When it comes to children, things can get very tense in court when dealing with legal issues. One of most difficult situations you will have to deal with is child support. Fortunately, the West Virginia Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) is available to help single parents in West Virginia.

Who Needs to Pay Child Support?

The parent who has custody is owed child support by the noncustodial parent. When custody is divided between the parents, the court will factor in just how much of the financial burden each parent is taking on for the child, and that will impact how much child support each parent should pay, if anything at all.

How Can I Receive Child Support?

You can contact the BCSE to start a child support case. However, if you have a current divorce or custody battle, then you may want to get child support as part of you current lawsuit. When seeking help from the BSCE, the more information you can provide on the other parent, the faster and easier it will make it for them to help you. Some information that will help them is the other parent’s name, address, social security number, and recent employer information.

What If I Choose Not to Pay Child Support?

There are a number of serious consequences you might face if you do not pay child support. The first thing that will happen is that the state will take the child support amount directly out of your paycheck or your bank account. The BSCE might also report you to the credit agencies or take the money from your tax refund. Your property may be taken to pay for the support. Also, you might lose your driver’s license or any professional or recreational licenses and be denied a passport. In a worst-case scenario, the court can find you in contempt and have you arrested.

Can the Other Parent Stop My Visitation Over a Failure to Pay?

No, the custodial parent cannot stop you from exercising your right to visitation. This is because visitation and child support are two separate legal issues. If you have not been paying child support, you still have a right to see your child. You do have the right to go to court and ask a judge to enforce your visitation order if the other parent is refusing you visitation.

Is There Any Way I Can Stop Paying Child Support?

If you want to stop paying child support, you have to do so with the assistance of the court. Trying to do this on your own can lead to serious issues for you. One way you can put an end to your child support obligation is to show that you are not the child’s parent. If a couple was not married when the child was born, paternity needs to be established through a voluntary acknowledgement or a paternity test before anyone can be saddled with child support, and you can avoid having to pay child support by establishing that you are not the child’s father. Child support can also be terminated if the custody arrangement changes and now you are the custodial parent.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

You should absolutely talk to a West Virginia child support lawyer if you are facing issues with child support. Having a lawyer to help you out with your child support matter can be incredibly valuable.