Division of Child Support
Pay Support Information - Non-Custodial Parents Q&A
- Notice and Finding of Financial Responsibility
- If I have more than one case or I have arrears owed, how does DCS determine how much goes to each case or to arrears?
- How long does it take DCS to receive a payment after taking collection action?
- Where do I send my child support payments?
- What are the Payment Methods?
- Can I pay my child support on the web?
- Can I view my child support payments on the web?
- What if I want to modify a child support order on my own?
If I have more than one case or I have arrears owed, how does DCS determine how much goes to each case or to arrears?
When a non-custodial parent has more than one case with DCS, the law tells DCS how to split up a support payment between cases. It is based on a percent-of-total basis.
Current support is paid first. If a payment does not equal the total amount owed for all the non-custodial parent's cases, DCS divides the payment proportionately. Once current support for the month is paid, DCS applies amounts over current support to back support owed.
IRS tax refund intercept payments are an exception to this rule. These payments may only be applied to back support owed, and they are always applied to state debt owed before debt owed to the custodial parent.
Between October 1, 2008, and June 30, 2010, DCS applied IRS tax refund collections to both current support and arrears. These collections applied first to the debt owed to the custodial parent and then to state debt.
Beginning July 1, 2010, DCS applies tax-refund offset collections to debt as it did before October 1, 2008. This change back to the pre-October 2008 distribution rules is based on budget decisions made by the Washington State Legislature during the 2010 session.
Back support payments are also proportioned based on a percent of total. If you received public assistance in another state that has asked DCS to collect back support, that case will receive a percent of the back support payment. When DCS is providing payment processing services only (PSO) on one of the cases, the non-custodial parent must send payments and indicate that a payment is for the PSO case only. Otherwise, DCS will apply payments proportionately to the non-PSO cases.
When DCS initiates collection action an employer or business has twenty days to answer the Notice of Payroll Deduction or Order to Withhold and Deliver. The employer or business has seven days to send the withheld support to DCS. The law requires DCS to send the Custodial Parent support within two working days after receipt.
When an employer refuses to cooperate with a withholding action, DCS may have to begin noncompliance action against the employer. We start the formal action by sending a Notice of Noncompliance to the employer. This additional legal process can take an additional month or more. For more information refer to the Employer and Income Withholding Information page on the DCS web site.
- If your support order tells you to send payments to the Washington State
Support Registry or you received a notice from DCS to send your payments to
WSSR, send your payments to the following address:
Washington State Support Registry
PO Box 45868
Olympia, WA 98504-5868
To insure accurate processing, please be sure your Social Security Number is clearly noted on your payment.
For your convenience, DCS offers Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) options for paying child support. A non-custodial parent can register and make payments using the Division of Child Support Internet Payment Service. To register or view a demo, visit our web site at http://www.dcsonline.dshs.wa.gov.
Click here to obtain an authorization form. An EFT deduction or Internet Payment cannot replace federally mandated wage withholding. If your case requires DCS to establish wage withholding, we will continue to do so. For more information regarding EFT, please contact our EFT Customer Service Unit at 1-800-468-7422.
If you receive a notice from another state to send your support payments to their child support agency, contact the other state. Be sure to tell them if you are currently sending your payments to WSSR. They will tell you where to send your future child support payments.
- Send payments as directed by your support order unless you received a notice from a child support agency to send payments to them.
- Wage withholding
- Check/Money Order
- Electronic Funds Transfer - Click here to download the authorization form.
- On-Line Payments /View payments on-line
- Credit/Debit Card
Yes! Click here to visit the Child Support Internet Payments Service Web Site.
Yes! Click here to visit the Child Support Internet Payments Service Web Site and view your payments on-line.
DCS has developed a brochure to help you modify a child support order on your own. The brochure provides you with information on resources.
If you need help finding income information for the other party, you may use the Request for Income Information form to ask DCS if we have income information for the other party.