Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia
Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia

How does child support work in West Virginia?

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2020 | blog

The West Virginia child support guidelines establish a formula for child support. State law requires both parents to provide financial support to minor children, whether they never married or have since divorced.

Review the factors that influence child support payments in West Virginia.

Child support calculations

The state’s child support formula reviews the combined income of both parents and the number of children they have together. West Virginia compares these numbers to a chart that provides the average monthly cost parents with similar income spend on raising the same number of children.

Next, the court allocates that monthly cost of supporting a child based on each parent’s percentage of the combined income. For example, if both parents earn 50% of the combined income and the state guidelines recommend a support payment of $600, the noncustodial parent would pay about $300 to the custodial parent.

Adjustments and additional considerations

West Virginia law allows judges to make adjustments to the child support guidelines on a case-by-case basis. Factors that may influence a deviation from the calculated amount may include:

  • The cost of caring for a child who has special needs
  • The amount of time the child spends in the physical custody of each parent
  • Long-distance visitation costs
  • Added educational expenses

The court may also order one parent to provide health insurance for the child if he or she can do so through an employer plan at a reasonable cost. Once ordered by the court, child support payments continue until the child’s 18th birthday and graduate from high school, so long as they are still attending same up to age 20. However, West Virginia may order continued support after legal emancipation, such as when the child is disabled and unable to be self-supporting.