Legal Information: U.S. Virgin Islands

Statutes: Virgin Islands, U.S.

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December 28, 2021

345. Determining amount of support

(a) The amount provided for support, except for the support due to or on behalf of a child or children, shall be proportioned to the resources of the person giving such support and to the necessities of the party receiving it, and shall be reduced or increased in proportion to the resources or the necessities of the latter.
(b) In any proceeding to establish or modify a child support obligation, whether before the Court, or before the hearing officer pursuant to section 354 of this chapter, the child support guidelines established pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall apply. The guidelines shall create a rebuttable presumption that the amount resulting from the application thereof is the correct amount of child support to be awarded. Application of the guidelines shall extend to proceedings setting child support amounts pursuant to agreement, stipulation or consent.
(c) The child support guidelines shall be based on specific, numeric and descriptive criteria that result in the computation of child support amounts. The guidelines shall be based on a cost-sharing approach in that the child’s (children’s) needs are divided proportionally between the parents/custodians based upon their relative incomes. Income shall be income as defined in section 341 of this chapter, and it shall not include Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) grants. The guidelines may be modified or disregarded if it is determined that injustice would result from the application thereof. Such determination must be based on criteria taking into consideration the best interests of the child (children), and further must be supported by specific and written findings of fact, including, at a minimum, the amount that would have been established by the guidelines and the reasons for the variance therefrom. The Attorney General shall adopt the format and prescribe such rules and regulations as are necessary for the computation of child support amounts pursuant to the guidelines set forth herein as well as such rules and regulations as are necessary to establish criteria allowing for determination rebutting the presumptive guidelines established hereby.
(d) Every child support order established or modified by administrative or judicial process pursuant to subsection (c) of this chapter, shall, in addition to setting a child support award, provide for the coverage of the child’s (children’s) health care needs, if such coverage is available at reasonable cost.
(e) The Attorney General shall review, and revise, if appropriate, the child support guidelines adopted pursuant to this section at least once every four years, to ensure that their application results in the determination of appropriate support awards, and to ensure that deviations from the guidelines are limited. The review shall be based on an analysis of economic data on the cost of raising children and of case data gathered through sampling or other methodology.

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