WSR 11-23-075

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed November 15, 2011, 12:38 p.m. , effective November 15, 2011, 12:38 p.m. ]


Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

Purpose: The DSHS division of child support (DCS) is filing this second emergency rule to maintain the status quo as we complete the regular rule adoption process amending various sections in chapter 388-14A WAC to implement E2SHB 1267, chapter 283, Laws of 2011, which makes changes to the Uniform Parentage Act, contained in chapter 26.26 RCW. THESE RULES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE PRIOR EMERGENCY RULES.

The statutory changes took effect on July 22, 2011. DCS adopted emergency rules under WSR 11-16-007 in order to have our rule changes effective by July first. At the same time we filed this emergency rule-making order, DCS filed a CR-101 Preproposal statement of inquiry, to start the regular rule-making process. DCS filed the CR-102 Notice of proposed rule making, as WSR 11-20-099, the public rule-making hearing for adoption of permanent rules is set for November 8, 2011.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-14A-1020, 388-14A-3100, 388-14A-3102, and 388-14A-3115.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: E2SHB 1267 (chapter 283, Laws of 2011); RCW 34.05.220, 34.05.350 (1)(b), 43.20A.550, 74.04.055, 74.08.090, and 74.20A.310.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.

Reasons for this Finding: These rules are adopted to implement E2SHB 1267, chapter 283, Laws of 2011, which makes changes to the Uniform Parentage Act, contained in chapter 26.26 RCW. E2SHB 1267's effective date is July 22, 2011, and DCS must adopt emergency rules in order to have rules effective by that date.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 4, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 4, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: November 10, 2011.

Katherine I. Vasquez

Rules Coordinator

4317.3
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-12-006, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11)

WAC 388-14A-1020   What definitions apply to the rules regarding child support enforcement?   For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

"Absence of a court order" means that there is no court order setting a support obligation for the noncustodial parent (NCP), or specifically relieving the NCP of a support obligation, for a particular child.

"Absent parent" is a term used for a noncustodial parent.

"Accessible coverage" means health insurance coverage which provides primary care services to the children with reasonable effort by the custodian.

"Accrued debt" means past-due child support which has not been paid.

"Acknowledged father" means a man who has established a father-child relationship under RCW 26.26.300 through 26.26.375.

"Adjudicated parent" means a person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the parent of a child.

"Administrative order" means a determination, finding, decree or order for support issued under RCW 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, or 74.20A.059 or by another state's agency under an administrative process, establishing the existence of a support obligation (including medical support) and ordering the payment of a set or determinable amount of money for current support and/or a support debt. Administrative orders include:

(1) An order entered under chapter 34.05 RCW;

(2) An agreed settlement or consent order entered under WAC 388-14A-3600; and

(3) A support establishment notice which has become final by operation of law.

"Agency" means the Title IV-D provider of a state. In Washington, this is the division of child support (DCS) within the department of social and health services (DSHS).

"Agreed settlement" is an administrative order that reflects the agreement of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the division of child support. An agreed settlement does not require the approval of an administrative law judge.

"Aid" or "public assistance" means cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program, the aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) program, federally funded or state-funded foster care, and includes day care benefits and medical benefits provided to families as an alternative or supplement to TANF.

"Alternate recipient" means a child of the employee or retiree named within a support order as being entitled to coverage under an employer's group health plan.

"Annual fee" means the twenty-five dollar annual fee charged between October 1 and September 30 each year, required by the federal deficit reduction act of 2005 and RCW 74.20.040.

"Applicant/custodian" means a person who applies for nonassistance support enforcement services on behalf of a child or children residing in their household.

"Applicant/recipient," "applicant," and "recipient" means a person who receives public assistance on behalf of a child or children residing in their household.

"Arrears" means the debt amount owed for a period of time before the current month.

"Assistance" means cash assistance under the state program funded under Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act.

"Assistance unit" means a cash assistance unit as defined in WAC 388-408-0005. An assistance unit is the group of people who live together and whose income or resources the department counts to decide eligibility for benefits and the amount of benefits.

"Birth costs" means medical expenses incurred by the custodial parent or the state for the birth of a child.

"Cash medical support" is a term used in RCW 26.09.105 and certain federal regulations to refer to amounts paid by an obligated parent to the other parent or to the state in order to comply with the medical support obligation stated in a child support order.

"Conditionally assigned arrears" means those temporarily assigned arrears remaining on a case after the period of public assistance ends.

"Conference board" means a method used by the division of child support for resolving complaints regarding DCS cases and for granting exceptional or extraordinary relief from debt.

"Consent order" means a support order that reflects the agreement of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the division of child support. A consent order requires the approval of an administrative law judge.

"Court order" means a judgment, decree or order of a Washington state superior court, another state's court of comparable jurisdiction, or a tribal court.

"Current support" or "current and future support" means the amount of child support which is owed for each month.

"Custodial parent or CP" means the person, whether a parent or not, with whom a dependent child resides the majority of the time period for which the division of child support seeks to establish or enforce a support obligation.

"Date the state assumes responsibility for the support of a dependent child on whose behalf support is sought" means the date that the TANF or AFDC program grant is effective. For purposes of this chapter, the state remains responsible for the support of a dependent child until public assistance terminates, or support enforcement services end, whichever occurs later.

"Delinquency" means failure to pay current child support when due.

"Department" means the Washington state department of social and health services (DSHS).

"Dependent child" means a person:

(1) Seventeen years of age or younger who is not self-supporting, married, or a member of the United States armed forces;

(2) Eighteen years of age or older for whom a court order requires support payments past age eighteen;

(3) Eighteen years of age or older, but under nineteen years of age, for whom an administrative support order exists if the child is participating full-time in a secondary school program or the same level of vocational or technical training.

"Determination of parentage" means the establishment of the parent-child relationship by the signing of a valid acknowledgment of paternity under RCW 26.26.300 through 26.26.375 or adjudication by the court.

"Differentiated support amount" means an amount of child support that represents a parent's support obligation for more than one child and may justifiably be divided into "per child" amounts for each child covered by the support order, based on information contained in the support order.

"Differentiated support order" means a child support order which provides a monthly amount of child support for two or more children, and either provides a specific support obligation for each child or provides enough information in the order so that the monthly amount may justifiably be divided into a "per child" amount for each child covered by the support order.

"Disbursement" means the amount of child support distributed to a case that is paid to the family, state, other child support enforcement agency in another state or foreign country, Indian tribe, or person or entity making the payment.

"Disposable earnings" means the amount of earnings remaining after the deduction of amounts required by law to be withheld.

"Distribution" means how a collection is allocated or split within a case or among multiple cases.

"Domestic partner" means a state registered domestic partner as defined in chapter 26.60 RCW.

"Earnings" means compensation paid or payable for personal service. Earnings include:

(1) Wages or salary;

(2) Commissions and bonuses;

(3) Periodic payments under pension plans, retirement programs, and insurance policies of any type;

(4) Disability payments under Title 51 RCW;

(5) Unemployment compensation under RCW 50.40.020, 50.40.050 and Title 74 RCW;

(6) Gains from capital, labor, or a combination of the two; and

(7) The fair value of nonmonetary compensation received in exchange for personal services.

"Employee" means a person to whom an employer is paying, owes, or anticipates paying earnings in exchange for services performed for the employer.

"Employer" means any person or organization having an employment relationship with any person. This includes:

(1) Partnerships and associations;

(2) Trusts and estates;

(3) Joint stock companies and insurance companies;

(4) Domestic and foreign corporations;

(5) The receiver or trustee in bankruptcy; and

(6) The trustee or legal representative of a deceased person.

"Employment" means personal services of whatever nature, including service in interstate commerce, performed for earnings or under any contract for personal services. Such a contract may be written or oral, express or implied.

"Family" means the person or persons on whose behalf support is sought, which may include a custodial parent and one or more children, or a child or children in foster care placement. The family is sometimes called the assistance unit.

"Family arrears" means the amount of past-due support owed to the family, which has not been conditionally, temporarily or permanently assigned to a state. Also called "nonassistance arrears."

"Family member" means the caretaker relative, the child(ren), and any other person whose needs are considered in determining eligibility for assistance.

"Foreign order" means a court or administrative order entered by a tribunal other than one in the state of Washington.

"Foster care case" means a case referred to the Title IV-D agency by the Title IV-E agency, which is the state division of child and family services (DCFS).

"Fraud," for the purposes of vacating an agreed settlement or consent order, means:

(1) The representation of the existence or the nonexistence of a fact;

(2) The representation's materiality;

(3) The representation's falsity;

(4) The speaker's knowledge that the representation is false;

(5) The speaker's intent that the representation should be acted on by the person to whom it is made;

(6) Ignorance of the falsity on the part of the person to whom it is made;

(7) The latter's:

(a) Reliance on the truth of the representation;

(b) Right to rely on it; and

(c) Subsequent damage.

"Full support enforcement services" means the entire range of services available in a Title IV-D case.

"Good cause" for the purposes of late hearing requests and petitions to vacate orders on default means a substantial reason or legal justification for delay, including but not limited to the grounds listed in civil rule 60. The time periods used in civil rule 60 apply to good cause determinations in this chapter.

"Head of household" means the parent or parents with whom the dependent child or children were residing at the time of placement in foster care.

"Health care costs" means medical expenses. Certain statutes in chapter 26.19 RCW refer to medical expenses as health care costs.

"Health insurance" means insurance coverage for all medical services related to an individual's general health and well being. These services include, but are not limited to: Medical/surgical (inpatient, outpatient, physician) care, medical equipment (crutches, wheel chairs, prosthesis, etc.), pharmacy products, optometric care, dental care, orthodontic care, preventive care, mental health care, and physical therapy. Health insurance coverage does not include medical assistance provided under chapter 74.09 RCW.

"Hearing" means an adjudicative proceeding authorized by this chapter, or chapters 26.23, 74.20 and 74.20A RCW, conducted under chapter 388-02 WAC and chapter 34.05 RCW.

"I/me" means the person asking the question which appears as the title of a rule.

"Income" includes:

(1) All gains in real or personal property;

(2) Net proceeds from the sale or exchange of real or personal property;

(3) Earnings;

(4) Interest and dividends;

(5) Proceeds of insurance policies;

(6) Other periodic entitlement to money from any source; and

(7) Any other property subject to withholding for support under the laws of this state.

"Income withholding action" includes all withholding actions which DCS is authorized to take, and includes but is not limited to the following actions:

(1) Asserting liens under RCW 74.20A.060;

(2) Serving and enforcing liens under chapter 74.20A RCW;

(3) Issuing orders to withhold and deliver under chapter 74.20A RCW;

(4) Issuing notices of payroll deduction under chapter 26.23 RCW; and

(5) Obtaining wage assignment orders under RCW 26.18.080.

"Locate" can mean efforts to obtain service of a support establishment notice in the manner prescribed by WAC 388-14A-3105.

"Medical assistance" means medical benefits under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act provided to families as an alternative or supplement to TANF.

"Medical expenses" for the purpose of establishing support obligations under RCW 26.09.105, 74.20A.055 and 74.20A.056, or for the purpose of enforcement action under chapters 26.23, 74.20 and 74.20A RCW, including the notice of support debt and the notice of support owed, means medical costs incurred on behalf of a child, which include:

Medical services related to an individual's general health and well-being, including but not limited to, medical/surgical care, preventive care, mental health care and physical therapy; and

Prescribed medical equipment and prescribed pharmacy products;

Health care coverage, such as coverage under a health insurance plan, including the cost of premiums for coverage of a child;

Dental and optometrical costs incurred on behalf of a child; and

Copayments and/or deductibles incurred on behalf of a child.

Medical expenses are sometimes also called health care costs or medical costs.

"Medical support" means any combination of the following:

(1) Health insurance coverage for a dependent child;

(2) Amounts owed by one parent to the other parent as a monthly payment toward the premium paid by the other parent for health insurance coverage for a dependent child;

(3) Amounts owed by a noncustodial parent to the state as a monthly payment toward the cost of managed care coverage for the child by the state, if the child receives state-financed medical coverage through the department under chapter 74.09 RCW for which there is an assignment; and

(4) Amounts owed by one parent to the other parent as his or her proportionate share of uninsured medical expenses for a dependent child.

"Monthly payment toward the premium" means a parent's contribution toward:

Premiums paid by the other parent for insurance coverage for the child; or

Amounts paid for managed care coverage for the child by the state, if the child receives state-financed medical coverage through the department under chapter 74.09 RCW for which there is an assignment.

This contribution is based on the obligated parent's proportionate share of the premium paid, but may not exceed twenty-five percent of the obligated parent's basic support obligation.

"National Medical Support Notice" or "NMSN" is a federally mandated form that DCS uses to enforce a health insurance support obligation; the NMSN is a notice of enrollment as described in RCW 26.18.170.

"Noncustodial parent or NCP" means the natural or biological parent, adoptive parent, adjudicated parent, presumed parent, responsible stepparent or person who signed and filed an affidavit acknowledging paternity, from whom the state seeks support for a dependent child. A parent is considered to be an NCP when for the majority of the time during the period for which support is sought, the dependent child resided somewhere other than with that parent.

"Nonmedical expenses" means amounts incurred on behalf of a child which are not medical expenses as defined in this chapter. Nonmedical expenses include, but are not limited to, day care or other special childrearing expenses such as tuition and long-distance transportation costs to and from the parents for visitation purposes.

"Obligated parent" means a parent who is required under a child support order to provide health insurance coverage or to reimburse the other parent for his or her share of medical expenses for a dependent child. The obligated parent could be either the NCP or the CP.

"Other ordinary expense" means an expense incurred by a parent which:

(1) Directly benefits the dependent child; and

(2) Relates to the parent's residential time or visitation with the child.

"Parent" means an individual who has established a parent-child relationship under RCW 26.26.101.

"Parent-child relationship" means the legal relationship between a child and a parent of the child. The term includes the mother-child relationship and the father-child relationship.

"Participant" means an employee or retiree who is eligible for coverage under an employer group health plan.

"Pass-through" means the portion of a support collection distributed to assigned support that the state pays to a family currently receiving TANF.

"Past support" means support arrears.

"Paternity testing" means blood testing or genetic tests of blood, tissue or bodily fluids. This is also called genetic testing.

"Payment services only" or "PSO" means a case on which the division of child support's activities are limited to recording and distributing child support payments, and maintaining case records. A PSO case is not a IV-D case.

"Permanently assigned arrears" means those arrears which the state may collect and retain up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance.

"Physical custodian" means custodial parent (CP).

"Plan administrator" means the person or entity which performs those duties specified under 29 USC 1002 (16)(A) for a health plan. If no plan administrator is specifically so designated by the plan's organizational documents, the plan's sponsor is the administrator of the plan. Sometimes an employer acts as its own plan administrator.

"Presumed parent" means a person who, by operation of law under RCW 26.26.116, is recognized as the parent of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding.

"Private insurance" means accessible health insurance for a child provided by a parent without the need for service of a national medical support notice, and does not include health insurance provided by the state without a contribution from either parent.

"Proportionate share" or "proportional share" means an amount equal to a parent's percentage share of the combined monthly net income of both parents as computed on the worksheets when determining a parent's child support obligation under chapter 26.19 RCW.

"Putative father" includes all men who may possibly be the father of the child or children on whose behalf the application for assistance or support enforcement services is made.

"Reasonable efforts to locate" means any of the following actions performed by the division of child support:

(1) Mailing a support establishment notice to the noncustodial parent in the manner described in WAC 388-14A-3105;

(2) Referral to a sheriff or other server of process, or to a locate service or department employee for locate activities;

(3) Tracing activity such as:

(a) Checking local telephone directories and attempts by telephone or mail to contact the custodial parent, relatives of the noncustodial parent, past or present employers, or the post office;

(b) Contacting state agencies, unions, financial institutions or fraternal organizations;

(c) Searching periodically for identification information recorded by other state agencies, federal agencies, credit bureaus, or other record-keeping agencies or entities; or

(d) Maintaining a case in the division of child support's automated locate program, which is a continuous search process.

(4) Referral to the state or federal parent locator service;

(5) Referral to the attorney general, prosecuting attorney, the IV-D agency of another state, or the Department of the Treasury for specific legal or collection action;

(6) Attempting to confirm the existence of and to obtain a copy of a paternity acknowledgment; or

(7) Conducting other actions reasonably calculated to produce information regarding the NCP's whereabouts.

"Required support obligation for the current month" means the amount set by a superior court order, tribal court order, or administrative order for support which is due in the month in question.

"Resident" means a person physically present in the state of Washington who intends to make their home in this state. A temporary absence from the state does not destroy residency once it is established.

"Residential care" means foster care, either state or federally funded.

"Residential parent" means the custodial parent (CP), or the person with whom the child resides that majority of the time.

"Responsible parent" is a term sometimes used for a noncustodial parent.

"Responsible stepparent" means a stepparent who has established an in loco parentis relationship with the dependent child.

"Retained support" means a debt owed to the division of child support by anyone other than a noncustodial parent.

"Satisfaction of judgment" means payment in full of a court-ordered support obligation, or a determination that such an obligation is no longer enforceable.

"Secretary" means the secretary of the department of social and health services or the secretary's designee.

"Self-support reserve" or "self support reserve" means an amount equal to one hundred twenty-five percent of the federal poverty guideline for a one-person family.

"State" means a state or political subdivision, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a federally recognized Indian tribe or a foreign country.

"Superior court order" means a judgment, decree or order of a Washington state superior court, or of another state's court of comparable jurisdiction.

"Support debt" means support which was due under a support order but has not been paid. This includes:

(1) Delinquent support;

(2) A debt for the payment of expenses for the reasonable or necessary care, support and maintenance including medical expenses, birth costs, child care costs, and special child rearing expenses of a dependent child or other person;

(3) A debt under RCW 74.20A.100 or 74.20A.270; or

(4) Accrued interest, fees, or penalties charged on a support debt, and attorney's fees and other litigation costs awarded in an action under Title IV-D to establish or enforce a support obligation.

"Support enforcement services" means all actions the Title IV-D agency is required to perform under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and state law.

"Support establishment notice" means a notice and finding of financial responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3115, a notice and finding of parental responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3120, or a notice and finding of medical responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3125.

"Support money" means money paid to satisfy a support obligation, whether it is called child support, spousal support, alimony, maintenance, enforcement of medical expenses, health insurance, or birth costs.

"Support obligation" means the obligation to provide for the necessary care, support and maintenance of a dependent child or other person as required by law, including health insurance coverage, medical expenses, birth costs, and child care or special child rearing expenses.

"Support order" means a court order, administrative order or tribal court order which contains a determination, finding, decree or order that sets a child support obligation (including medical support) and orders either the payment of a set or determinable amount of money for current support and/or a support debt, or the provision of medical support, or both.

"Temporarily assigned arrears" means those arrears which accrue prior to the family receiving assistance, for assistance applications dated on or after October 1, 1997, but before October 1, 2008. After the family terminates assistance, temporarily assigned arrears become conditionally assigned arrears.

"Temporary assistance for needy families," or "TANF" means cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.

"Title IV-A" means Title IV-A of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 USC.

"Title IV-A agency" means the part of the department of social and health services which carries out the state's responsibilities under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program (and the aid for dependent children (AFDC) program when it existed).

"Title IV-D" means Title IV-D of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 USC.

"Title IV-D agency" or "IV-D agency" means the division of child support, which is the agency responsible for carrying out the Title IV-D plan in the state of Washington. Also refers to the Washington state support registry (WSSR).

"Title IV-D case" is a case in which the division of child support provides services which qualifies for funding under the Title IV-D plan.

"Title IV-D plan" means the plan established under the conditions of Title IV-D and approved by the secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

"Title IV-E" means Title IV-E of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 U.S.C.

"Title IV-E case" means a foster care case.

"Tribal TANF" means a temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program run by a tribe.

"Tribunal" means a state court, tribal court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce or modify support orders or to determine parentage.

"Underlying order" means an existing child support order for which DCS serves a notice of support owed under RCW 26.23.110 to determine a sum certain support obligation.

"Undifferentiated support amount" means an amount of child support that represents a parent's support obligation for more than one child which cannot justifiably be divided into "per child" amounts for each child covered by the support order.

"Undifferentiated support order" means a child support order which provides a monthly amount of child support for two or more children, but does not provide a specific support obligation for each child or does not contain enough information in either the order or the worksheets associated with the order to justify dividing the monthly amount into "per child" amounts for each child covered by the support order.

"Uninsured medical expenses":

For the purpose of establishing or enforcing support obligations means:

(1) Medical expenses not paid by insurance for medical, dental, prescription and optometrical costs incurred on behalf of a child; and

(2) Premiums, copayments, or deductibles incurred on behalf of a child.

"Unreimbursed assistance" means the cumulative amount of assistance which was paid to the family and which has not been reimbursed by assigned support collections.

"Unreimbursed medical expenses" means any amounts paid by one parent for uninsured medical expenses, which that parent claims the obligated parent owes under a child support order, which percentage share is stated in the child support order itself, not just in the worksheets.

"We" means the division of child support, part of the department of social and health services of the state of Washington.

"WSSR" is the Washington state support registry.

"You" means the reader of the rules, a member of the public, or a recipient of support enforcement services.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.09.105(17), 26.18.170(19), 26.23.050(8), 26.23.110(14), 34.05.020, 34.05.060, 34.05.220, 74.08.090, 74.20.040, 74.20A.055(9), and 74.20A.056(11). 11-12-006, 388-14A-1020, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 26.18.170, 26.23.035, 26.23.050, [26.23.]110, 74.20.040, 74.20A.030, [74.20A.]055, [74.20A.]056, and 74.20A.310. 09-02-059, 388-14A-1020, filed 1/5/09, effective 1/27/09. Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. 08-12-029, 388-14A-1020, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.20A.310, 45 C.F.R. 302.31 and 302.33. 06-03-120, 388-14A-1020, filed 1/17/06, effective 2/17/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310. 05-14-101, 388-14A-1020, filed 6/30/05, effective 7/31/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.20A.310, and 26.18.170, 42 U.S.C. 666 (a)(19), Child Support Performance and Incentives Act of 1998, 45 C.F.R. 303.31, and 45 C.F.R. 303.32. 04-17-119, 388-14A-1020, filed 8/17/04, effective 9/17/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 34.05.220(1), 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056. 01-03-089, 388-14A-1020, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-11-011 and 388-14-020.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-12-006, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11)

WAC 388-14A-3100   How does the division of child support establish a child support obligation when there is no child support order?   (1) When there is no order setting the amount of child support a noncustodial parent (NCP) should pay, the division of child support (DCS) serves a support establishment notice on the NCP and the custodial parent (CP). A support establishment notice is an administrative notice that can become an enforceable order for support if nobody requests a hearing on the notice.

(2) DCS may serve a support establishment notice when there is no order that:

(a) Establishes the NCP's support obligation for the child(ren) named in the notice; or

(b) Specifically relieves the NCP of a support obligation for the child(ren) named in the notice.

(3) Whether support is based upon an administrative order or a court order, DCS may serve a support establishment notice when the parties to a paternity order subsequently marry each other and then separate, or parties to a decree of dissolution remarry each other and then separate. The remaining provisions of the paternity order or the decree of dissolution, including provisions establishing paternity, remain in effect.

(4) Depending on the legal relationship between the NCP and the child for whom support is being set and on the type of child support obligation which is being established, DCS serves one of the ((following)) support establishment notices((:)) listed in subsections (5), (6) or (7). WAC 388-14A-3102 describes which notice DCS uses to set the support obligation of a father who has signed a paternity acknowledgment or an affidavit of paternity.

(((a) Notice)) (5) DCS may serve a notice and finding of financial responsibility (NFFR)((, see)) under WAC 388-14A-3115. ((This notice is used)) DCS uses this notice when the ((NCP is either the mother or the legal father of)) NCP's parentage of the child is based on:

(a) The presumption arising from the existence of a marriage or a registered domestic partnership;

(b) The entry of a court order adjudicating the parent-child relationship;

(c) The entry of an adoption order;

(d) The man's having signed and filed a paternity acknowledgment under RCW 26.26.300 through 26.26.375, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged; or

(e) The woman's being the biological mother of, and having given birth to, the child. ((WAC 388-14A-3102 describes when DCS uses a NFFR to set the support obligation of a father who has signed an acknowledgment or affidavit of paternity.

(b))) (6) DCS may serve a notice and finding of parental responsibility (NFPR)((, see)) under WAC 388-14A-3120. ((This notice is used)) DCS uses this notice when the NCP was not married to the mother but has filed an affidavit or acknowledgment of paternity which did not become a conclusive presumption of paternity. ((WAC 388-14A-3102 describes when DCS uses a NFPR to set the support obligation of a father who has signed an acknowledgment or affidavit of paternity.

(c))) (7) DCS may serve a "Medical support only" NFFR or NFPR((, which as of October 1, 2009, replaced the notice and finding of medical responsibility (NFMR), see)) under WAC 388-14A-3125. Until October 1, 2009, DCS used the notice and finding of medical responsibility (NRMR) for this purpose. A medical support only NFFR or NFPR, whichever is appropriate, is used when DCS seeks to set only a medical support obligation instead of a monetary child support obligation.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.09.105(17), 26.18.170(19), 26.23.050(8), 26.23.110(14), 34.05.020, 34.05.060, 34.05.220, 74.08.090, 74.20.040, 74.20A.055(9), and 74.20A.056(11). 11-12-006, 388-14A-3100, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310, 26.26.315, 26.26.320, 26.26.330, 26.26.335, 74.20A.055, 2002 c 302, and 2002 c 199. 03-17-013, 388-14A-3100, filed 8/12/03, effective 9/12/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056. 00-15-016 and 00-20-022, 388-14A-3100, filed 7/10/00 and 9/25/00, effective 11/6/00.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-12-136, filed 6/1/05, effective 7/2/05)

WAC 388-14A-3102   When the parents have signed an acknowledgment or affidavit of paternity, which support establishment notice does the division of child support serve on the noncustodial parent?   (1) When the parents of a child are not married, they may sign an affidavit of paternity, also called an acknowledgment of paternity or a paternity acknowledgment. The legal effect of the affidavit or acknowledgment depends on when it is filed, in what state it is filed, and whether both parents were over age eighteen when the affidavit was signed.

(2) For affidavits or acknowledgments filed on or before July 1, 1997 with the center for health statistics in the state of Washington, the division of child support (DCS) serves a notice and finding of parental responsibility (NFPR)((. See)) under WAC 388-14A-3120.

(3) For affidavits or acknowledgments filed after July 1, 1997 with the center for health statistics in the state of Washington, DCS serves a notice and finding of financial responsibility (NFFR) under WAC 388-14A-3115, because the affidavit or acknowledgment has become a conclusive presumption of paternity under RCW 26.26.320.

(4) For acknowledgments or affidavits filed with the vital records agency of another state, DCS determines whether to serve a NFFR or NFPR depending on the laws of the state where the affidavit is filed.

(5) DCS relies on the acknowledgment or affidavit, even if the mother or father were not yet eighteen years of age at the time they signed or filed the acknowledgment or affidavit, as provided in RCW 26.26.315(4).

(6) If the mother was married at the time of the child's birth, but not to the man acknowledging paternity, the man to whom she was married must also have signed and filed a denial of paternity within ten days of the child's birth.

(7) If the acknowledgment or affidavit is legally deficient in any way, DCS may refer the case for paternity establishment in the superior court.

(8) If the mother is the noncustodial parent, DCS serves a NFFR.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.26.315, 26.26.320, 26.26.330, 26.26.335, 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310. 05-12-136, 388-14A-3102, filed 6/1/05, effective 7/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310, 26.26.315, 26.26.320, 26.26.330, 26.26.335, 74.20A.055, 2002 c 302, and 2002 c 199. 03-17-013, 388-14A-3102, filed 8/12/03, effective 9/12/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056. 00-15-016 and 00-20-022, 388-14A-3102, filed 7/10/00 and 9/25/00, effective 11/6/00.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 11-12-006, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11)

WAC 388-14A-3115   The notice and finding of financial responsibility is used to set child support when paternity is not an issue.   (1) A notice and finding of financial responsibility (NFFR) is an administrative notice served by the division of child support (DCS) that can become an enforceable order for support, pursuant to RCW 74.20A.055.

(2) DCS may serve a NFFR when the noncustodial parent (NCP) is a legal parent of the child, based on:

(a) The presumption arising from the existence of a marriage or registered domestic partnership;

(b) The entry of a court order adjudicating the parent-child relationship;

(c) The entry of an adoption order;

(d) The man's having signed and filed a paternity acknowledgment under RCW 26.26.300 through 26.26.375, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged; or

(e) The woman's being the biological mother of, and having given birth to, the child.

(3) DCS serves a NFFR in the situations listed in this section and in WAC 388-14A-3100. There may be other bases on which a court can determine parentage and/or establish a child support obligation.

(4) The NFFR:

(a) Advises the noncustodial parent and the custodial parent (who can be either a parent or the physical custodian of the child) of the support obligation for the child or children named in the notice. The NFFR fully and fairly advises the parents of their rights and responsibilities under the NFFR.

(b) Includes the information required by RCW 26.23.050 and 74.20A.055.

(c) Includes a provision that both parents are obligated to provide medical support, as required by RCW 26.09.105, 26.18.170 and 26.23.050. This requirement does not apply to the custodial parent when the custodial parent is not one of the parents of the child covered by the order.

(d) Includes a provision that apportions the share of uninsured medical expenses to both the mother and the father, pursuant to RCW 26.09.105, 26.18.170 and 26.23.050.

(e) May include an obligation for the noncustodial parent to contribute his or her proportionate share of the cost of day care or childcare, which may be stated either as a sum certain amount per month, or as a proportion of the expenses incurred by the custodial parent.

(f) Warns the noncustodial parent (NCP) and the custodial parent (CP) that at an administrative hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) may set the support obligation in an amount higher or lower than, or different from, the amount stated in the NFFR, if necessary for an accurate support order.

(((3))) (5) As provided in WAC 388-14A-3125, DCS may serve a notice and finding of financial responsibility that can become an enforceable order for support to establish and enforce a health insurance obligation. This type of NFFR is called "medical support only" NFFR.

(((4))) (6) DCS uses a medical support only NFFR when the custodial parent has requested medical support enforcement services only and has asked DCS in writing not to collect monetary child support.

(((5))) (7) A medical support only NFFR does not include a monthly financial support obligation, but may include:

(a) An obligation to pay a monthly payment toward the premium paid by the CP or the state for health insurance coverage for the child(ren); and

(b) An obligation to pay a proportionate share of the child(ren)'s uninsured medical expenses.

(((6))) (8) An administrative order resulting from a medical support only NFFR may later be modified to include a monthly financial support obligation, as provided in WAC 388-14A-3925(2).

(((7))) (9) After service of the NFFR, the NCP and the CP must notify DCS of any change of address, or of any changes that may affect the support obligation.

(((8))) (10) The NCP must make all support payments to the Washington state support registry after service of the NFFR. DCS does not give the NCP credit for payments made to any other party after service of a NFFR, except as provided by WAC 388-14A-3375.

(((9))) (11) DCS may take immediate wage withholding action and enforcement action without further notice under chapters 26.18, 26.23, and 74.20A RCW when the NFFR is a final order. WAC 388-14A-3110 describes when the notice becomes a final order.

(((10))) (12) In most cases, a child support obligation continues until the child reaches the age of eighteen. WAC 388-14A-3810 describes when the obligation under the NFFR can end sooner or later than age eighteen.

(((11))) (13) If paternity has been established by an affidavit or acknowledgment of paternity, or paternity acknowledgment, DCS attaches a copy of the acknowledgment, affidavit, or certificate of birth record information to the notice. A party wishing to challenge the acknowledgment or denial of paternity may only bring an action in court to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial of paternity under RCW 26.26.330 and 26.26.335.

(((12))) (14) If the parents filed a paternity affidavit ((or)) acknowledgment of paternity, or by a paternity acknowledgment in another state, and by that state's law paternity is therefore conclusively established, DCS may serve a NFFR to establish a support obligation.

(((13))) (15) A hearing on a NFFR is for the limited purpose of resolving the NCP's accrued support debt and current support obligation. The hearing is not for the purpose of setting a payment schedule on the support debt. The NCP has the burden of proving any defenses to liability.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.09.105(17), 26.18.170(19), 26.23.050(8), 26.23.110(14), 34.05.020, 34.05.060, 34.05.220, 74.08.090, 74.20.040, 74.20A.055(9), and 74.20A.056(11). 11-12-006, 388-14A-3115, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11. Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. 08-12-029, 388-14A-3115, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.160. 06-09-015, 388-14A-3115, filed 4/10/06, effective 5/11/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310, 26.26.315, 26.26.320, 26.26.330, 26.26.335, 74.20A.055, 2002 c 302, and 2002 c 199. 03-17-013, 388-14A-3115, filed 8/12/03, effective 9/12/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056. 00-15-016 and 00-20-022, 388-14A-3115, filed 7/10/00 and 9/25/00, effective 11/6/00. Formerly WAC 388-11-285.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office