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Introduced Version Senate Bill 549 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

Senate Bill No. 549

(By Senators Tucker, Palumbo, Plymale and Sypolt)

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[Introduced February 12, 2014; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §48-13-302 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §48-18-126 of said code, all relating to the calculation of child support obligations; and the review and adjustment of child support orders.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §48-13-302 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §48-18-126 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 13. GUIDELINES FOR CHILD SUPPORT AWARDS.

§48-13-302. Incomes below the table for determining basic child support obligations.

    If combined adjusted gross income is below $550 per month, which is the lowest amount of income considered in the table of monthly basic child support obligations set forth in subsection (a) of this section, section three hundred one of this article, the basic child support obligation shall be set at $50 per month or zero if the obligor's only income is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or a discretionary amount determined by the court based on the resources and living expenses of the parents and the number of children due support.

ARTICLE 18. BUREAU FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT.

§48-18-126. Review and adjustment of child support orders.

    (a) Either parent or, if there has been an assignment of support to the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement shall have the right to may request an administrative review of the child support award in the following circumstances:

    (1) Where the request for review is received thirty-six months or more after the date of the entry of the order or from the completion of the previous administrative review, whichever is later, the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement shall conduct a review to determine whether the amount of the child support award in such the order varies from the amount of child support that would be awarded at the time of the review pursuant to the guidelines for child support awards contained in article 13-101, et seq. thirteen of this chapter. If the amount of the child support award under the existing order differs by ten fifteen percent or more from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines, the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement shall file with the family court a motion for modification of the child support order. If the amount of the child support award under the existing order differs by less than ten fifteen percent from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the child support guidelines, the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement may, if it determines that such the action is in the best interest of the child or otherwise appropriate, file with the family court a motion for modification of the child support order.

    (2) Where the request for review of a child support award is received less than thirty-six months after the date of the entry of the order or from the completion of the previous administrative review, the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement shall undertake a review of the case only where it is alleged that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. If the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement determines that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and if it is in the best interests of the child, the bureau shall file with the family court a motion for modification of the child support order in accordance with the guidelines for child support awards contained in article 13-101, et seq., thirteen of this chapter.

    (b) The Bureau for Child Support Enforcement shall notify both parents at least once every three years of their right to request a review of a child support order. The notice may be included in any order granting or modifying a child support award. The Bureau for Child Support Enforcement shall give each parent at least thirty days' notice before commencing any review and shall further notify each parent, upon completion of a review, of the results of the review, whether of a proposal to move for modification or of a proposal that there should be no change.

    (c) When the result of the review is a proposal to move for modification of the child support order, each parent shall be given thirty days' notice of the hearing on the motion, the notice to be directed to the last known address of each party by first-class mail. When the result of the review is a proposal that there be no change, any parent disagreeing with that proposal may, within thirty days of the notice of the results of the review, file with the court a motion for modification setting forth in full the grounds therefor for the modification.

    (d) For the purposes of this section, a "substantial change in circumstances" includes, but is not limited to, a changed financial condition, a temporary or permanent change in physical custody of the child which the court has not ordered, increased need of the child or other financial conditions. "Changed financial conditions" means increases or decreases in the resources available to either party from any source. Changed financial conditions includes, but is not limited to, the application for or receipt of any form of public assistance payments, unemployment compensation and workers' compensation or a fifteen percent or more variance from the amount of the existing order and the amount of child support that would be awarded according to the child support guidelines.



    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to:

    (1) Exempt Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from being considered income for purposes of child support awards pursuant to the child support guidelines; and

    (2) Make provisions relating to the review and adjustment of child support orders consistent with each other.


    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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