaded onto a debit card for your use. The amount is determined by combining the gross (pretax) monthly income of both parents. They take into consideration the age of the child, how many children, and the current standard of living. Child support will last until the child is 18 or has become emancipated (married or living independently). The state generates a guidelines chart that you can take a look at, but like the online child support calculator, it is just a ballpark estimate and might be adjusted up or down depending on your circumstances and what you agree to. Guidelines (scroll to bottom of page): http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/code.cfm?chap=48&art=13