UPDATED: So you went through a divorce and custody hearing. It was long, it was tough, but you got primary guardianship. And the court awarded you regular child support.
Getting them awarded is one thing, but too often, compelling your ex to pay them is another. One key tool for enforcing these orders is the Washington Division of Child Support.
What Is ‘The Washington Division Of Child Support’?
A part of the Economic Services Administration, itself a part of the Department of Social and Health Services, the Washington Division of Child Support has a simple aim. And that is to aid parents in collecting and paying court-ordered child support. By facilitating these payments, they hope to “help parents contribute to brighter futures for their children.”
How Does It Work?
In seeking to ensure the best for young people, the Washington Division of Child Support provides a wide variety of services and resources.
Their goal is to help custodial parents collect child support and help non-custodial parents pay.
Along the way, they provide assistance in a variety of ways to facilitate that. These run the gamut from legal advice, housing services, support in situations of domestic violence, and even employment training.
On their website, you can find links to pay or receive your child support on DCS cases. You can download a number of forms with topics ranging from enforcing child support to declaring unlawful custody to requesting a modification of an existing order.
There are also forms to declare your income and expenses, ones requesting similar information from the other party, and a ton of additional material.
Related Reading: Can I Modify My Support Payments?
Making child support payments often proves a financial burden for many parents. And on the other side, collecting from an ex who can’t or won’t pay is also a problem.
The Division of Child Support wants to remove any barriers, with an endgame of helping families become self-sufficient in the long run.
The Washington Division of Child Support maintains a list of useful resources for parents on both sides of these conflicts. Their web page features links to numerous state agencies, including services like child care providers for working parents, education resources, and instruction to improve future employment and earning potential.
In addition to state agencies, the DCS also lists information for a number of community organizations.
There are resources available for both mothers and fathers, information about child welfare, and contacts for regional housing authorities. Other links of interest include legal support and information to help with custody, visitation, and just about any type of legal matter.
Parents obviously play the largest role when it comes to financially supporting children, but employers also have an important part.
Washington employers collaborate with the Division of Child Support in a number of ways, helping make sure employees with maintenance obligations actually pay what they owe.
The law requires all Washington employers to report new hires to DSHS within 20 days of their date of hire. This helps keep track of parents and their ability to pay outstanding child support. Additionally, employers can also withhold income, send delinquent payments directly to the DCS, and help enroll kids in health insurance.
Child support orders are complicated and intricate documents. A number of factors go into determining the maintenance amount, including need, ability to pay, and more. They’re hugely important for the stability, safety, and future of children. As a result, the Washington Division of Child Support plays an important role.
Related Reading: How Are Child Support Payments Calculated In Washington State?
Other Reading: Can My Ex Keep My Child From Playing Sports?