H-4156.1  _______________________________________________


                    SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2516



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By House Committee on Juvenile Justice & Family Law (originally sponsored by Representative Benson)


Read first time 02/06/2002.  Referred to Committee on .

Increasing the flexibility of the department of social and health services in dealing with support obligations of legal custodians.

    AN ACT Relating to support obligations of physical custodians; and amending RCW 74.20.065.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 74.20.065 and 1983 1st ex.s. c 41 s 31 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) The department is authorized to excuse the legal custodian from support payments if a superior court or tribal court has made a finding that:

    (a) The legal custodian has been wrongfully deprived of physical custody((, the department is authorized to excuse the custodian from support payments for a child or children receiving or on whose behalf public assistance was provided under chapter 74.12 RCW)).  A legal custodian is wrongfully deprived of physical custody if:

    (i) The child is taken or enticed from the legal custodian's physical custody.  Proof of enticement may include establishing that the child is allowed to live without reasonably appropriate supervision and restriction;

    (ii) The legal custodian has not subsequently assented to the deprivation; and

    (iii) The legal custodian has made reasonable efforts to regain physical custody; or

    (b) It is not in the best interest of the child, as determined in subsection (2) of this section, to be in the physical custody of the physical custodian, and the physical custodian:

    (i) Is not a relative of the child;

    (ii) Is not licensed under RCW 74.15.030 to care for children;

    (iii) Does not have legal custody of the child; or

    (iv) Is not a person the child has been placed with under a court order.

    (2) A judge may consider the following factors when making a determination of the child's best interest:

    (a) The strength of the relationship between the child and the physical custodian;

    (b) The relationship between each of the child's parents and the physical custodian;

    (c) The nature and reason for either parent's objection to the physical custodian retaining custody;

    (d) Any criminal history or history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect by the physical custodian; and

    (e) Any other factor relevant to the child's best interest.


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