Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
10/23/2020

Article 4. Orders and Review.

§ 63.2-1915. Administrative support order.

All administrative orders issued by the Department shall have the same force and effect as a court order. However, any order issued by a court of this Commonwealth supersedes an administrative order.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-258.3; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1916. (Effective until January 1, 2021) Notice of administrative support order; contents; hearing; modification.

The Commissioner may proceed against a noncustodial parent whose support debt has accrued or is accruing based upon subrogation to, assignment of, or authorization to enforce a support obligation. Such obligation may be created by a court order for support of a child or child and spouse or decree of divorce ordering support of a child or child and spouse. In the absence of such a court order or decree of divorce, the Commissioner may, pursuant to this chapter, proceed against a person whose support debt has accrued or is accruing based upon payment of public assistance or who has a responsibility for the support of any dependent child or children and their custodial parent. The administrative support order shall also provide that support shall continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support, until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. The Commissioner shall initiate proceedings by issuing notice containing the administrative support order which shall become effective unless timely contested. The notice shall be served upon the debtor (a) in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329 or (b) by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by electronic means, or the debtor may accept service by signing a formal waiver. A copy of the notice shall be provided to the obligee. The notice shall include the following:

1. A statement of the support debt or obligation accrued or accruing and the basis and authority under which the assessment of the debt or obligation was made. The initial administrative support order shall be effective on the date of service and the first monthly payment shall be due on the first of the month following the date of service and the first of each month thereafter. A modified administrative support order shall be effective the date that notice of the review is served on the nonrequesting party, and the first monthly payment shall be due on the first day of the month following the date of such service and on the first day of each month thereafter. In addition, an amount shall be assessed for the partial month between the effective date of the order and the date that the first monthly payment is due. The assessment for the initial partial month shall be prorated from the effective date through the end of that month, based on the current monthly obligation. All payments are to be credited to current support obligations first, with any payment in excess of the current obligation applied to arrearages, if any;

2. A statement of the name, date of birth, and last four digits of the social security number of the child or children for whom support is being sought;

3. A statement that support shall continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support, until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first;

4. A demand for immediate payment of the support debt or obligation or, in the alternative, a demand that the debtor file an answer with the Commissioner within 10 days of the date of service of the notice stating his defenses to liability;

5. If known, the full name, date of birth, and last four digits of the social security number of each parent of the child; however, when a protective order has been issued or the Department otherwise finds reason to believe that a party is at risk of physical or emotional harm from the other party, only the name of the party at risk shall be included in the order;

6. A statement that if no answer is made on or before 10 days from the date of service of the notice, the administrative support order shall be final and enforceable, and the support debt shall be assessed and determined subject to computation, and is subject to collection action;

7. A statement that the debtor may be subject to mandatory withholding of income, the interception of state or federal tax refunds, interception of payments due to the debtor from the Commonwealth, notification of arrearage information to consumer reporting agencies, passport denial or suspension, or incarceration and that the debtor's property will be subject to lien and foreclosure, distraint, seizure and sale, an order to withhold and deliver, or withholding of income;

8. A statement that the parents shall keep the Department informed regarding access to health insurance coverage and health insurance policy information and a statement that health care coverage shall be required for the parents' dependent children if available at reasonable cost as defined in § 63.2-1900, or pursuant to subsection A of § 63.2-1903. If a child is enrolled in Department-sponsored health care coverage, the Department shall collect the cost of the coverage pursuant to subsection E of § 20-108.2;

9. A statement of each party's right to appeal and the procedures applicable to appeals from the decision of the Commissioner;

10. A statement that the obligor's income shall be immediately withheld to comply with this order unless the obligee, or the Department, if the obligee is receiving public assistance, and obligor agree to an alternative arrangement;

11. A statement that any determination of a support obligation under this section creates a judgment by operation of law and as such is entitled to full faith and credit in any other state or jurisdiction;

12. A statement that each party shall give the Department written notice of any change in his address, including email address, or phone number, including cell phone number, within 30 days;

13. A statement that each party shall keep the Department informed of the name, telephone number and address of his current employer;

14. A statement that if any arrearages for child support, including interest or fees, exist at the time the youngest child included in the order emancipates, payments shall continue in the total amount due (current support plus amount applied toward arrearages) at the time of emancipation until all arrearages are paid;

15. A statement that a petition may be filed for suspension of any license, certificate, registration, or other authorization to engage in a profession, trade, business, occupation, or recreational activity issued by the Commonwealth to a parent as provided in § 63.2-1937 upon a delinquency for a period of 90 days or more or in amount of $5,000 or more. The order shall indicate whether either or both parents currently hold such an authorization and, if so, the type of authorization held;

16. A statement that the Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend or refuse to renew the driver's license of any person upon receipt of notice from the Department of Social Services that the person (i) is delinquent in the payment of child support by 90 days or in an amount of $5,000 or more or (ii) has failed to comply with a subpoena, summons, or warrant relating to paternity or child support proceedings; and

17. A statement that on and after July 1, 1994, the Department of Social Services, as provided in § 63.2-1921 and in accordance with § 20-108.2, may initiate a review of the amount of support ordered by any court.

If no answer is received by the Commissioner within 10 days of the date of service or acceptance, the administrative support order shall be effective as provided in the notice. The Commissioner may initiate collection procedures pursuant to this chapter, Chapter 11 (§ 16.1-226 et seq.) of Title 16.1 or Title 20. The debtor and the obligee have 10 days from the date of receipt of the notice to file an answer with the Commissioner to exercise the right to an administrative hearing.

Any changes in the amount of the administrative order must be made pursuant to this section. In no event shall an administrative hearing alter or amend the amount or terms of any court order for support or decree of divorce ordering support. No administrative support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified from the date that notice of the review has been served on the nonrequesting party. Notice of each review shall be served on the nonrequesting party (1) in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327, or 8.01-329, (2) by certified mail, return receipt requested, (3) by electronic means, or (4) by the nonrequesting party executing a waiver. The existence of an administrative order shall not preclude either an obligor or obligee from commencing appropriate proceedings in a juvenile and domestic relations district court or a circuit court.

1985, c. 488, § 63.1-252.1; 1986, c. 594; 1987, cc. 640, 649; 1988, c. 906; 1991, cc. 651, 694; 1993, c. 534; 1994, c. 764; 1995, cc. 593, 600; 1996, cc. 879, 884, 889; 1997, cc. 796, 895; 1998, cc. 107, 885; 2002, cc. 747, 844; 2004, c. 204; 2006, cc. 720, 869; 2007, c. 600; 2009, cc. 706, 713; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1916. (Effective January 1, 2021) Notice of administrative support order; contents; hearing; modification.

The Commissioner may proceed against a noncustodial parent whose support debt has accrued or is accruing based upon subrogation to, assignment of, or authorization to enforce a support obligation. Such obligation may be created by a court order for support of a child or child and spouse or decree of divorce ordering support of a child or child and spouse. In the absence of such a court order or decree of divorce, the Commissioner may, pursuant to this chapter, proceed against a person whose support debt has accrued or is accruing based upon payment of public assistance or who has a responsibility for the support of any dependent child or children and their custodial parent. The administrative support order shall also provide that support shall continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the parent seeking or receiving child support, until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. The Commissioner shall initiate proceedings by issuing notice containing the administrative support order which shall become effective unless timely contested. The notice shall be served upon the debtor (a) in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329 or (b) by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by electronic means, or the debtor may accept service by signing a formal waiver. A copy of the notice shall be provided to the obligee. The notice shall include the following:

1. A statement of the support debt or obligation accrued or accruing and the basis and authority under which the assessment of the debt or obligation was made. The initial administrative support order shall be effective on the date of service and the first monthly payment shall be due on the first of the month following the date of service and the first of each month thereafter. A modified administrative support order shall be effective the date that notice of the review is served on the nonrequesting party, and the first monthly payment shall be due on the first day of the month following the date of such service and on the first day of each month thereafter. In addition, an amount shall be assessed for the partial month between the effective date of the order and the date that the first monthly payment is due. The assessment for the initial partial month shall be prorated from the effective date through the end of that month, based on the current monthly obligation. All payments are to be credited to current support obligations first, with any payment in excess of the current obligation applied to arrearages, if any;

2. A statement of the name, date of birth, and last four digits of the social security number of the child or children for whom support is being sought;

3. A statement that support shall continue to be paid for any child over the age of 18 who is (i) a full-time high school student, (ii) not self-supporting, and (iii) living in the home of the party seeking or receiving child support, until such child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first;

4. A demand for immediate payment of the support debt or obligation or, in the alternative, a demand that the debtor file an answer with the Commissioner within 10 days of the date of service of the notice stating his defenses to liability;

5. If known, the full name, date of birth, and last four digits of the social security number of each parent of the child; however, when a protective order has been issued or the Department otherwise finds reason to believe that a party is at risk of physical or emotional harm from the other party, only the name of the party at risk shall be included in the order;

6. A statement that if no answer is made on or before 10 days from the date of service of the notice, the administrative support order shall be final and enforceable, and the support debt shall be assessed and determined subject to computation, and is subject to collection action;

7. A statement that the debtor may be subject to mandatory withholding of income, the interception of state or federal tax refunds, interception of payments due to the debtor from the Commonwealth, notification of arrearage information to consumer reporting agencies, passport denial or suspension, or incarceration and that the debtor's property will be subject to lien and foreclosure, distraint, seizure and sale, an order to withhold and deliver, or withholding of income;

8. A statement that the parents shall keep the Department informed regarding access to health insurance coverage and health insurance policy information and a statement that health care coverage shall be required for the parents' dependent children if available at reasonable cost as defined in § 63.2-1900, or pursuant to subsection A of § 63.2-1903. If a child is enrolled in Department-sponsored health care coverage, the Department shall collect the cost of the coverage pursuant to subsection E of § 20-108.2;

9. A statement of each party's right to appeal and the procedures applicable to appeals from the decision of the Commissioner;

10. A statement that the obligor's income shall be immediately withheld to comply with this order unless the obligee, or the Department, if the obligee is receiving public assistance, and obligor agree to an alternative arrangement;

11. A statement that any determination of a support obligation under this section creates a judgment by operation of law and as such is entitled to full faith and credit in any other state or jurisdiction;

12. A statement that each party shall give the Department written notice of any change in his address, including email address, or phone number, including cell phone number, within 30 days;

13. A statement that each party shall keep the Department informed of the name, telephone number and address of his current employer;

14. A statement that if any arrearages for child support, including interest or fees, exist at the time the youngest child included in the order emancipates, payments shall continue in the total amount due (current support plus amount applied toward arrearages) at the time of emancipation until all arrearages are paid;

15. A statement that a petition may be filed for suspension of any license, certificate, registration, or other authorization to engage in a profession, trade, business, occupation, or recreational activity issued by the Commonwealth to a parent as provided in § 63.2-1937 upon a delinquency for a period of 90 days or more or in amount of $5,000 or more. The order shall indicate whether either or both parents currently hold such an authorization and, if so, the type of authorization held;

16. A statement that the Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend or refuse to renew the driving privileges of any person upon receipt of notice from the Department of Social Services that the person (i) is delinquent in the payment of child support by 90 days or in an amount of $5,000 or more or (ii) has failed to comply with a subpoena, summons, or warrant relating to paternity or child support proceedings; and

17. A statement that on and after July 1, 1994, the Department of Social Services, as provided in § 63.2-1921 and in accordance with § 20-108.2, may initiate a review of the amount of support ordered by any court.

If no answer is received by the Commissioner within 10 days of the date of service or acceptance, the administrative support order shall be effective as provided in the notice. The Commissioner may initiate collection procedures pursuant to this chapter, Chapter 11 (§ 16.1-226 et seq.) of Title 16.1 or Title 20. The debtor and the obligee have 10 days from the date of receipt of the notice to file an answer with the Commissioner to exercise the right to an administrative hearing.

Any changes in the amount of the administrative order must be made pursuant to this section. In no event shall an administrative hearing alter or amend the amount or terms of any court order for support or decree of divorce ordering support. No administrative support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified from the date that notice of the review has been served on the nonrequesting party. Notice of each review shall be served on the nonrequesting party (1) in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327, or 8.01-329, (2) by certified mail, return receipt requested, (3) by electronic means, or (4) by the nonrequesting party executing a waiver. The existence of an administrative order shall not preclude either an obligor or obligee from commencing appropriate proceedings in a juvenile and domestic relations district court or a circuit court.

1985, c. 488, § 63.1-252.1; 1986, c. 594; 1987, cc. 640, 649; 1988, c. 906; 1991, cc. 651, 694; 1993, c. 534; 1994, c. 764; 1995, cc. 593, 600; 1996, cc. 879, 884, 889; 1997, cc. 796, 895; 1998, cc. 107, 885; 2002, cc. 747, 844; 2004, c. 204; 2006, cc. 720, 869; 2007, c. 600; 2009, cc. 706, 713; 2016, c. 29; 2020, cc. 1227, 1246.

§ 63.2-1917. When delivery of notice to party at last known address may be deemed sufficient.

In any subsequent child support enforcement proceeding between the parties, upon sufficient showing that diligent effort was made to ascertain the location of a party, that party may be served with any required notice by delivery of the written notice to that party's residential or business address as filed with the court pursuant to § 20-60.3 or the Department, or if changed, as shown in the records of the Department or the court or by electronic means as defined in § 63.2-1900. However, any person served with notice as provided in this section may challenge, in a subsequent judicial proceeding, an order entered based upon such service on the grounds that he did not receive the notice and enforcement of the order would constitute manifest injustice.

1997, cc. 796, 895, § 63.1-250.2:1; 1998, c. 884; 2002, c. 747; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1918. Administrative establishment of obligations.

The Department shall set child support at the amount resulting from computations pursuant to the guideline set out in § 20-108.2 in determining the required monthly support obligation, the amount of support obligation arrearage, if any, and the amount to be paid periodically against such arrearage. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the guidelines is the correct amount of child support to be awarded. In order to rebut the presumption the Department shall make written findings in its order that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case as determined by relevant evidence pertaining to support for other children in the household or other children for whom any administrative or court order exists, or relevant evidence pertaining to imputed income to a person who is voluntarily unemployed or who fails to provide verification of income upon request of the Department; provided that income may not be imputed to the custodial parent because (i) a child is not regularly attending school, (ii) child care services are not available, or (iii) the cost of such child care services are not added to the basic child support obligation. Additional factors that may lead to rebuttal of the presumption shall be determined by Department regulation.

1988, c. 907, § 63.1-264.2; 1989, c. 599; 1992, c. 79; 1996, cc. 947, 1029; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1919. Requirement to provide financial statements.

Any noncustodial parent in the Commonwealth whose absence or failure to provide support and maintenance is the basis upon which an application is filed for child support services or public assistance and any custodial parent who applies for public assistance or child support services shall be required to complete a statement of his or her current monthly income, his or her total income over the past twelve months, amounts due from or to such person or parent under any court or administrative orders for support of a child or child and spouse, the number of dependents for whom he or she is providing support, the amount he or she is contributing regularly toward the support of all children or custodial parents for whom application is made, and such other information as is pertinent to determining his or her ability to support his or her children or custodial parent. Such noncustodial parent shall certify under penalty of perjury the correctness of the statement. Such statement shall be provided upon demand made by the Department or any attorney representing the Department. Additional statements shall be filed annually thereafter with the Department as long as a debt to the Department exists or as long as there is an authorization for the Department to collect or enforce a support obligation. Failure to comply with this section shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.5; 1991, cc. 545, 588; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1920. Department may order exchange of financial information.

The Department may order the obligor and payee to notify each other at specified intervals of current gross income as defined in § 20-108.2 and any other pertinent information which may affect child support amounts. For good cause shown, the Department may order that such information be provided to the Department and made available to the parties for inspection in lieu of the parties' providing such information directly to each other.

1988, c. 907, § 63.1-264.1; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1921. Authority to initiate reviews of certain orders.

A. The Department may, pursuant to this chapter and in accordance with § 20-108.2, initiate a review of the amount of support ordered by any court. If a material change in circumstances has occurred, the Department shall report its findings and a proposed modified order to the court which entered the order or the court having current jurisdiction. Notice of each review shall be served on the nonrequesting party (i) in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327, or 8.01-329, (ii) by certified mail, return receipt requested, (iii) by electronic means, or (iv) by the nonrequesting party executing a waiver. Either party may request a hearing on the proposed modified order by filing a request with such court within 30 days of receipt of notice by the requesting party. Unless a hearing is requested within the time limits, no hearing shall be required and the court shall enter the modified order, which shall be effective from the date that notice of such review was served on the nonrequesting party. The court shall modify any prior court order, or schedule a hearing on its motion and so notify the parties and the Department. If a hearing is held, the Department shall have the burden of proof.

B. However, if the order being reviewed by the Department deviated from the guidelines, when entered, based on one or more of the deviating factors set out in § 20-108.1 and the Department determines that there has been a material change in circumstances, the procedure set forth in subsection A shall not apply and the Department shall schedule a hearing with the court which entered the order or the court having current jurisdiction.

C. A material change in circumstances shall be deemed to have occurred if the difference between the existing child support award and the amount which would result from application of the guidelines is at least 10 percent of the existing child support award but not less than $25 per month.

1994, c. 795, § 63.1-252.2; 1996, c. 889; 1998, c. 885; 2002, c. 747; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1922. Commissioner may set amount of debt accrued where no court order or final divorce decree.

The Commissioner may, at any time, consistent with the provisions of § 63.2-1918, set or reset the amount of the debt accrued or accruing, due and owing under this chapter in those cases where there has been no court order for support or final decree of divorce ordering support entered.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-264; 1977, c. 538; 1985, c. 488; 1988, cc. 906, 907; 2002, c. 747.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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