Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
3/20/2019

Subtitle V. Administrative Child Support.

Chapter 19. Child Support Enforcement.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 63.2-1900. Definitions.

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.

"Cash medical support" means the proportional amount the court or the Department shall order both parents to pay toward reasonable and necessary unreimbursed medical or dental expenses pursuant to subsection D of § 20-108.2.

"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).

"Department-sponsored health care coverage" means any health care coverage that the Department may make available through a private contractor for children receiving child support services from the Department.

"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.

"Electronic means" means service of a required notice by the Department through its secure online child support portal to any person who has agreed to accept service through the portal and has created a user account. The portal shall record and maintain the date and time service is accepted by the user.

"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 Department-sponsored health care coverage, without regard to service delivery mechanism; unless the court deems otherwise in the best interests of the child or by 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.

§ 63.2-1901. Purpose of chapter; powers and duties of the Department.

It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the efficient and accurate collection, accounting and receipt of support for financially dependent children and their custodians, and to further the effective and timely enforcement of such support while ensuring that all functions in the Department are appropriate or necessary to comply with applicable federal law.

Nonattorney employees of the Department are authorized to complete, sign and file petitions and motions on forms approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia relating to the establishment, modification, or enforcement of support in Department cases in the juvenile and domestic relations district courts. Orders entered prior to July 1, 2008, shall not be deemed void or voidable solely because such petitions and motions were signed by nonattorney employees.

When so ordered by the court or the Department, support for financially dependent children and their custodians shall be paid by obligors to the Department's State Disbursement Unit (SDU) or in district offices located within the Commonwealth for processing by the SDU. The Department shall have authority to enter into contracts with any appropriate public or private entities to enforce, collect, account for and disburse payments for child or spousal support.

The Division of Child Support Enforcement within the Department shall be authorized to issue payments to implement the disbursement of funds pursuant to the provisions of this section.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-249; 1975, c. 596; 1976, c. 357; 1987, cc. 658, 706; 1998, c. 727; 2001, c. 573; 2002, c. 747; 2008, cc. 136, 845.

§ 63.2-1902. Central unit for information and administration; request and receipt of information from other entities and agencies; disclosure of such information.

The Department is authorized and directed to establish a central unit within the Department to administer the Title IV D State Plan according to 45 C.F.R. 302.12. The central unit shall have the statewide jurisdiction and authority to:

1. Establish a registry for the receipt of information;

2. Answer interstate inquiries concerning noncustodial parents;

3. Coordinate and supervise departmental activities in relation to noncustodial parents to ensure effective cooperation with law-enforcement agencies; and

4. Contract and enter into cooperative agreements with individuals and agencies including law-enforcement agencies, in order that they may assist the Department in its responsibilities.

The central unit within the Department shall supervise offices whose primary functions are:

a. Location of absent noncustodial parents;

b. Assessment of the ability of parents to pay child or child and spousal support and to obtain health care coverage or cash medical support, or both, for dependent children;

c. Establishment, modification and enforcement of support obligations including health care coverage for dependent children, through administrative action;

d. Preparation of individual cases for court action existing under all laws of the Commonwealth;

e. Ensuring on a consistent basis that support continues in all cases in which support is assessed administratively or ordered by the court; and

f. Provision of its services in establishing paternity and establishing and enforcing support obligations equally to public-assisted and nonpublic-assisted families.

To effectuate the purposes of this section, the Commissioner may request and shall receive from the records of state, county and local agencies within and without the Commonwealth, including but not limited to such agencies and entities responsible for vital records; tax and revenue; real and titled personal property; authorizations to engage in a business, trade, profession or occupation; employment security; motor vehicle licensing and registration; public assistance programs and corrections, all information and assistance as authorized by this chapter. The Commissioner may request from state and local criminal justice agencies within the Commonwealth assistance in locating and serving individuals who owe child support and have an outstanding civil show cause summons or capias pursuant to § 16.1-278.16. Solely for the purposes of obtaining motor vehicle licensing and registration information from entities within and without the Commonwealth, the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall be deemed to be a criminal justice agency.

With respect to individuals who owe child support or are alleged in a pending paternity proceeding to be a putative father, the Commissioner may request and shall receive the names and addresses of such individuals and the names and addresses of such individuals' employers as appearing in the customer records of public service corporations and companies as defined in § 56-1, cable television companies and financial institutions. All state, county and city departments, boards, bureaus or other entities or agencies, officers and employees shall cooperate in the location of noncustodial parents who have abandoned or deserted, or are failing to support, children and their custodial parents and shall on request supply the Department with all information on hand relative to the location, income, benefits and property of such noncustodial parents, notwithstanding any provision of law making such information confidential. These entities are authorized to provide such information as is necessary for this purpose. Only information directly bearing on the identity and whereabouts of a person owing or asserted to be owing an obligation of support shall be requested and used or transmitted by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may make such information available only to public officials, agencies and political subdivisions of this Commonwealth, and other states seeking to locate parents who have deserted their children and other persons liable for support of dependents for the purpose of enforcing their liability for support. A civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 may be assessed by the Commissioner for a failure to respond to a request for information made in accordance with this section.

Any public or private person, partnership, firm, corporation or association, any financial institution and any political subdivision, department or other entity of the Commonwealth who in good faith and in the absence of gross negligence, willful misconduct or breach of an ethical duty, provide information requested pursuant to this section shall be immune from liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise result from the release of such information to the Department.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.6; 1990, c. 836; 1991, cc. 545, 588; 1994, c. 665; 1997, cc. 796, 895; 2001, c. 573; 2002, c. 747; 2003, cc. 467, 929, 942; 2009, c. 713.

§ 63.2-1903. Authority to issue certain orders; civil penalty.

A. In the absence of a court order, the Department shall have the authority to issue orders directing the payment of child, and child and spousal support and, if available at reasonable cost as defined in § 63.2-1900, to require a provision for health care coverage, including Department-sponsored health care coverage, or cash medical support, or both, for dependent children of the parents, which shall include the requirements specified for employers pursuant to subdivision A 5 of § 20-79.3. The Department shall have the authority to make available Department-sponsored health care coverage for children receiving child support services from the Department. If health care coverage is unavailable at a reasonable cost, as defined in § 63.2-1900, or inaccessible to either parent, the Department shall refer the dependent children to the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security plan pursuant to § 32.1-351. However, prior to referring the dependent children to the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security plan, the Department shall confirm that neither parent has access to health care coverage at a reasonable cost for the dependent children. 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.

In ordering the payment of child support, the Department shall set such support at the amount resulting from computation pursuant to the guideline set out in § 20-108.2, subject to the provisions of § 63.2-1918.

B. When a payee, as defined in § 63.2-1900, no longer has physical custody of a child, the Department shall have the authority to redirect child support payments to a custodial parent who has physical custody of the child when an assignment of rights has been made to the Department or an application for services has been made by such custodial parent with the Division of Child Support Enforcement.

C. The Department shall have the authority, upon notice from the Department of Medical Assistance Services, to use any existing enforcement mechanisms provided by this chapter to collect the wages, salary, or other employment income or to withhold amounts from state tax refunds of any obligor who has not used payments received from a third party to reimburse, as appropriate, either the other parent of such child or the provider of such services, to the extent necessary to reimburse the Department of Medical Assistance Services.

D. The Department may order the obligor and payee to notify each other or the Department upon request 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. The Department shall record the social security number of each party or control number issued to a party by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-342 in the Department's file of the case.

E. The Department shall develop procedures governing the method and timing of periodic review and adjustment of child support orders established or enforced or both pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, as amended. If there is an assignment under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act or at the request of either parent subject to the order, the Department shall initiate a review of such order every three years without requiring proof or showing of a change in circumstances, and shall initiate appropriate action to adjust such order in accordance with the provisions of § 20-108.2 and subject to the provisions of § 63.2-1918.

F. In order to provide essential information for whatever establishment or enforcement actions are necessary for the collection of child support, the Commissioner, the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement and district managers of Division of Child Support Enforcement offices shall have the right to (i) subpoena financial records of, or other information relating to, the noncustodial parent and obligee from any person, firm, corporation, association, or political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth and (ii) summons the noncustodial parent and obligee to appear in the Division's offices. The Commissioner, Director and district managers may also subpoena copies of state and federal income tax returns. The district managers shall be trained in the correct use of the subpoena process prior to exercising subpoena authority. A civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 may be assessed by the Commissioner for a failure to respond to a subpoena issued pursuant to this subsection.

G. In the absence of a court order, the Department may establish an administrative support order on an out-of-state obligor pursuant to subdivision A 8 or A 9 of § 8.01-328.1 or 20-88.35. The Department may also take action to enforce an administrative or court order on an out-of-state obligor. Service of such actions shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329 or by certified mail, return receipt requested, or electronic means in accordance with § 63.2-1917.

H. If a support order has been issued in another state but the obligor, the obligee, and the child now live in the Commonwealth, the Department may (i) enforce the order without registration, using all enforcement remedies available under this chapter and (ii) register the order in the appropriate tribunal of the Commonwealth for enforcement or modification.

1985, c. 488, § 63.1-250.1; 1986, c. 594; 1988, cc. 906, 907; 1989, c. 599; 1990, c. 836; 1991, cc. 651, 694; 1992, c. 716; 1994, cc. 729, 767; 1995, c. 595; 1996, cc. 491, 882, 925, 948; 1997, cc. 440, 467, 794, 796, 895, 898; 2002, cc. 747, 844; 2007, c. 600; 2009, cc. 125, 713; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1904. Administrative support remedies available for individuals not receiving public assistance; fees.

The Department shall make available to those individuals not receiving public assistance, upon receipt of an authorization to seek or enforce a support obligation the same support services provided to recipients of public assistance. These services may include, but are not limited to:

1. Locating noncustodial parents to obtain child support;

2. Establishing paternity;

3. Establishing or modifying child support obligations, that shall include a provision for health care coverage for dependent children of the parents; and

4. Enforcing and collecting child support obligations; however, the only support in arrears that may be enforced by administrative action is (i) arrearages accrued or accruing under a court order or decree or (ii) arrearages on an administrative order accruing from the entry of such administrative order.

No individual shall be required to obtain support services from the Department prior to commencing a judicial proceeding to establish, modify, enforce or collect a child support obligation.

The Board shall charge the following fees:

a. One dollar, upon application for services pursuant to this section. At the option of the Department, the fee may be paid by the Department on behalf of the applicants;

b. Twenty-five dollars, for the cost of reopening a case within six months of requesting case closure; and

c. Twenty-five dollars per federal fiscal year in each case of an obligee who has never received assistance pursuant to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program and for whom the Department has collected at least $500 of child support annually.

The Department is further designated as the public entity responsible for implementing immediate income withholding pursuant to § 466 of the Social Security Act, as amended.

1985, c. 488, § 63.1-250.2; 1986, c. 594; 1988, c. 906; 1992, c. 527; 1995, c. 714; 2002, c. 747; 2007, cc. 11, 600.

§ 63.2-1905. Establishment of State Case Registry.

The Department shall keep and maintain a State Case Registry (Registry) that contains case records of services provided by the Division of Child Support Enforcement, as well as each support order established or modified in the Commonwealth. Records contained in this Registry shall be promptly updated, maintained, and regularly monitored, and shall include (i) information on administrative actions and administrative and judicial proceedings and orders relating to paternity establishment and support; (ii) information obtained from comparison with federal, state or local sources of information; (iii) information on support collections and distributions; and (iv) any other relevant information. The Supreme Court of Virginia shall report information concerning judicial proceedings and orders relating to paternity and support to the Department. The Department shall be permitted to disseminate Registry information for information comparisons with other state and federal agencies, and as may be required pursuant to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193) and any regulations adopted thereto. Such information comparison activities shall include the following: (a) Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders, (b) Federal Parent Locator Service, (c) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid, and (d) intrastate and interstate information comparisons.

1998, c. 109, § 63.1-250.1:3; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1906. Department may disclose information to Internal Revenue Services.

Upon approval of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department may disclose to and keep the Internal Revenue Services of the Treasury of the United States advised of the names of all persons who are under legal obligation to support any dependent child or dependent children or their custodial parents and who are not doing so, to the end that the Internal Revenue Services may have available to it the names of such persons for review in connection with income tax returns and claims of dependencies made by persons filing income tax returns.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.3; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1907. Child support enforcement; private contracts.

A. Pursuant to the authority granted in § 63.2-1901, child support enforcement field work administrative functions and central office payment processing functions in the Commonwealth may be performed by private entities. The Department shall supervise the administration of the child support enforcement program, let and monitor all contracts with private entities and ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. The Department may also enter into contracts with private collection agencies and other entities to effect the collection of child support arrearages. Contracts entered into pursuant to this section shall be in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations governing public entities pursuant to the Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.). Any contract to perform child support enforcement field work administrative functions and central office payment processing functions entered into by the Department shall contain a provision that the entity to whom the contract is awarded shall give employment preference to qualified persons whose employment with the Division of Child Support Enforcement is terminated as a result of the privatization of child support enforcement functions. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when hiring to fill vacant positions within the Department, preference shall be given to qualified persons who are unable to obtain employment with an entity who is awarded a contract to perform child support enforcement field work administrative functions and central office payment processing functions pursuant to this section and whose employment with the Division of Child Support Enforcement is terminated as a result of the privatization of child support enforcement functions.

B. The Board shall establish guidelines to implement the Department's responsibilities under this section. Such guidelines shall specify procedures by which child support enforcement funding mechanisms authorized by state and federal law are allocated to fund central office and privatized child support enforcement functions.

1996, c. 1054, § 63.1-249.1; 1998, cc. 494, 499; 2002, cc. 262, 747.

Article 2. Public Assistance.

§ 63.2-1908. Payment of public assistance for child or custodial parent constitutes debt to Department by noncustodial parents; limitations; Department subrogated to rights.

Any payment of public assistance money made to or for the benefit of any dependent child or children or their custodial parent creates a debt due and owing to the Department by the person or persons who are responsible for support of such children or custodial parent in an amount equal to the amount of public assistance money so paid. However, if a custodial parent receives TANF payments for some of the custodial parent's dependent children but not for other children pursuant to § 63.2-604, the custodial parent shall receive the total amount of support collected for the children for whom no TANF benefits are received. Such support payments shall not create a debt due and owing to the Department and the value of such payments shall not be counted as income for purposes of TANF eligibility and grant determination. Where there has been a court order for support, final decree of divorce ordering support, or administrative order under the provisions of this chapter for support, the debt shall be limited to the amount of such order or decree. The Commissioner, pursuant to § 63.2-1922, shall establish the debt in an amount determined to be consistent with a noncustodial parent's ability to pay. The Department shall have the right to petition the appropriate court for modification of a court order on the same grounds as either party to such cause.

The Department shall be subrogated to the right of such child or children or custodial parent to prosecute or maintain any support action or execute any administrative remedy existing under the laws of the Commonwealth to obtain reimbursement of moneys thus expended and may collect on behalf of any such child, children or custodial parent any amount contained in any court order of support or any administrative order of support regardless of whether or not the amount of such orders exceeds the amount of public assistance paid. Any support paid in excess of the total amount of public assistance paid shall be returned to the custodial parent by the Department. If a court order for support or final decree of divorce ordering support enters judgment for an amount of support to be paid by such noncustodial parent, the Department shall be subrogated to the debt created by such order, and said money judgment shall be deemed to be in favor of the Department. In any judicial proceeding brought by an attorney on behalf of the Department pursuant to this section to enforce a support obligation in which the Department prevails, attorney's fees shall be assessed pursuant to § 63.2-1960.

The Department shall have the authority to pursue establishment and enforcement actions against the person responsible for support after the closure of the public assistance case unless the custodial parent notifies the Department in writing that child support enforcement services are no longer desired.

Debt created by an administrative support order under this section shall not be incurred by nor at any time be collected from a noncustodial parent who is the recipient of public assistance moneys for the benefit of minor dependent children for the period such person or persons are in such status. Recipients of federal supplemental security income shall not be subject to the establishment of an administrative support order while they receive benefits from that source.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-251; 1975, c. 596; 1976, c. 357; 1977, cc. 538, 662; 1985, c. 488; 1988, c. 907; 1992, c. 716; 1993, cc. 534, 602; 1995, c. 450; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1908.1. Arrears compromise program.

The Department may establish and operate an arrears compromise program pursuant to which it may compromise child support arrears and interest accrued thereon owed to the Commonwealth for reimbursement of public assistance paid. The program shall take into consideration the obligor's ability to pay.

2015, c. 506.

§ 63.2-1909. Receipt of public assistance for child as assignment of right in support obligation; Commissioner as attorney for endorsing drafts.

By accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, the recipient shall be deemed to have made an assignment to the Department of any and all right, title, and interest in any support obligation and arrearages owed to or for such child or children or custodial parent up to the amount of public assistance money paid for or on behalf of such child or children or custodial parent for such term of time as such public assistance moneys are paid; provided, however, that the Department may thereafter continue to collect any outstanding support obligation or arrearage owed to the Department as a result of such assignment up to the amount of public assistance money paid for or on behalf of such child or children or custodial parent which has not been paid by the noncustodial parent. The recipient shall also be deemed, without the necessity of signing any document, to have appointed the Commissioner as his or her true and lawful attorney-in-fact to act in his or her name, place, and stead to perform the specific act of endorsing any and all drafts, checks, money orders or other negotiable instruments representing support payments which are received on behalf of such child or children or custodial parent as reimbursement for the public assistance moneys previously paid to such recipient.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-273; 1976, cc. 357, 549; 1977, c. 662; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1910. Payment of foster care expenditures for child constitutes debt to local department by noncustodial parents; limitations; local department subrogated to rights.

Any payment by a local department or public agency designated by a community policy and management team for room, board, and social services for a child in the custody of, or placed with, the local department or public agency designated by the community policy and management team, creates a debt due and owing to the local department or public agency by the persons responsible for support of such child in an amount equal to the amount paid by the local department or designated public agency and shall be assessable by the local department or designated public agency. However, where there has been a court order for support, final decree of divorce ordering support, or administrative order for support, the debt shall be limited to the amount of such order or decree. The Commissioner, pursuant to § 63.2-1922, or the court, pursuant to § 16.1-290, shall establish the debt in an amount determined to be consistent with the noncustodial parent's ability to pay. The Department, local department, or designated public agency shall have the right to petition the appropriate court for modification of a court order on the same grounds as either party to such cause.

The Department shall be subrogated to the right of such child to prosecute or maintain any support action or execute any administrative remedy existing under the laws of the Commonwealth to obtain reimbursement of moneys thus expended, and may collect on behalf of any such child any amount contained in any court order of support or any administrative order of support regardless of whether or not the amount of such orders exceeds the total amount paid by the local department or designated public agency. Any support paid in excess of the total amount shall be maintained in an account at the local department or designated public agency on behalf of the child. Any funds remaining in the account at the time that the child leaves foster care shall be paid either to the new legal guardian or to the child if he has been emancipated. If a court order for support or final decree of divorce ordering support enters judgment for an amount of support to be paid by such noncustodial parent, the Department shall be subrogated to the debt created by such order, and the money judgment shall be deemed to be in favor of the Department. In any judicial proceeding brought by an attorney on behalf of the Department pursuant to this section to enforce a support obligation in which the Department prevails, attorney's fees shall be assessed pursuant to § 63.2-1960.

The Department shall have the authority to pursue establishment and enforcement actions against the persons responsible for support after the local department or designated public agency no longer has custody of the child or responsibility for foster care placement.

Debts created by an administrative support order under this section shall not be incurred by nor at any time collected from a noncustodial parent who is the recipient of public assistance for the benefit of minor dependent children for the period such person is in such status. Recipients of federal supplemental security income shall not be subject to the establishment of an administrative support order while they receive benefits from that source.

1995, c. 817, § 63.1-251.3; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1911. Duty of local departments to enforce support; referral to Department.

Whenever a local department approves an application for public assistance on behalf of a child or children and it appears to the satisfaction of the local department that the child has been abandoned by the noncustodial parent or that the person who has a responsibility for the care, support, or maintenance of such child has failed or neglected to give proper care or support to such child, the local department shall refer the matter to the Division within the Department responsible for the enforcement of support.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.2; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1912. Minor noncustodial parents whose child receives TANF; child support obligations.

If a minor noncustodial parent whose child receives TANF is not in compliance with compulsory school attendance laws in Article 1 (§ 22.1-254 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1, he shall be required to pay child support as if he were an adult, and child support shall be collected.

1995, c. 450, § 63.1-105.5; 2002, c. 747.

Article 3. Paternity.

§ 63.2-1913. Administrative establishment of paternity.

The Department may establish the parent and child relationship between a child and a man upon request, verified by oath or affirmation, filed by a child, a parent, a person claiming parentage, a person standing in loco parentis to the child or having legal custody of the child, or a representative of the Department or the Department of Juvenile Justice. The request may be filed at any time before the child attains the age of eighteen years.

Pursuant to subsection F of § 63.2-1903, the Department may summons a parent or putative parent to appear in the office of the Division of Child Support Enforcement to provide such information as may be necessary to the proceeding.

Paternity may be established by a written statement of the father and mother made under oath acknowledging paternity or scientifically reliable genetic tests, including blood tests, which affirm at least a ninety-eight percent probability of paternity. The Department may order genetic testing and shall pay the costs of such tests, subject to recoupment from the father, if paternity is established. Where an original test is contested and additional testing is requested, the Department may require advance payment by the contestant.

Before a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is accepted by the Department as the basis for establishing paternity, the Department shall provide to both the mother and the putative father a written and oral description of the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity and the consequences that arise from a signed acknowledgment, including the right to rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of (i) sixty days from the date of signing or (ii) the date of entry of an order in an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child in which the signatory is a party.

A genetic test result affirming at least a ninety-eight percent probability of paternity shall have the same legal effect as a judgment entered pursuant to § 20-49.8. When sixty days have elapsed from its signing, a voluntary statement acknowledging paternity shall have the same legal effect as a judgment entered pursuant to § 20-49.8 and shall be binding and conclusive unless, in a subsequent judicial proceeding, the person challenging the statement establishes that the statement resulted from fraud, duress or a material mistake of fact. In any subsequent proceeding in which a statement acknowledging paternity is subject to challenge, the legal responsibilities of any person signing it shall not be suspended during the pendency of the proceeding, except for good cause shown.

The order of the Department in proceedings pursuant to this section shall be served upon the putative father in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 8 (§ 8.01-285 et seq.) or Chapter 9 (§ 8.01-328 et seq.) of Title 8.01. The Department shall file a copy of its order determining paternity, including the information required by subsection C of § 20-49.8, with the State Registrar of Vital Records within thirty days after the acknowledgment becomes binding and conclusive or the order otherwise becomes final. No judicial or administrative proceeding shall be required to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity nor shall the Department or the courts have any jurisdiction over proceedings to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment.

1997, cc. 792, 896, § 63.1-250.1:2; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1914. Hospital paternity establishment programs.

Each public and private birthing hospital in the Commonwealth shall provide unwed parents the opportunity to legally establish the paternity of a child prior to the child's discharge from the hospital following birth, by means of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity signed by the mother and the father, under oath.

Birthing hospitals are defined as hospitals with licensed obstetric-care units, hospitals licensed to provide obstetric services, or licensed birthing centers associated with a hospital. Birthing centers are facilities outside hospitals that provide maternity services.

Designated staff members of such hospitals shall provide to both the mother and the alleged father, if he is present at the hospital, (i) written materials regarding paternity establishment, (ii) the forms necessary to voluntarily acknowledge paternity, (iii) a written and oral description of the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity, and (iv) the opportunity, prior to the child's discharge from the hospital, to speak with staff who are trained to provide information and answer questions about paternity establishment. The provision by designated hospital staff members of the information required by this section, consistent with federal regulations, shall not constitute the unauthorized practice of law pursuant to Chapter 39 (§ 54.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

Hospitals shall send the original acknowledgment of paternity containing the social security numbers, if available, of both parents, with the information required by Article 2 (§ 32.1-257 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 32.1, to the State Registrar of Vital Records so that the birth certificate issued includes the name of the legal father of the child.

The Department shall (a) provide to birthing hospitals all necessary materials and forms, and a written description of the rights and responsibilities related to voluntary acknowledgment of paternity; (b) provide the necessary training, guidance and written instructions regarding voluntary acknowledgment of paternity; (c) annually assess each birthing hospital's paternity establishment program; (d) pay to each hospital an amount determined by regulation of the Board for each acknowledgment of paternity signed under oath by both parents; and (e) determine if a voluntary acknowledgment has been filed with the State Registrar of Vital Records in cases applying for paternity establishment services.

1994, c. 718, § 20-49.9; 1997, cc. 792, 896; 2002, c. 747.

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. 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.

§ 63.2-1917. 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.

Article 5. Income Withholding.

§ 63.2-1923. Immediate withholding from income; exception; notices required.

A. Every administrative support order directing a noncustodial parent to pay child or child and spousal support shall provide for immediate income withholding from the noncustodial parent's income as defined in § 63.2-1900 of an amount for current support plus an amount to be applied toward liquidation of arrearages, if any, unless the obligor and the Department, on behalf of the obligee, agree to a written alternative payment arrangement, or good cause is shown. Good cause shall be based upon a written determination that, and explanation by the Department of why, implementing immediate withholding would not be in the best interests of the child. The total amount withheld shall not exceed the maximum amount permitted under § 34-29.

B. The order shall include, but not be limited to, notice (i) of the amount that will be withheld, (ii) that the withholding applies to any current or subsequent period of employment, (iii) of the right to contest whether a duty of support is owed and the information specified in the administrative order is correct, (iv) that a written request to appeal the withholding shall be made to the Department within 10 days of receipt of the notice, and (v) of the actions that will be taken by the Department if an appeal is noted, which shall include the opportunity to present his objections to the administrative hearing officer at a hearing held pursuant to § 63.2-1942. Upon service of the order on the employer by first-class or certified mail, by electronic means, or by service in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329, the employer shall deliver the order to the noncustodial parent.

C. The noncustodial parent's employer shall be issued by first-class or certified mail or by electronic means, including facsimile transmission, an administrative order for withholding of income which shall conform to § 20-79.3. The rights and responsibilities of an employer with respect to such orders are set out in § 20-79.3.

D. Administrative orders for withholding from income shall be promptly terminated or modified by the Department when (i) the obligation to support has been satisfied and arrearages have been paid, (ii) the whereabouts of the child or child and custodial parent become unknown, or (iii) modification is appropriate because of a change in the amount of the obligation.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-258.1; 1990, c. 896; 1991, c. 334; 1995, c. 714; 1997, cc. 648, 663; 1998, c. 727; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 469; 2015, c. 52; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1924. Withholding from income; default of administrative or judicial support order; notices required; priorities; orders from other states.

A. As part of every administrative support order directing a noncustodial parent to pay child or child and spousal support or by separate order at any time thereafter, provision shall be made for withholding from the income of the noncustodial parent the amount of the withholding order plus an amount to be applied toward liquidation of arrearages if the noncustodial parent fails to make payments in an amount equal to the support payable for one month. The total amount withheld shall not exceed the maximum amount permitted under § 34-29.

B. Upon default of an administrative or judicial support order, the Department shall serve notice on the noncustodial parent's employer of the delinquency in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329 or by certified mail or electronic means, including facsimile transmission, for delivery to the noncustodial parent. The notice shall inform the noncustodial parent (i) of the amount that will be withheld, (ii) that the withholding applies to any current or subsequent period of employment, (iii) of the right to contest but that the only basis for contesting the withholding is a mistake of fact, (iv) that a written request to contest the withholding must be made to the Department within 10 days of receipt of the notice, (v) of the actions that will be taken by the Department if a request to contest is noted, which shall include the opportunity to present his objections, which shall be limited to a mistake of fact, to the administrative hearing officer at a hearing held pursuant to § 63.2-1942, (vi) that a determination on the contest will be made no later than 45 days from the date of service of such notice, and (vii) that payment of overdue support upon receipt of the required notice shall not be a bar to the implementation of withholding.

C. The noncustodial parent's employer shall be issued by first-class or certified mail or by electronic means, including facsimile transmission, an administrative order for withholding of income that shall conform to § 20-79.3. The rights and responsibilities of an employer with respect to such orders are set out in § 20-79.3.

D. The Department shall have the authority in the issuance of an administrative order under § 20-79.3, based on an existing court order, to convert the terms of payment to conform with the obligor's pay period interval. The Department shall utilize the conversion formula established by the Committee on District Courts.

E. Administrative orders for withholding from income shall be promptly terminated or modified by the Department when (i) the obligation to support has been satisfied and arrearages have been paid, (ii) the whereabouts of the child or child and custodial parent become unknown, or (iii) modification is appropriate because of a change in the amount of the obligation.

F. 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 issue an order, conforming to § 20-79.3, to the noncustodial parent's employer in this Commonwealth to withhold from the income of the noncustodial parent pursuant to a foreign support order in the same manner as provided in this section for administrative orders originating in this Commonwealth. Similar orders of the Department may be enforced in a similar manner in such other state, territory or district.

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; 2015, c. 52; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1924.1. Health care coverage; National Medical Support Notice.

A. All child support orders established and enforced pursuant to this title shall include a provision for health care coverage of dependent children. The Department shall use the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to enforce the provision of health care coverage through an employment-related group health plan pursuant to a child support order if available at a reasonable cost, as that term is defined in § 63.2-1900, unless a court or administrative order stipulates alternative health care coverage to employer-based coverage.

B. The Department shall transfer the NMSN to employers within two business days following the date of entry into the State Directory of New Hires of an employee who is obligated to pay child support or to provide health care coverage pursuant to this title. Employers shall transfer the NMSN to the appropriate group plan providing the health care coverage for each eligible child (excluding the severable Notice to Withhold for Health Care Coverage directing the employer to withhold any mandatory employee contributions to the plan) within twenty business days after the date of the NMSN. The Department, in consultation with the custodial parent, shall promptly select from available plan options when the plan administrator reports that there is more than one option available under the plan.

C. Employers shall withhold any obligation of the employee for employee contribution necessary for coverage of each eligible child and send any amount withheld directly to the plan. An employee obligated for contribution necessary for coverage may contest the withholding based on a mistake of fact. If the employee contests the withholding, the employer shall continue to withhold the obligation necessary for coverage until the employer receives notice that the contest is resolved in favor of the employee.

D. Employers shall notify the Department promptly whenever the employment of a parent ordered to provide health care coverage is terminated in the same manner as required for income withholding pursuant to § 20-79.3. The Department shall promptly notify an employer when there is no longer a current order for health care coverage in effect for which the Department is responsible.

2002, c. 844, § 63.1-250.3:1; 2009, c. 713.

§ 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, or by electronic means 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; 2016, c. 29.

§ 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.

Article 6. Enforcement Remedies.

§ 63.2-1927. Assertion of lien; effect.

Ten days after service of the notice containing the proposed administrative support order as provided in § 63.2-1916, or immediately upon receipt by the Department of a court order or foreign support order, a lien may be asserted by the Commissioner upon the real or personal property of the debtor. The claim of the Department for a support debt, not paid when due, shall be a lien when docketed against all property of the debtor in the county or city where docketed with priority of a secured creditor. The Department's lien shall take priority over all other debts and creditors under state law of such debtor including the proceeds or anticipated proceeds of a personal injury or wrongful death award or settlement except that the Department's lien shall be inferior to those liens created under § 8.01-66.2 or § 8.01-66.9, any statutory right of subrogation accruing to a health insurance provider, and the lien of the attorney representing the injured person in the personal injury or wrongful death action. However, the lien of the Department shall be subordinate to the lien of any prior mortgagee. The Department shall have the sole authority to negotiate settlement of its liens. Settlement of the Department's support liens does not affect the remaining support arrearages. This lien shall be separate and apart from, and in addition to, any other lien created by, or provided for, in this title. Such order, when an abstract thereof is docketed with the circuit court, shall have the same effect as a docketed abstract of judgment from another Virginia court.

Whenever a support lien has been filed and there is in the possession of any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth having notice of such lien, any property which may be subject to the support lien, such property shall not be paid over, released, sold, transferred, encumbered or conveyed, except as provided for by the exemptions contained in § 63.2-1933, unless a written release or waiver signed by the Commissioner has been delivered to such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth or unless a determination has been made in a hearing pursuant to § 63.2-1916 or by a court ordering release of such support lien on the basis that no debt exists or that the debt has been satisfied.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-254; 1976, c. 357; 1988, c. 906; 2002, c. 747; 2003, cc. 929, 942.

§ 63.2-1928. Service of lien.

The Commissioner may at any time after the filing of a support lien serve a copy of said lien upon any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth in possession of earnings, or deposits or balances held in any bank account of any nature that are due, owing, or belonging to such debtor. Such support lien shall be served upon the person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth either in the manner prescribed for the service of warrant in a civil action or by certified mail, return receipt requested. At any time after a support lien has been filed, the Director may notify consumer credit reporting agencies that the lien has been filed. No lien filed under § 63.2-1927 shall have any effect against earnings or bank deposits or balances unless it states the amount of the support debt accrued and unless service upon such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth in possession of earnings or bank accounts, deposits or balances is accomplished pursuant to this section.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-255; 1976, c. 357; 1988, c. 906; 2002, c. 747.

§ 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.

A. After notice containing an administrative support order has been served or service has been waived or accepted, an opportunity for a hearing has been exhausted and a copy of the order furnished as provided for in § 63.2-1916, or whenever a court order for child or child and spousal support has been entered, the Commissioner is authorized to issue to any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth, orders to withhold and to deliver property of any kind including, but not restricted to, income of the debtor, when the Commissioner has reason to believe that there is in the possession of such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth, property that is due, owing, or belonging to such debtor. The orders to withhold and to deliver shall take priority over all other debts and creditors under state law of such debtor including the proceeds or anticipated proceeds of a personal injury or wrongful death award or settlement except that the Department's lien shall be inferior to those liens created under § 8.01-66.2 or § 8.01-66.9, any statutory right of subrogation accruing to a health insurance provider, and the lien of the attorney representing the injured person in the personal injury or wrongful death action. However, orders to withhold and to deliver shall not take priority with respect to a prior payroll deduction or income withholding order pursuant to §§ 20-79.1, 20-79.2, 63.2-1923 or § 63.2-1924. The Department shall have the sole authority to negotiate settlement of its liens. Settlement of the Department's support liens does not affect the remaining support arrearages.

B. The order to withhold shall also be served upon the debtor within a reasonable time thereafter, and shall state the amount of the support debt accrued. The order shall state in summary the terms of §§ 63.2-1925 and 63.2-1930 and shall be served in the manner prescribed for the service of a warrant in a civil action, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by electronic means. The order to withhold shall advise the debtor that this order has been issued to cause the property of the debtor to be taken to satisfy the debt and advise of property that may be exempted from this order. The order shall also advise the debtor of a right to appeal such order based upon a mistake of fact and that if no appeal is made within 10 days of being served, his property is subject to be taken.

C. If the debtor believes such property is exempt from this debt, within 10 days of the date of service of the order to withhold, the debtor may file an appeal to the Commissioner stating any exemptions that may be applicable. If the Commissioner receives a timely appeal, a hearing shall be promptly scheduled before a hearing officer upon reasonable notice to the obligee. The Commissioner may delegate authority to conduct the hearing to a duly qualified hearing officer who shall consider the debtor's appeal. 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 decision of the hearing officer shall be in writing and shall set forth the debtor's rights to appeal an adverse decision of the hearing officer pursuant to § 63.2-1943. The decision shall be served upon the debtor in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329, mailed to the debtor at his last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, or provided by electronic means or service may be waived. A copy of such decision shall also be provided to the obligee. Such decision shall establish whether the debtor's property is exempt under state or federal laws and regulations.

D. Any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth upon whom service has been made is hereby required to answer such order to withhold within 10 days, exclusive of the day of service, under oath and in writing, and shall file true answers to the matters inquired of therein. In the event there is in the possession of any such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth, any property that may be subject to the claim of the Department, such property shall be withheld immediately upon receipt of the order to withhold, together with any additional property received by such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision, or department of the Commonwealth valued up to the amount of the order until receipt of an order to deliver or release. The property shall be delivered to the Commissioner upon receipt of an order to deliver; however, distribution of the property shall not be made during pendency of all appeals. Where money is due and owing under any contract of employment, express or implied, or is held by any person, firm, corporation, or association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth subject to withdrawal by the debtor, such money shall be delivered by remittance payable to the order of the Treasurer of Virginia. The person, firm, corporation, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth herein specified shall be entitled to receive from such debtor a fee of $5 for each answer or remittance on account of such debtor. The foregoing is subject to the exemptions contained in §§ 63.2-1925 and 63.2-1933.

E. Delivery to the Commissioner shall serve as full acquittance and the Commonwealth warrants and represents that it shall defend and hold harmless for such actions persons delivering money or property to the Commissioner pursuant to this chapter.

F. An order issued to an employer for withholding from the earnings of an employee pursuant to this section shall conform to § 20-79.3. The rights and obligations of an employer with respect to the order are set out in § 20-79.3.

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; 2016, c. 29.

§ 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 or electronic means 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; 2016, c. 29.

§ 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 45 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 45 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; 2009, c. 125.

§ 63.2-1932. Data exchange agreements authorized; immunity.

The Commissioner is authorized and shall, as feasible, enter into agreements with financial institutions doing business in the Commonwealth to develop and operate, in conjunction with such financial institutions, a data match system using automated data exchanges to the maximum extent feasible. Pursuant to a data match system, a financial institution shall provide on a periodic basis, but no more frequently than every three months, the account title, record address, social security number or other taxpayer identification number, for any person in arrears in the payment of child support who is identified by the Department in the request by social security number or other taxpayer identification number.

Any such agreement shall provide for the following:

1. The financial institution shall be obligated to match only those accounts for which a social security number or taxpayer identification number is provided by the Department, and shall have no obligation to match or identify any account based on a person's name or any other identifying information;

2. The financial institution shall provide the account title, record address, social security number or taxpayer identification number for any account matching the social security number and taxpayer identification number provided by the Department. It shall be the Department's responsibility to determine whether such account is an account subject to a lien, or order to withhold and deliver in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

3. The financial institution shall be given a reasonable time in which to respond to each data match request, based upon the capabilities of the financial institution to handle the data match system, but in no event less than thirty days; and

4. The financial institution shall have no obligation to hold, encumber, or surrender assets in any account based on a match until it is served with a lien or order to withhold and deliver in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

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.

§ 63.2-1932.1. Automated administrative enforcement in interstate cases.

A. The Department shall use high-volume automated administrative enforcement, to the same extent as used for intrastate cases, in response to a request made by another state to enforce support orders, and shall promptly report the results of such enforcement procedure to the requesting state. For purposes of this section, "high volume automated administrative enforcement" in interstate cases means, on the request of another state, the identification by the Department, through automated data matches with financial institutions and other entities where assets may be found, of assets owned by persons who owe child support in other states, and the seizure of such assets by the Department through levy or other appropriate processes.

B. The Department may, by electronic or other means, transmit to another state a request for assistance in enforcing child support orders through high-volume automated administrative enforcement. The request shall (i) include such information as will enable the state to which the request is transmitted to compare the information about the cases to the information in the data bases of the state; and (ii) shall constitute a certification by the Department of the amount of support in arrears and of the Department's compliance with all procedural due process requirements applicable to each case.

C. If the Department provides assistance to another state pursuant to this section, neither the Department nor the state shall consider the case to be transferred to the caseload of the other state.

D. The Department shall maintain records of (i) the number of such requests for assistance pursuant to this section; (ii) the number of cases for which the Department collected support in response to such a request; and (iii) the amount of such collected support.

2002, c. 112, § 63.1-260.4.

§ 63.2-1933. Distraint, seizure and sale of property subject to liens.

Whenever a support lien has been filed pursuant to § 63.2-1927, the Commissioner may collect the support debt stated in such lien by distraint, seizure and sale of the property subject to such lien. The Commissioner shall give notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, or electronic means to the debtor and by certified mail, return receipt requested, to any person known to have or claim an interest therein of the general description of the property to be sold and the time and place of sale of such property. A notice specifying the property to be sold shall be posted in at least two public places in the jurisdiction wherein the distraint has been made. The time of sale shall not be less than 10 nor more than 20 days from the date of posting of such notices. Such sale shall be conducted by the Commissioner, who shall proceed to sell such property by parcel or by lot at a public auction, and who may set a minimum reasonable price to include the expenses of making a levy and of advertising the sale, and if the amount bid for such property at the sale is not equal to the price so fixed, the Commissioner may declare such property to be purchased by the Department for such price, or may conduct another sale of such property pursuant to the provisions of this section. In the event of sale, the debtor's account shall be credited with the amount for which the property has been sold. Property acquired by the Department as herein prescribed may be sold by the Commissioner at public or private sale, and the amount realized shall be placed in the state general fund to the credit of the Department. In all cases of sale, as aforesaid, the Commissioner shall issue a bill of sale or a deed to the purchaser and such bill of sale or deed shall be prima facie evidence of the right of the Commissioner to make such sale and conclusive evidence of the regularity of his proceeding in making the sale and shall transfer to the purchaser all right, title, and interest of the debtor in such property. The proceeds of any such sale, except in those cases wherein the property has been acquired by the Department, shall be first applied by the Commissioner to reimbursement of the costs of distraint and the sale, and thereafter in satisfaction of the delinquent account. Any excess which shall thereafter remain in the hands of the Commissioner shall be refunded to the debtor. Sums so refundable to a debtor may be subject to seizure or distraint by any taxing authority of the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions or by the Commissioner for new sums due and owing subsequent to the subject proceeding. Except as specifically provided in this chapter, there shall be exempt from attachment, distraint, seizure, execution and sale under this chapter such property as is exempt therefrom under the laws of this Commonwealth.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-261; 1975, cc. 311, 596; 1976, c. 357; 2002, c. 747; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1934. Action for foreclosure of lien; satisfaction.

Whenever a support lien has been filed, an action in foreclosure of lien upon real or personal property may be brought in the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein such real or personal property is or was located and the lien was filed. Judgment if rendered in favor of the Department shall be for the amount due, with costs, and the court shall allow, as part of the costs, the moneys paid for making and filing the claim of lien, and a reasonable attorney's fee. The court shall order any property upon which any lien provided for by this chapter is established, to be sold by the sheriff of the proper jurisdiction to satisfy the lien and costs. The payment of the lien debt, costs and reasonable attorney's fees, at any time before sale, shall satisfy the judgment of foreclosure. Where the net proceeds of sale upon application to the debt claimed do not satisfy the debt in full, the Department shall have judgment over any deficiency remaining unsatisfied and further levy upon other property of the judgment debtor may be made under the same execution. In all sales contemplated under this section, advertising of notice shall only be necessary for two weeks in a newspaper published in the jurisdiction where such property is located, and if there be no newspaper therein, then in the most convenient newspaper having a circulation in such jurisdiction. Remedies provided for herein are alternatives to remedies provided for in other sections of this chapter.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-262; 1976, c. 357; 1988, c. 906; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1935. Satisfaction of lien after foreclosure proceedings instituted; redemption.

Any person owning real property, or any interest in real property, against which a support lien has been filed and foreclosure instituted, shall have the right to pay the amount due, together with expenses of the proceedings and reasonable attorney fee to the Commissioner and upon such payment the Commissioner shall restore said property to him and all further proceedings in such foreclosure action shall cease. Such person shall also have the right within 240 days after sale of property foreclosed under § 63.2-1934 to redeem said property by making payment to the purchaser in the amount paid by the purchaser plus interest thereon at the rate of six per centum per annum.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-263; 1976, c. 357; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1936. Procedures for posting security, bond or guarantee to secure payment of overdue support.

The Department shall require, if feasible and consistent with guidelines established by the Department, that the noncustodial parent post security or bond or give some guarantee to secure overdue payments. Advance notice shall be sent to the noncustodial parent setting forth (i) the amount of the delinquency, (ii) the proposed action to be taken by the Department, (iii) the method available for contesting the impending action and (iv) that only a "mistake of fact" as defined in § 63.2-1900 may be contested.

1986, c. 594, § 63.1-250.4; 1988, c. 906; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1937. Applications for occupational or other license to include social security or control number; suspension upon delinquency; procedure.

Every initial application for or application for renewal of a license, certificate, registration or other authorization to engage in a business, trade, profession or occupation issued by the Commonwealth pursuant to Titles 22.1, 38.2, 46.2 or 54.1 or any other provision of law shall require that the applicant provide his social security number or a control number issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-342.

Upon 30 days' notice to an obligor who (i) has failed to comply with a subpoena, summons or warrant relating to paternity or child support proceedings or (ii) is alleged to be delinquent in the payment of child support by a period of 90 days or more or for $5,000 or more, an obligee or the Department on behalf of an obligee, may petition either the court that entered or the court that is enforcing the order for child support for an order suspending any license, certificate, registration or other authorization to engage in a business, trade, profession or occupation, or recreational activity issued to the obligor by the Commonwealth pursuant to Titles 22.1, 29.1, 38.2, 46.2 or 54.1 or any other provision of law. The notice shall be sent in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327, or 8.01-329, by certified mail, with proof of actual receipt, or by electronic means. The notice shall specify that (a) the obligor has 30 days from the date of receipt to comply with the subpoena, summons or warrant or pay the delinquency or to reach an agreement with the obligee or the Department to pay the delinquency and (b) if compliance is not forthcoming or payment is not made or an agreement cannot be reached within that time, a petition will be filed seeking suspension of any license, certificate, registration or other authorization to engage in a business, trade, profession or occupation, or recreational license issued by the Commonwealth to the obligor.

The court shall not suspend a license, certificate, registration or authorization upon finding that an alternate remedy is available to the obligee or the Department that is likely to result in collection of the delinquency. Further, the court may refuse to order the suspension upon finding that (1) suspension would result in irreparable harm to the obligor or employees of the obligor or would not result in collection of the delinquency or (2) the obligor has made a demonstrated, good faith effort to reach an agreement with the obligee or the Department.

If the court finds that the obligor is delinquent in the payment of child support by 90 days or more or in an amount of $5,000 or more and holds a license, certificate, registration or other authority to engage in a business, trade, profession or occupation or recreational activity issued by the Commonwealth, it shall order suspension. The order shall require the obligor to surrender any license, certificate, registration or other such authorization to the issuing entity within 90 days of the date on which the order is entered. If at any time after entry of the order the obligor (A) pays the delinquency or (B) reaches an agreement with the obligee or the Department to satisfy the delinquency within a period not to exceed 10 years and makes at least one payment, representing at least five percent of the total delinquency or $500, whichever is greater, pursuant to the agreement, or (C) complies with the subpoena, summons or warrant or reaches an agreement with the Department with respect to the subpoena, summons or warrant, upon proof of payment or certification of the compliance or agreement, the court shall order reinstatement. Payment shall be proved by certified copy of the payment record issued by the Department or notarized statement of payment signed by the obligee. No fee shall be charged to a person who obtains reinstatement of a license, certificate, registration or authorization pursuant to this section.

1994, c. 764, § 63.1-263.1; 1997, cc. 794, 857, 898; 2002, c. 747; 2016, c. 29.

§ 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.

§ 63.2-1939. Commissioner may make demand, file and serve liens, when payments appear in jeopardy.

If the Commissioner finds that the collection of any support debt based upon subrogation to or authorization to enforce the amount of support ordered by any court order or decree of divorce is in jeopardy, he may make demand under § 63.2-1916 for immediate payment of the support debt. Upon failure or refusal immediately to pay such support debt, he may file and serve liens pursuant to §§ 63.2-1927 and 63.2-1928, without regard to the ten-day period provided for in § 63.2-1916. However, no further action under §§ 63.2-1929, 63.2-1933 and 63.2-1934 may be taken until the notice requirements of § 63.2-1916 are met.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-266; 1976, c. 357; 1988, c. 906; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1940. Reporting payment arrearage information to consumer credit reporting agencies.

The Division of Child Support Enforcement shall provide support payment arrearage information on noncustodial parents, as defined in § 63.2-100, to consumer credit reporting agencies. Advance notice shall be sent to the noncustodial parent of the proposed release of arrearage information. The notice shall include information on the procedures available to the noncustodial parent for contesting the accuracy of the arrearage information.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.6; 1990, c. 836; 1991, cc. 545, 588; 1994, c. 665; 1997, cc. 796, 895; 2001, c. 573; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1940.1. Publishing a most wanted delinquent parent list; coordinated arrests.

The Division of Child Support Enforcement shall (i) publish at regular intervals a list of the most wanted delinquent parents as determined by the Commissioner together with arrearage information and other identifying information, including but not limited to, a photograph, occupation and last known address for the purpose of locating such delinquent parents and (ii) periodically conduct coordinated arrests of delinquent parents in conjunction with state and local criminal justice agencies pursuant to § 16.1-278.16.

2003, cc. 929, 942.

§ 63.2-1941. Additional enforcement remedies.

In addition to its other enforcement remedies, the Division of Child Support Enforcement is authorized to:

1. Attach unemployment benefits through the Virginia Employment Commission pursuant to § 60.2-608 and workers' compensation benefits through the Workers' Compensation Commission pursuant to § 65.2-531; and

2. Suspend an individual's driver's license pursuant to § 46.2-320.1.

2002, c. 747; 2012, c. 829.

Article 7. Administrative Appeal.

§ 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, mailed to the debtor at his last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, or provided by electronic means, or the debtor may waive service of the decision at the time of the decision. A copy of such decision shall also be provided 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; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1943. Appeal from decision of hearing officer.

An appeal may be taken by filing a written notice of appeal with the clerk of the court having proper jurisdiction to review the decision of the hearing officer. The clerk shall send reasonable notice of such appeal, which shall include the date and time of the hearing, to the appellee or to the Department when, at the request of another state's child support agency, it is acting on behalf of a nonresident obligee. A nonresident obligee for whom the Department is acting is not required to appear at the hearing. Evidence relative to the support obligation may be taken from a nonresident obligee by deposition and presented by the Department at the hearing. Such appeal shall be taken within ten days of receipt of the hearing officer's decision.

From the decision of the hearing officer provided for in clause (iii) of subsection B of § 63.2-1924, and §§ 63.2-1916, 63.2-1929, and 63.2-1942 there shall be an appeal de novo to the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the jurisdiction wherein the appellant resides. If the appellant is a nonresident, venue on appeal shall be where the appellee resides. If both the appellant and the appellee are nonresidents, venue shall be where the property of the obligor is located or where the place of business of the obligor's employer is located; if more than one venue is available, then the appellant shall elect the place of venue.

An appeal shall be to the circuit court with respect to determinations under the Setoff Debt Collection Act pursuant to Article 21 (§ 58.1-520 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 58.1 concerning state income tax overpayments and with respect to federal income tax set-off actions.

1984, c. 652, § 63.1-268.1; 1987, c. 640; 1988, c. 906; 1990, c. 896; 1991, c. 183; 2002, c. 747.

Article 8. Administrative Remedies.

§ 63.2-1944. Employee debtor rights protected; limitation.

No employer shall discharge an employee for reason that a voluntary assignment of earnings under § 63.2-1945 has been presented in settlement of a support debt or that a support lien or order to withhold and deliver has been served against such employee's earnings.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-271; 1976, c. 357; 1977, c. 662; 1985, c. 488; 1986, c. 594; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1945. Assignment of earnings to be honored; inapplicability of § 40.1-31.

Any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of the Commonwealth employing a person owing a support debt or obligation, shall honor an assignment of earnings to satisfy or retire a support debt or obligation of such person when ordered by the Commissioner by a payroll deduction order conforming to § 20-79.3. The rights and obligations of employees with respect to an order issued pursuant to this section are set out in § 20-79.3. Payment of moneys pursuant to an assignment of earnings presented by the Commissioner shall serve as full acquittance under any contract of employment, and the Commonwealth warrants and represents that it shall defend and hold harmless such action taken pursuant to such assignment of earnings. The Commissioner shall be released from liability for improper receipt of moneys under an assignment of earnings upon return of any moneys so received.

Any assignment of earnings presented under this section shall not be subject to the requirements set forth in § 40.1-31.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-272; 1976, c. 357; 1980, c. 243; 1983, c. 481; 1984, c. 626; 1990, c. 896; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1946. Virginia New Hire Reporting Center; State Directory of New Hires; reporting by employers.

A. The Virginia New Hire Reporting Center shall be operated under the authority of the Division of Child Support Enforcement. The Center shall operate and maintain the Virginia State Directory of New Hires. The Center is authorized to share information with the Virginia Employment Commission.

B. Each employing unit shall submit information concerning each newly hired employee, as defined in subsection H, to the Center within 20 days of the employment, as defined in § 60.2-212, of the newly hired employee. The information shall include the items required by § 453A of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 653a, as amended.

C. Employers who transmit such reports magnetically or electronically shall, if necessary, report by two monthly transmissions not less than 12 days nor more than 16 days apart. Employers that have employees who are employed in two or more states and that transmit reports magnetically or electronically may comply by designating one state in which such employer has employees to which the employer will transmit the report and transmitting such report to such state. Such employers shall notify the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services in writing as to which state is designated for the purpose of sending reports and shall provide a copy of that notification to the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center.

D. Employers shall not report an employee of a state agency performing intelligence or counterintelligence functions, if the head of such agency has determined that such reporting could endanger the safety of the employee or compromise an ongoing investigation or intelligence mission.

E. Information to be provided shall include only that information that is required by federal law. This information may be provided by mailing a copy of the employee's W-4 form, transmitting information magnetically or electronically in the prescribed format or by any other means determined by the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center to result in timely reporting. Within three business days after the date information regarding a newly hired employee is entered into the Virginia State Directory of New Hires, the Center shall furnish the information to the National Directory of New Hires established under § 453(i) of the Social Security Act, as amended.

F. The Division of Child Support Enforcement shall use information received pursuant to this section to locate individuals for purposes of establishing paternity and establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support obligations, and may disclose such information in accordance with existing law to carry out such purposes. The Division shall have access to information reported by employers pursuant to this section.

G. The Board shall have the authority to adopt regulations as necessary, consistent with the federal law and its implementing regulations, to administer this provision, including any exemptions and waivers which are needed to reduce unnecessary or burdensome reporting.

H. As used in this section, "newly hired employee" means an individual in employment, as defined in § 60.2-212, who (i) has not previously been in the employment of the employer or (ii) was previously in the employment of the employer but has been separated from such prior employment for at least 60 consecutive days.

1998, c. 108, § 63.1-274.11; 2002, c. 747; 2013, c. 329.

Article 9. Legal Representation.

§ 63.2-1947. Assistance by Office of the Attorney General.

The attorney for the Commonwealth or other attorney who has responsibility for representing a local department and local board may, with the prior consent of the Attorney General, obtain the assistance of the Office of the Attorney General in the conduct of litigation arising under this chapter.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.8; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1948. Payment by Department for legal services.

Notwithstanding any provision of §§ 2.2-2814, 2.2-2815, 2.2-2816, 2.2-2823, 2.2-2824, 2.2-2825 or § 2.2-2826 to the contrary, whenever there shall be authorized by law an attorney for the Commonwealth, the Department may contract with the county or city or combination thereof for whom such attorney for the Commonwealth is authorized regarding the payment by the Department of the salary, expenses, including secretarial services, and allowances or part thereof of such attorney, as shall be approved by the Compensation Board, for the entire time devoted to these duties. Any such contract may provide that the county, city or combination thereof shall pay such salary, expenses and allowances and that the Department shall reimburse such county or city therefor. The amount of such salary, expenses and allowances shall be set by the Compensation Board as provided by law.

Whenever there is in any county or city a county attorney or city attorney whose duties consist of legal services with respect to the provisions of this chapter, the Department may contract with such county or city regarding the duties of such county or city attorney and regarding payment by the Department of the salary, expenses, including secretarial services, and allowances or part thereof of such attorney for the time devoted to these duties. Any such contract may provide that the county or city shall pay such salary, expenses and allowances and that the Department shall reimburse such county or city therefor.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.9; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1949. Authority of city, county, or attorney for the Commonwealth to represent the Department.

In order to carry out the responsibilities of the Department imposed under this chapter, any city or county attorney is authorized to represent the Department in any civil proceeding necessary for the establishment, modification, enforcement, or collection of support obligations and any attorney for the Commonwealth is authorized to represent the Department in any civil or criminal proceeding necessary for the establishment, modification, enforcement, or collection of support obligations.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.4; 1990, c. 85; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1950. Child support enforcement privatized legal services.

The Attorney General shall provide and supervise legal services to the Division of Child Support Enforcement in child support enforcement cases to establish, obligate, enforce and collect child support. In addition to other methods of providing legal services as may be authorized by law, the Attorney General may contract with private attorneys to provide such services as special counsel pursuant to § 2.2-510 or to conduct programs to evaluate the costs and benefits of the privatization of such legal services. The compensation for such special and private counsel shall be paid out of funds received by the Division of Child Support Enforcement as provided by state and federal law and such reasonable attorney's fees as may be recovered. The Attorney General may also use collection agencies as may be necessary and cost-effective to pursue fully the recovery of all costs and fees authorized by § 63.2-1960 in proceedings to enforce child support obligations.

1996, c. 1054, § 63.1-249.1; 1998, cc. 494, 499; 2002, cc. 262, 747.

Article 10. Financial Operations.

§ 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 § 6.2-301, 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 § 6.2-302 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. In accordance with § 63.2-1908.1, the Commissioner may compromise interest on debt owed to the Commonwealth for reimbursement of public assistance paid.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-267; 1976, c. 357; 1995, c. 483; 2002, c. 747; 2015, c. 506.

§ 63.2-1953. Disposition of funds collected as debts to Department.

Funds collected as a debt to the Department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be placed in a special fund of the Department for use in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

1975, c. 302, § 63.1-251.1; 1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.1; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1954. Distribution of collection.

Support payments received by the Department pursuant to one or more judicial or administrative orders, or a combination thereof, shall be allocated among the obligees under such orders with priority given to payment of the order for current support. Where payments are received pursuant to two or more orders for current support, the Department shall prorate the payments on the basis of any amounts due for current support under each such order. Upon satisfaction of any amounts due for current support, the Department shall prorate the remainder of the payments on the basis of accrued arrearages owed to the obligees under each such order. Payments received pursuant to federal tax refund offset shall be allocated pursuant to subsection h of 45 C.F.R. § 303.72.

All support payments received by the Department shall be distributed to the obligee within two business days of receipt, provided that sufficient information accompanies the payment or is otherwise available to the Department within that time to identify the obligee and the place to which distribution should be made. The term "business day" means any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday or other day on which state offices are closed.

1992, c. 199, § 63.1-251.2; 1997, c. 562; 2002, c. 747; 2015, c. 52.

§ 63.2-1954.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, c. 243, cl. 2, effective April 7, 2010.

§ 63.2-1955. Distribution of collections from federal tax refund offsets.

Distribution of amounts collected by the Department as a result of an offset made under the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program (P.L. 97-35, as amended) to satisfy non-TANF past-due support from a federal tax refund based upon a joint return shall be made when the Department is notified that the unobligated spouse's proper share of the refund has been paid or 180 days following receipt of the offset, whichever is earlier. The Department shall establish procedures for the prompt refund of any incorrect offset amounts and the compensation of unobligated spouses for the payment of their shares to obligees.

1997, c. 653, § 63.1-251.4; 1998, c. 781; 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.

§ 63.2-1957. Unidentifiable moneys held in special account.

All moneys collected in fees, costs, attorney fees, interest payments, or other funds received by the Commissioner which are unidentifiable as to the support account against which they should be credited, shall be held in a special fund from which the Commissioner may make disbursement for any costs or expenses incurred in the administration or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-269; 1976, c. 357; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1958. Charging off support debts as uncollectible.

Any support debt due the Department pursuant to § 63.2-1908 that the Commissioner deems uncollectible may be transferred from accounts receivable to a doubtful account, cease to be accounted as an asset, and discharged from its records.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-270; 1975, c. 596; 1976, c. 357; 1988, c. 906; 1992, c. 716; 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.

§ 63.2-1960. 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 attorneys' fees. All such fees recovered in proceedings to collect child support arrearages shall be retained by the Department in a special fund for the support of the Division of Support Enforcement. The Department shall also have the authority to assess and recover costs in such cases. However, the Department shall not be entitled to recover attorneys' 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; 2005, c. 880.

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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