Washington Child Support

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The state of Washington recognizes that every child is entitled to financial and mental support from parents. This is true for children of divorced parents also. Child support is the monetary contribution made by one or both the parents towards the well-being of their children. Washington divorce child support guidelines are developed on Income Share model. This model uses the adjusted gross income of both parents to find out the maintenance amount. In this state, parents are obliged to pay for the maintenance of their child until the child becomes 18 years old or 19 years, if he/she is studying in high school. Sometimes post-secondary amount is also ordered by the court.

Factors that impact any deviation in support amount

Some key factors are used to calculate support amount like:

  • Extraordinary income of a child or a parent
  • How the custody is arranged
  • Any special need of a disabled child
  • Income of a new spouse or a domestic partner: This point is not considered on its own, as a reason for deviation.
  • Any child from other relationship.

Who can avail DCS services?

The families who are recipients of Medicaid or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Children) receive DCS (Division of Child Support) services automatically. In order to become eligible for DCS non-assistance services, the individual must not be presently getting services from any other state. Also, anyone of the statements mentioned below must be applicable to such an individual:

  • Support for post-secondary education ordered by the court for a child in school must be due to the individual.
  • The individual is a non-custodial parent of a child and is willing to disburse the support amount.
  • The individual is a father of the child and has an aim of establishing paternity.
  • The person is a former custodian and has owed child maintenance food that has been accumulated as per a support order.
  • The person is a lawful custodian of a minor child.
  • The individual is a parent and has custody of the minor child.

Payments in Divorce Washington Child Support

In this state, certain payment methods are allowed which are listed below:

  • On-line payments
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Money order or check
  • Wage withholding
  • Credit or Debit cards

The non-custodial parent (NCP) must keep the following points in mind in case of paying the subsidy amount:

  • The NCP must adhere to the support order except when a child support agency has sent a notice to him/her to dispatch the payments to the agency.
  • Sometimes, some other state sends a notice to the NCP to direct the payments to a child support agency in the other state. The NCP must contact this other state and inform them that presently he/she is giving payments to WSSR (Washington State Support Registry). Further, the other state will intimate the NCP regarding the destination of the future payments.
  • A NCP can use the DCS Internet payment for registering and making payments. This is an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) option for payment.
  • Sometimes, the support order or a notice from DCS indicates that the payments must be sent to the WSSR. In such cases, the payments must be sent to this address:
    Washington State Support Registry,
    PO Box 45868, Olympia,
    WA 98504-5868

Services of DCS in Divorce Washington Child Support

Some of the services executed by DCS are listed below:

  • Let us consider a student who fulfills the following:
    • Is enrolled in an accredited vocational or academic school
    • Is in a regular course of study
    • Has a good academic standing
      If there are court orders for post secondary educational support, the DCS offers its services in this regard. However, the educational support must be payable to the child or his/her parent.
  • Often, the support order mentions that payments are to be given to the WSSR. Then, the DCS processes and dispatches the payments to the payee, whose name is written on the order. If the payment is late, the DCS does not take any enforcement action.
  • If the child is less than 18 years of age, the office offers services for determination of paternity.
  • Custodial parents can avail DCS services in order to locate non-custodial parents. The office may ask any other state(s) to help it in order to locate the non-custodial parent.
  • DCS may also enforce any medical support to an obligated parent who is required to pay for insurance. The insurance must be available through the parent's employer. It is to be noted here that only a parent who receives Medicaid can ask this office to enforce medical support.
  • The office also enforces all present and past child maintenance amounts.

The importance of paying or receiving child support is paramount. In Washington, parents who fail to disburse court-specified amount may be subject to enforcement measures like placement of liens, contempt of court action, denial of passport, seizure of employment bonuses and other assets, suspension of various licenses etc. To avoid all these and also to secure the interests of your child, you must act judiciously and honestly.

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