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
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:
ARTICLE 24. ESTABLISHMENT OF PATERNITY.
§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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would