H. B. 4417
(By Delegate Webb)
[Introduced February 12, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section fifteen-b, article two,
chapter forty-eight of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
including an appendix for an agreement of alternative child
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section fifteen-b, article two, chapter forty-eight of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. DIVORCE, ANNULMENT AND SEPARATE MAINTENANCE.
§48-2-15b. Withholding from income.
(a) Every order entered or modified under the provisions of
this article, not described in subsection (d) of this section,
which requires the payment of child support or spousal support
shall include a provision for automatic withholding from income of the obligor, in order to facilitate income withholding as a
means of collecting support.
(b) Every such order as described in subsection (a) of this
section shall contain language authorizing income withholding to
commence without further court action, as follows:
(1) The order shall provide that income withholding will
begin immediately, without regard to whether there is an
arrearage: (A) When a child for whom support is ordered is
included or becomes included in a grant of assistance from the
division of human services or a similar agency of a sister state
for aid to families with dependent children benefits, medical
assistance only benefits or foster care benefits; or (B) when the
support obligee has applied for services from the child support
enforcement division created pursuant to article two, chapter
forty-eight-a of this code, or the support enforcement agency of
another state or is otherwise receiving services from the child
support enforcement division as provided for in said chapter. In
any case where one of the parties demonstrates, and the court
finds, that there is good cause not to require immediate income
withholding, or in any case where there is filed with the court
a written agreement between the parties which provides for an
alternative arrangement, such order shall not provide for income
withholding to begin immediately. Any written agreement between
the parties providing for an alternative arrangement shall be in substantially the same form as follows:
AGREEMENT OF ALTERNATIVE CHILD
Whereas, the parties hereto are the natural parents of
(child) which child support is required pursuant to W. Va. Code
Whereas, the parties hereto are advised of and acknowledge
the automatic wage withholding provisions of W. Va. Code §48-2- 15b.
Whereas, it is the desire of the parties to engage in an
alternative arrangement for child support pursuant to W. Va. Code
Therefore, by acknowledgment of the parties herein, the
obligor will pay child support directly to the obligee unless and
until such time as the obligee desires automatic wage withholding
be initiated by the Child Support Enforcement Division.
(2) The order shall also provide that income withholding
will begin immediately upon the occurrence of any of the
(A) When the payments which the obligor has failed to make
under the order are at least equal to the support payable for one
month, if the order requires support to be paid in monthly
(B) When the payments which the obligor has failed to make
under the order are at least equal to the support payable for
four weeks, if the order requires support to be paid in weekly or
(C) When the obligor requests the child support enforcement
division to commence income withholding; or
(D) When the obligee requests that such withholding begin,
if the request is approved by the court in accordance with
procedures and standards established by rules and regulations
promulgated by the commission pursuant to this section and
to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(c) On and after the first day of January, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-four, the wages of an obligor shall be subject to
withholding, regardless of whether child support payments are in
arrears, on the date the order for child support is entered:
Provided, That where one of the parties demonstrates, and the
court finds, that there is good cause not to require immediate
income withholding, or in any case where there is filed with the
court a written agreement between the parties which provides for
an alternative arrangement, such order shall not provide for income withholding to begin immediately.
(d) The supreme court of appeals shall make available to the
circuit courts standard language to be included in all such
orders, so as to conform such orders to the applicable
requirements of state and federal law regarding the withholding
from income of amounts payable as support.
(e) Every support order entered by a circuit court of this
state prior to the effective date of this section shall be
considered to provide for an order of income withholding, by
operation of law, which complies with the provisions of this
section, notwithstanding the fact that such support order does
not in fact provide for such order of withholding.
(f) The court shall consider the best interests of the child
in determining whether "good cause" exists under this section.
The court may also consider the obligor's payment record in
determining whether "good cause" has been demonstrated.
(g) The commission as defined in section one, article two,
chapter forty-eight-a of this code shall promulgate legislative
rules pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code further
defining the duties of the child support enforcement division and
the employer in wage withholding.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to include an appendix
for an agreement of alternative child support arrangement
pursuant to the provisions of §48-2-15b.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.