Legal Information: U.S. Virgin Islands

Statutes: Virgin Islands, U.S.

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December 28, 2021

341. Definitions

The following words and phrases when used in this title shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) ‘arrearages,‘ ‘arrears,‘ or ‘overdue support‘ means the amount of delinquency pursuant to an obligation determined under a court order or an order of the hearing officer for support and maintenance of a child that is owed to or on behalf of such child, or for support or maintenance of the obligor’s spouse (or former spouse) with whom the child is living if and to the extent that spousal support (with respect to such spouse or former spouse) has been established and the child support obligation is being altered under the Territory’s IV-D Plan or pursuant to any other lawful procedure;

(b) ‘consumer reporting agency‘ means a consumer reporting agency as defined in section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)).

(c) ‘Division‘ or ‘Title IV-D Agency‘ means the Paternity and Child Support Division established within the Department of Justice.

(d) ‘hearing officer‘ or ‘administrative hearing office‘ means the hearing officer or hearing office authorized by section 354 of this chapter, and applicable rules and regulations.

(e) ‘income‘ means any form of periodic payment to an individual, regardless of source, including, but not limited to, wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, compensation as an independent contractor, workers’ compensation administration, disability, unemployment compensation, annuity and retirement benefits, awards in civil suits, interest, dividends, rents, royalties, insurance proceeds, trust income, partnership profits, and any other payments made by any person, private entity, federal, state or territorial government or any entity created by local law including prizes from games of chance; provided, however, that income excludes:

(1) any amounts required by law to be withheld, other than creditors’ claims, including, but not limited to, federal, state, territorial and local taxes, Social Security and other mandatory retirement and disability contributions;

(2) mandatory union dues;

(3) any amounts exempted by federal law; and

(4) public assistance payments; provided, further that any other territorial or local laws that limit or exempt income or the amount or percentage of income that can be withheld shall not apply;

(f) ‘mistake of fact‘ means an error in the amount current or overdue support or in the identity of the alleged obligor;

(g) ‘support‘, ‘support order‘ or ‘support payments‘ means any amount that the court or a hearing officer may require a person to pay under a temporary order or a final judgment, order or decree, and may include alimony, or support due for any person specified in section 342 of this chapter, maintenance or arrears on such payments, and any other term used to describe such obligations; which obligations include all that is indispensable for maintenance, housing, clothing and medical attention according to the social and economic position of the family; and may include support for a child who is between the ages of 18 and 22 years who is regularly attending an accredited school or a school approved by the court in pursuance of a course of study leading to a high school diploma or its equivalent, or regularly attending a course of vocational technical training either as a part of a regular school program or under special arrangements adapted to the individual person’s needs, or is, in good faith, a full-time student in a college, university, or area school, or has been accepted for admission to a college, university, or area school and the next regular term has not yet begun, or a child of any age who is dependent because of a physical or mental disability; and shall include health insurance (including dental coverage) for any child covered under a child support order whenever such coverage is available to the obligor at a reasonable cost, as determined by the hearing officer or the court.

(h) ‘obligor‘ means any person required to make payments under the terms of a support order for a child, spouse, former spouse or any other person specified in section 342 of this chapter.

(i) ‘obligee‘ means any person entitled to receive payments under the terms of a support order for a child, spouse, former spouse or any other person specified in section 342 of this chapter.

(j) ‘Child Support Guidelines‘ means the guidelines set forth in Title 16, section 345(c) of this code and applicable rules and regulations.

(k) ‘Title IV-D‘ means Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C., sections 651 et seq.

(l) ‘business day‘ means a day on which Virgin Islands government offices are open for regular business.

(m) ‘state‘ means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(n) ‘financial institution‘ means a depository institution, as defined in section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)), an institution-affiliated party, as defined in section 3(u) of said Act, any federal credit union or Virgin Islands credit union as defined in section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1752), including an institution-affiliated party of such credit union, and any benefit association, insurance company, safe deposit company, money-market mutual fund, or similar entity authorized to conduct business in the Virgin Islands.

(o) ‘employee‘ means an individual who is an employee within the meaning of chapter 24 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, but does not include an employee of a federal or state agency performing intelligence or counterintelligence functions, if the head of such agency has determined that reporting pursuant to section 378 of this chapter with respect to such employee could endanger the safety of the employee or compromise an ongoing investigation or intelligence mission.

(p) ‘employer‘ has the meaning given such term in section 3401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and includes any governmental entity and any labor organization.(q) ‘labor organization‘ has the meaning given such term in section 2(5) of the National Labor Relations Act, and includes any entity (also known as a ‘hiring hall‘) which is used by the organization and an employer to carry out requirements described in section 8(f)(3) of such Act of an agreement between the organization and employer.

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