Introduced Version House Bill 2156 History

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H. B. 2156

(By Delegates Leggett, Frederick and Romine)

[Introduced February 10, 2005; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §48-24-104 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the duty of support for a child born out of wedlock by the natural father who is a teenager under the age of eighteen years; and liability of his parents.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §48-24-104 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§48-24-104. Establishment of paternity and duty of support.

(a) When the respondent, by verified responsive pleading, admits that the man is the father of the child and owes a duty of support, or if after a hearing on the merits, the court shall find, by clear and convincing evidence that the man is the father of the child, the court shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (c)
of this section, order support in accordance with the support guidelines set forth in article 13-101, et seq., and the payment of incurred expenses as provided in subsection (e) of this section.
(b) Upon motion by a party, the court shall issue a temporary order for child support pending a judicial determination of parentage if there is clear and convincing evidence of paternity on the basis of genetic tests or other scientifically recognized evidence.

(c) Reimbursement support ordered pursuant to this section shall be limited to a period not to exceed thirty-six months prior to the service of notice of the commencement of paternity or support establishment, unless the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence:

(1) That the respondent had actual knowledge that he was believed to be the father of the child;

(2) That the respondent deliberately concealed his whereabouts or deliberately evaded attempts to serve process upon himself; or herself

(3) That the respondent deliberately misrepresented relevant information which would have enabled the petitioner to proceed with the cause of action.

If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the circumstances in subsection subdivision (1), (2) or (3) exist, then the court shall order reimbursement support to the date of birth of
the child, subject to the equitable defense of laches.
(d) The court shall give full faith and credit to a determination of paternity made by any other state, based on the laws of that state, whether established through voluntary acknowledgment or through administrative or judicial process.

(e) Bills for pregnancy, childbirth and genetic testing are admissible and constitute prima facie evidence of medical expenses incurred.

(f) The thirty-six month limitation on reimbursement support does not apply to the award of medical expenses incurred.

(g) For purposes of this section, "reimbursement support" means the amount of money awarded as child support for a period of time prior to the entry of the order which establishes the support obligation.

(h) When the natural father, in a proceeding under the provisions of this article is under the age of eighteen years, the child support ordered to be paid shall not exceed the minimum amount of child support for one child as set out in section 301, article thirteen of this chapter, unless the natural father has sufficient income to justify a higher amount of support. The custodial parents or guardians of a natural father who is under the age of eighteen years are personally liable for the child support awarded under the provisions of this subsection until the natural father reaches the age of eighteen years.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the duty of support of a child born out of wedlock by the natural father who is a teenager under the age of eighteen years. It also establishes child support liability for his parents. Unless the teenager has an income to justify greater child support, the amount of child support ordered to be paid is the minimum amount in the "Child Support Formula."

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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