Washington Child Support Enforcement Resource Center
Even if the non-custodial parent lives in another state, Federal law requires cooperation between states. The non-custodial parent is required by law to make regular child support payments, regardless of where they live.
Washington Support Enforcement Measures
If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures by the State of Washington to collect regular and past-due payments.
- Post names to the DCS Most Wanted website
- Employment bonuses, assets held in financial institutions or in retirement funds and periodic lump sum payments parents receive from state or local agencies, including unemployment compensation and workmen's compensation, may be seized.
- Child support delinquency may be reported to credit reporting agencies.
- Driver's, professional, and hunting and fishing licenses may be suspended or applications denied.
- Passport applications may be denied by the U.S. State Department.
- Past-due child support may be collected from a parent's federal and state income tax refunds, state or property tax credits, and state lottery winnings.
- Liens may be filed against his or her property or other assets. Assets may be frozen or seized even when other account holders are listed with the obligor.
- A case may be referred for contempt of court
Who Can Enforce Court Ordered Child Support in Washington
The official child support enforcement agency for the State of Washington is the Division of Child Support (DCS). The Washington Division of Child Support is required by federal law to provide child support enforcement services free of charge and is funded by the federal government and the State of Washington.
|WASHINGTON DIVISION OF CHILD SUPPORT CASELOAD STATISTICS1
|Full Time Equiv. Staff
1 U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, Boxscores for FY 2005
Interest on Missed Child Support Payments
The State of Washington doesn't charge interest on missed child support payments. Interest on retroactive support or adjudicated arrears is allowed only if reduced to or included in the judgment.
WA Statute of Limitations on Back Child Support Payments (Arrears)
10 years after emancipation of youngest child for orders entered after 7/22/89; 10 years after a payment becomes delinquent for orders entered before 7/23/89.
WA Statute of Limitations on Determining Paternity
The statute of limitations for establishing paternity in the State of Washington is the age of majority of the child. Generally, 18 years old.
Age of Emancipation / Age of Majority in Washington State
18, unless an administrative order is in force and the child is full-time student expected to graduate before age 19.
Washington's Guidelines for Determining Child Support Payments
The court determines the amount of child support payments in Washington. Child support may also be set administratively by the DCS. The amount of child support is generally determined by taking into account the incomes of both parents and the total number of children. However, any number of other factors may be applied as well such as the children's age, certain deductions allowed to each parent, etc. The Washington State Child Support Worksheet is the typical starting place for determining support.
Custody and Visitation Issues
Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. The court determines both and will usually order the non-custodial parent to pay support and the custodial parent to make the child available for visits.
The custodial parent has a duty to obey the court order for visitation, even if the non-custodial parent cannot or will not pay child support. The court can enforce its orders against either parent.
Our clients say...
It took me 10 years to catch up with my husband to establish a court order for child support. Years had gone by and his debt was in the thousands. I got Human Services involved and they told me that because I was now in a different state I had to close my case and had to open my case there. Weeks after I sent the paperwork to the Child Support Enforcement office, I received a letter saying I needed to attach notarized proof of previous payements made etc, etc, etc. I was tired of going through the process of trying to get child support owed.
I found the website for Support Collectors. I figured it probably wouldn't work and a lot of paperwork would be required...Well, there was not a lot of paperwork. It was so easy, I don't know why these other agencies need so much stuff when Support Collectors took the basic information and I had payment coming in in less than 6 weeks (this includes the time that I filed). Support Collectors kept in contact with me and was able to establish a settlement in no time. I was really surprised. I would recommend this service to anyone else (man or woman). The service was excellent.
- Lee M., Alabama
After many years of searching through various agencies for my ex-husband, a dear friend told me about the Support Collectors web site. I logged on and requested an application, thinking to myself it won't make a difference. We hadn't found him in 19 years, they won't be able to find him either. To my surprise they did and very quickly. Support Collectors handled everything very professionally and I received my settlement of $60,000 within a few months!
I would highly recommend Support Collectors to anyone who is owed child support. Thank you Support Collectors for doing what I thought was completely hopeless.
- Terry M., Illinois
Thank you so much for your help in getting the child support payments my daughter deserves! I only wish I would not have waited so long to contact you for assistance. You succeeded when everyone else had failed.
Don't try to handle this problem on your own with the department of child support services who are drowning in a sea of paperwork, let Support Collectors take care of you personally. The best part is that you don't owe them anything until they get payments for you and believe me, it is worth every penny.
- Teresa H., Illinois