What services does DCS provide?

Administrative Support Order Establishment

DCS will establish support administratively using the Washington State Child Support Schedule when any of the following are true:

  1. New! July 2012 - Notice and Finding of Financial Responsibility
  2. There is no court order or administrative support order in any jurisdiction.
  3. The court order is silent about the non-custodial parent paying support.
  4. The court order does not set support as a fixed amount, but the amount is determinable.
  5. The non-custodial father has a valid acknowledgement of paternity on file with a state.

Learn more about how DCS establishes administrative orders. If you think that current child support on your administrative order should change because circumstances have changed, contact DCS. A modification may be appropriate.

Learn more about administrative order modification.

Full Enforcement or Collection Services

DCS enforces all current and back support accrued under a valid child support order.

DCS includes support ordered spousal support and child-care costs only in conjunction with current support.

DCS only collects interest on back support when reduced to a judgment.

Enforcement includes wage withholding, other income withholding, medical enforcement, IRS tax refund attachment, or interstate referral. Services may include license revocation, personal property seizure, or referral for contempt or federal criminal non-support.

Families who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Children or Medicaid automatically receive full-collection services.

Locate Services

DCS provides services to custodial parents who are unable to locate the non-custodial responsible parent for the purposes of collecting child support. DCS will ask other states for help in locating the non-custodial parent. When the non-custodial parent is located, you will be sent an application for services. The non-custodial parent's address may not be released to you without consent.

Medical Enforcement

In addition to current child support, DCS may enforce medical support requirements for an obligated parent to provide insurance available through the obligated parent's employer or union. Only a person receiving Medicaid can ask DCS to enforce medical support only. If you have medical coverage (not Medicaid) for the child, you may ask DCS to enforce only child support. Learn more about medical enforcement.

Paternity Establishment

DCS provides services to determine the father of a child. The child must be under the age of eighteen. 
Read more about parentage establishment.

Payment Processing Services Only (PSO)

If your support order states that payments must be made to the Washington State Support Registry, DCS processes and disburses payments to the payee on the order. When payments are late or past due, DCS takes no enforcement action on your case. When you move, you must give the State Registry your new address.

Post-secondary Educational Support

DCS will provide services for children with court orders for post-secondary educational support. The student must be enrolled in an accredited academic or vocational school, be in a regular course of study, and be in good academic standing. DCS will enforce educational support only if payable to the parent or to the child.