Basic information about child support in Virgin Islands, U.S.
What is child support?
Child support is money paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent or caretaker with physical custody. This money assists with the costs of care for the child. The custodial parent may apply for child support without a court order or an agreement establishing custody. A person interested in seeking child support should contact the Department of Justice, Division of Paternity and Child Support (P&CS).
Who determines child support?
Typically the Division of Paternity and Child Support (P&CS) will determine child support in-house, with an administrative law judge. Sometimes the Family Court judge will set child support. The amount is determined by assessing the "available income" (monthly gross income minus income tax, FICA, union dues and mandatory retirement). The non-custodial parent will pay a percentage of the "available income" depending on the number of children the person has. A parent with one child of the same mother will pay 15%, two children 20%, three children 25%, etc. If a parent is already paying child support for children by another person, the amount will be less.
When should I file for child support?
The person seeking child support should file an application with the Division of Paternity and Child Support (P&CS) as soon as possible. Child support is determined from the date the application is accepted by P&CS. The non-custodial parent is not responsible for child support until an application is accepted. Child support debts are not subject to statute of limitations. In other words, the debt will not disappear, it is always collectable no matter how much time passes from the child support order. P&CS will assist custodial parents in obtaining past due child support, but a child support order must have been made.