Child support payments are court-ordered payments that one parent makes to the other parent. Typically, the non-custodial parent makes these payments to the custodial parent. They help with the child’s cost of living, including education expenses, food, shelter, clothing, activities and more.
While child support payments are court-ordered, it is not uncommon for a parent to default on his or her payments. If the other parent defaulted on his or her court-ordered child support payments, here are some Washington state child support services that may be available.
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services – Division of Child Support
The Division of Child Support provides child support services, including helping parents by “enforcing parents’ financial responsibility for their children.” You can apply for services by contacting the Washington State Division of Child Support.
You can contact the Washington State Division of Child Support at the address or phone number below.
Division of Child Support
P.O. Box 11520
Tacoma, WA 98411
How Does the Division of Child Support Enforce a Child Support Order?
The Washington State Division of Child Support can take a number of actions to enforce a child support order. Below are some examples of actions the agency might take.
- Withholding and redirecting wages, unemployment insurance compensation, workers’ compensation benefits, non-federally protected pensions, or lawsuit settlements
- Reporting debt to a credit reporting agency
- Seizing property or vehicles
- Refusing to renew a U.S. passport
- Posting names on the Department of Child Support’s most wanted site
If a person ordered to pay child support quits his or her job or is fired, he or she still has a legal obligation to make child support payments.
What if the Parent Not Paying Child Support Lives in Another State?
If the child’s parent who needs to pay child support to you lives in another state, you still have options for recovery. The Department of Child Support can ask another jurisdiction to establish a support order. Then the jurisdiction can take all of the actions named above to help ensure that you receive the child support payments ordered by the court in Washington.
Other Options for Financial Support if Not Receiving Child Support
For many parents, child support payments are critical to providing their children with the support and resources needed. If you are not receiving child support payments and feel like you do not have adequate financial means, there are other government resources available that may help. Below are some of those resources.
- Washington Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Washington Head Start and Early Head Start
- Washington Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Washington School Breakfast and Lunch Program
- Washington Special Milk Program
- Washington Medicaid
- Washington Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
- Washington Summer Food Services
If you are struggling financially and need help supporting your child, the resources listed above may help.
Legal Services Can Help with Family Law Matters in Bellevue
Finally, if your child’s parent defaults on child support payments or if you have other family law issues – like if you wish to modify your child support order – seek legal counsel. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options regarding child support and can help you to get a child support order if you don’t already have one.
At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, we know that child support can make a huge difference in your and your child’s life. For legal help in Bellevue, reach our offices today at 425-460-0550 or contact us online to set up a consultation.