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Subtitle V. Administrative Child Support
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:
"Administrative order" or "administrative support order" means a noncourt-ordered legally enforceable support obligation having the force and effect of a support order established by the court.
"Assignment of rights" means the legal procedure whereby an individual assigns support rights to the Commonwealth on behalf of a dependent child or spouse and dependent child.
"Authorization to seek or enforce a support obligation" means a signed authorization to the Commonwealth to seek or enforce support on behalf of a dependent child or a spouse and dependent child or on behalf of a person deemed to have submitted an application by operation of law.
"Court order" means any judgment or order of any court having jurisdiction to order payment of support or an order of a court of comparable jurisdiction of another state ordering payment of a set or determinable amount of support moneys.
"Custodial parent" means the natural or adoptive parent with whom the child resides; a stepparent or other person who has physical custody of the child and with whom the child resides; or a local board that has legal custody of a child in foster care.
"Debt" means the total unpaid support obligation established by court order, administrative process or by the payment of public assistance and owed by a noncustodial parent to either the Commonwealth or to his dependent(s).
"Dependent child" means any person who meets the eligibility criteria set forth in § 63.2-602, whose support rights have been assigned or whose authorization to seek or enforce a support obligation has been given to the Commonwealth and whose support is required by Titles 16.1 and 20.
"Employee" means any individual receiving income.
"Employer" means the source of any income.
"Financial institution" means a depository institution, an institution-affiliated party, any federal credit union or state credit union including an institution-affiliated party of such a credit union, and any benefit association, insurance company, safe deposit company, money market mutual fund, or similar entity authorized to do business in this Commonwealth.
"Financial records" includes, but is not limited to, records held by employers showing income, profit sharing contributions and benefits paid or payable and records held by financial institutions, broker-dealers and other institutions and entities showing bank accounts, IRA and separate contributions, gross winnings, dividends, interest, distributive share, stocks, bonds, agricultural subsidies, royalties, prizes and awards held for or due and payable to a responsible person.
"Foreign support order" means any order issued outside of the Commonwealth by a court or tribunal as defined in § 20-88.32.
"Health care coverage" means any plan providing hospital, medical or surgical care coverage for dependent children provided such coverage is available and can be obtained by a parent, parents, or a parent's spouse at a reasonable cost.
"Income" means any periodic form of payment due an individual from any source and shall include, but not be limited to, income from salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, veterans' benefits, spousal support, net rental income, gifts, prizes or awards.
"Mistake of fact" means an error in the identity of the payor or the amount of current support or arrearage.
"Net income" means that income remaining after the following deductions have been taken from gross income: federal income tax, state income tax, federal income compensation act benefits, any union dues where collection thereof is required under federal law, and any other amounts required by law.
"Noncustodial parent" means a responsible person who is or may be obligated under Virginia law for support of a dependent child or child's caretaker.
"Obligee" means (i) an individual to whom a duty of support is or is alleged to be owed or in whose favor a support order has been issued or a judgment determining parentage has been rendered, (ii) a state or political subdivision to which the rights under a duty of support or support order have been assigned or that has independent claims based on financial assistance provided to an individual obligee, or (iii) an individual seeking a judgment determining parentage of the individual's child.
"Obligor" means an individual, or the estate of a decedent, who (i) owes or is alleged to owe a duty of support, (ii) is alleged but has not been adjudicated to be a parent of a child, or (iii) is liable under a support order.
"Payee" means any person to whom spousal or child support is to be paid.
"Reasonable cost" pertaining to health care coverage for dependent children means available, in an amount not to exceed five percent of the parents' combined gross income, and accessible through employers, unions or other groups, or Deparment-sponsored health care coverage, without regard to service delivery mechanism; unless the court deems otherwise in the best interests of the child or agreement of the parties.
(1974, c. 413, § 63.1-250; 1975, cc. 311, 596; 1976, c. 357; 1983, c. 66; 1985, c. 488; 1986, c. 594; 1988, c. 906; 1991, cc. 651, 694; 1997, cc. 796, 895; 1998, c. 727; 2002, cc. 747, 844; 2007, c. 600; 2009, c. 713; 2010, c. 243; 2016, c. 29.)
§ 63.2-1932. Data exchange agreements authorized; immunity
The Department is authorized to pay a reasonable fee to a financial institution for conducting the data match, not to exceed the actual costs incurred by such financial institution and may assess and recover actual costs incurred from noncustodial parents identified as a result of the data match.
A financial institution providing information in accordance with this section shall not be liable to any account holder or other person for any disclosure of information to the Department, for encumbering or surrendering any assets held by such financial institution in response to a lien or order to withhold and deliver issued by the Department, or for any other action taken pursuant to this section, including individual or mechanical errors, provided such action does not constitute gross negligence or willful misconduct.
For purposes of this section, "account" means a demand deposit account, checking or negotiable withdrawal order account, savings account, time deposit account, share account, share draft account or money market mutual fund account maintained in this Commonwealth.
(1997, cc. 796, 895, § 63.1-260.3; 2002, c. 747.)
(2002, c. 112, § 63.1-260.4.)
§ 63.2-1929. Orders to withhold and to deliver property of debtor; issuance and service; contents; right to appeal; answer; effect; delivery of property; bond to release; fee; exemptions
(1974, c. 413, § 63.1-256; 1975, cc. 54, 311; 1976, c. 357; 1977, c. 662; 1980, c. 243; 1983, c. 481; 1984, c. 652; 1985, c. 488; 1987, c. 640; 1988, c. 906; 1990, cc. 896, 950; 1992, c. 716; 1998, c. 727; 2002, c. 747; 2003, cc. 929, 942.)
§ 63.2-1925. Certain amount of income that may be withheld by lien or order
Whenever a support lien, order to withhold and deliver property or order for withholding of income is served upon any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of this Commonwealth asserting a support debt against income and there is any such income in the possession of such person, then that person shall withhold from the disposable income as defined in § 63.2-100 (i) the amount stated in the lien, the order to withhold and deliver property, or the order for withholding of income; or (ii) the maximum amount permitted under § 34-29, whichever is less. The order shall show the maximum percentage of disposable income which may be withheld pursuant to § 34-29. The lien or order to withhold and deliver shall continue to operate and require such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision, or department of this Commonwealth to withhold the nonexempt portion of income at each succeeding income disbursement interval until the entire amount of the support debt stated in the lien has been withheld. The order for withholding of income continues until further notice by first-class or certified mail, return receipt requested, from the Department is received by the employer.
(1974, c. 413, § 63.1-257; 1976, c. 357; 1978, c. 564; 1982, c. 402; 1985, c. 488; 1998, c. 727; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 469.)
§ 63.2-1930. Civil liability upon failure to comply with lien, order, etc.
Should any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of this Commonwealth fail to answer an order to withhold and deliver within the time prescribed herein, or fail or refuse to deliver property pursuant to said order, or after actual notice of filing of a support lien, pay over, release, sell, transfer, or convey real or personal property subject to a support lien to or for the benefit of the debtor or any other person, or fail or refuse to surrender upon demand property distrained under § 63.2-1933 or fail or refuse to honor a voluntary assignment of wages under § 63.2-1945 presented by the Commissioner, such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of this Commonwealth shall be liable to the Department in an amount equal to 100 percent of the value of the debt which is the basis of the lien, order to withhold and deliver, distraint, or an income withholding order or voluntary assignment of wages. A noncustodial parent's employer issued an income withholding order by first-class mail pursuant to § 63.2-1923 or § 63.2-1924 shall not be liable to the Department unless the Department shows that such employer had actual notice of the withholding order.
(1974, c. 413, § 63.1-258; 1976, c. 357; 1985, c. 488; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 469.)
§ 63.2-1931. Effect of service on banks, savings institutions, etc.
Service of a lien or orders to withhold and deliver or any other notice or document authorized by this chapter on the main office or headquarters or registered agent of any bank, savings institution or other financial institution or broker-dealer as defined in § 13.1-501 or any other place designated by such financial institution or broker-dealer shall be effective as to any accounts, credits or other personal property (excluding property held in a safe-deposit box) of the noncustodial parent held by that institution or broker-dealer. The bank, savings institution, financial institution or broker-dealer may accept service or treat service as valid even though made at a point other than those specified above.
Within twenty-one days of receipt of an answer from any bank, savings institution or other financial institution or broker-dealer indicating that a support debtor may have an interest in funds in a joint account, the Department shall serve notice of the order to withhold on all joint account holders at the address for each account holder as provided by the bank, savings institution or other financial institution or broker-dealer in the same manner as service upon the support debtor. A copy of the notice shall be served on the financial institution or broker-dealer by certified mail, return receipt requested. Each account holder may appeal the action to a hearing officer as provided in § 63.2-1929. However, the issue to be determined by the hearing officer is limited to whether the support debtor has any interest in the joint account which is being held based on the support debtor's contribution to the account. Upon satisfactory proof that the support debtor has no interest in the joint account, the Department shall release the order to withhold. Upon receipt of the copy of the notice to the joint account holders, the financial institution or broker-dealer shall treat the initial order to withhold as continuing in effect over the entire property being withheld until a release or order to deliver is served by the Department or until the ninety-day period set forth in the following paragraph expires. If the financial institution or broker-dealer does not receive a copy of the notice to the joint account holders within twenty-one days from delivery of its answer, it may treat the order to withhold as released.
Upon the determination that the support debtor has some interest in the joint account, the Department shall initiate a petition in the general district court or in the circuit court, if the joint account and the amount claimed against the support debtor each exceed $10,000, for the jurisdiction in which the support debtor or any joint account owner resides in order that the court may make a determination of the extent of the interest of the support debtor in the joint account, based on the amount the support debtor contributed to the account. If the support debtor and all account owners are nonresidents, venue shall be where the support obligee resides or where the property is located. In cases where the joint account is owned by persons married to each other, the funds in the account shall belong to them equally unless there is clear and convincing evidence otherwise. The Department shall serve a copy of the petition on the financial institution or broker-dealer by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the financial institution or broker-dealer does not receive a copy of the petition within ninety days of receipt of the notice to the joint account holders, it may treat the order to withhold as released.
Notwithstanding service or receipt of such order of support, the financial institution may pay any check deposited with it or another financial institution on or before the date of service or receipt of the order of support on it.
(1988, cc. 795, 906, § 63.1-260.1; 1990, c. 950; 1992, c. 111; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1938. Commissioner may release lien or order or return seized property.
The Commissioner may at any time release a support lien, or order to withhold and deliver, on all or part of the property of the debtor, or return seized property without liability, if assurance of payment is deemed adequate by the Commissioner, or if such action will facilitate the collection of the debt, but such release or return shall not operate to prevent future action to collect from the same or other property.
(1974, c. 413, § 63.1-265; 1976, c. 357; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1941. Additional enforcement remedies
In addition to its other enforcement remedies, the Division of Child Support Enforcement is authorized to:
(2002, c. 747.)
(1985, c. 488, § 63.1-250.3; 1986, c. 594; 1987, cc. 640, 658, 706; 1988, c. 906; 1990, c. 896; 1995, c. 714; 1997, cc. 648, 663; 1998, c. 727; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 469.)
§ 63.2-1926. Withholding pursuant to foreign support order
If a court of competent jurisdiction or the agency operating pursuant to an approved state plan under Sections 452 and 454 of the Social Security Act, as amended, in any state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia has ordered a person to pay child or child and spousal support, upon notice and hearing as provided in this section, the Department shall order such noncustodial parent's employer in this Commonwealth to withhold from the earnings of the noncustodial parent pursuant to a foreign support order in the same manner as provided in §§ 63.2-1923 and 63.2-1924.
(1988, c. 906, § 63.1-258.2; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1951. Interest on support payments collected
The Department shall pay interest to the payee as provided in this section on certain spousal or child support payments it collects which have been ordered by a court or established by administrative order to be paid to or through the Department to the payee and for which the Department has an assignment of rights or has been given an authorization to seek or enforce a support obligation as those terms are defined in §§ 63.2-100 and 63.2-1900. Such interest shall accrue, at the legal rate as established by § 6.1-330.53, on all support payments collected by the Department and paid to the payee more than thirty days following the end of the month in which the payment was received by the Department in nonpublic assistance cases. Interest shall be charged to the Department on such payments if the Department has an established case and if the obligor or payor provides identifying information including the Department case number or the noncustodial parent's name and correct social security number.
(1987, c. 609, § 63.1-250.1:1; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1952. Interest on debts due
Interest at the judgment interest rate as established by § 6.1-330.54 on any arrearage pursuant to an order being enforced by the Department pursuant to this chapter shall be collected by the Commissioner except in the case of a minor obligor during the period of his minority. The Commissioner shall maintain interest balance due accounts.
(1974, c. 413, § 63.1-267; 1976, c. 357; 1995, c. 483; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1960. Recovery of certain fees and costs
The Department shall have the authority to assess and recover from the noncustodial parent in proceedings to enforce child support obligations against the noncustodial parent, reasonable attorney's fees. The Department shall also have the authority to assess and recover costs in such cases. However, the Department shall not be entitled to recover attorney's fees or costs in any case in which the noncustodial parent prevails.
The Department shall have the authority to assess and recover the actual costs of genetic testing against the noncustodial parent if paternity is established. Where an original test is contested and additional testing is requested, the Department may require advance payment by the contestant. The genetic testing costs shall be set at the rate charged the Department by the provider of genetic testing services.
The Department shall have the authority to assess and recover the actual costs of intercept programs from the noncustodial parent. The intercept programs' costs shall be set at the rate actually charged the Department.
The Department shall have the authority to assess and recover the actual costs of fees for service of process, and seizure and sale pursuant to a levy on a judgment in enforcement actions from the noncustodial parent.
The fees and costs that may be recovered pursuant to this section may be collected using any mechanism provided by this chapter.
(1991, c. 390, § 63.1-274.10; 1996, cc. 746, 1054; 1997, cc. 792, 896; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1959. Department exempt from fees
No filing or recording fees, court fees, or fees for service of process shall be required from the Department by any clerk, auditor, sheriff or other local officer for the filing of any actions or documents authorized by this chapter or, for the service of any summons or other process in any action or proceeding authorized by this chapter.
(1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.7; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1942. Administrative hearing on notice of debt; withholdings; orders to withhold and deliver property to debtor; set-off debt collection
The Commissioner may delegate authority to conduct any administrative hearing pursuant to this chapter to a duly qualified hearing officer. The hearing shall be held upon reasonable notice to the obligee and the debtor. In no event shall such hearing officer be legally competent to render a decision as to the validity of a court order or a defense of nonpaternity. A decision of the hearing officer shall be in writing and shall set forth the debtor's and payee's rights to appeal the decision of the hearing officer to the appropriate circuit or juvenile and domestic relations district court. The decision shall be served upon the debtor in accordance with the provisions of §§ 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or § 8.01-329 or mailed to the debtor at his last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, or the debtor may waive service of the decision at the time of the decision. A copy of such decision shall also be mailed to the obligee. Such decision shall establish the liability of the debtor, if any, and the validity of the administrative action taken.
Action by the Commissioner under the provisions of this chapter to collect such support debt shall be valid and enforceable during the pendency of any appeal. The Commissioner may file and serve liens pursuant to §§ 63.2-1927 and 63.2-1928 during the pendency of the hearing or thereafter, whether or not appealed. Further action under § 63.2-1929 may be taken prior to any hearing or appeal. If the decision is in favor of the debtor, all money collected during the pendency of the appeal shall be returned to the debtor in accordance with procedures adopted by the Board.
(1985, c. 488, § 63.1-267.1; 1986, c. 476; 1987, c. 640; 1988, c. 906; 1990, c. 896; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 63.2-1956. Release of excess funds to debtor
Whenever any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth has in its possession earnings, deposits, accounts, or balances in excess of the amount of the debt claimed by the Department plus $100, such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth may, without liability under this chapter, release such excess to the debtor.
(1974, c. 413, § 63.1-259; 2002, c. 747.)
§ 65.2-531. Assignments of compensation; exemption from creditors' claims
(Code 1950, § 65-79; 1968, c. 660, § 65.1-82; 1987, c. 331; 1990, c. 747; 1991, c. 355; 1997, cc. 796, 895.)
§ 8.01-66.9. Lien in favor of Commonwealth, its programs, institutions or departments on claim for personal injuries.
Whenever any person sustains personal injuries and receives treatment in any hospital, public or private, or nursing home, or receives medical attention or treatment from any physician, or receives nursing services or care from any registered nurse in this Commonwealth, or receives pharmaceutical goods or any type of medical or rehabilitative device, apparatus, or treatment which is paid for pursuant to the Virginia Medical Assistance Program, the State/Local Hospitalization Program and other programs of the Department of Medical Assistance Services, the Maternal and Child Health Program, or the Children's Specialty Services Program, or provided at or paid for by any hospital or rehabilitation center operated by the Commonwealth, the Department of Rehabilitative Services or any state institution of higher education, the Commonwealth shall have a lien for the total amount paid pursuant to such program, and the Commonwealth or such Department or institution shall have a lien for the total amount due for the services, equipment or devices provided at or paid for by such hospital or center operated by the Commonwealth or such Department or institution, or any portion thereof compromised pursuant to the authority granted under § 2.2-514, on the claim of such injured person or of his personal representative against the person, firm, or corporation who is alleged to have caused such injuries.
The Commonwealth or such Department or institution shall also have a lien on the claim of the injured person or his personal representative for any funds which may be due him from insurance moneys received for such medical services under the injured party's own insurance coverage or through an uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance coverage endorsement. The lien granted to the Commonwealth for the total amounts paid pursuant to the Virginia Medical Assistance Program, the State/Local Hospitalization Program and other programs of the Department of Medical Assistance Services, the Maternal and Child Health Program, or the Children's Specialty Services Program shall have priority over the lien for the amounts due for services, equipment or devices provided at a hospital or center operated by the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth's or such Department's or institution's lien shall be inferior to any lien for payment of reasonable attorney's fees and costs, but shall be superior to all other liens created by the provisions of this chapter and otherwise. Expenses for reasonable legal fees and costs shall be deducted from the total amount recovered. The amount of the lien may be compromised pursuant to § 2.2-514.
The court in which a suit by an injured person or his personal representative has been filed against the person, firm or corporation alleged to have caused such injuries or in which such suit may properly be filed, may, upon motion or petition by the injured person, his personal representative or his attorney, and after written notice is given to all those holding liens attaching to the recovery, reduce the amount of the liens and apportion the recovery, whether by verdict or negotiated settlement, between the plaintiff, the plaintiff's attorney, and the Commonwealth or such Department or institution as the equities of the case may appear, provided that the injured person, his personal representative or attorney has made a good faith effort to negotiate a compromise pursuant to § 2.2-514. The court shall set forth the basis for any such reduction in a written order.
(Code 1950, § 32-139.1; 1972, c. 481; 1974, c. 518; 1979, c. 722; 1981, c. 562; 1982, c. 491; 1983, c. 263; 1984, c. 767; 1985, c. 580; 1986, c. 238; 1988, c. 544; 1989, c. 624; 1992, c. 104; 2003, c. 525; 2012, cc. 803, 835.)
§ 20-108.2 Guideline for determination of child support; quadrennial review by Child Support Guidelines Review Panel; executive summary.
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