WSR 02-03-010

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed January 4, 2002, 8:20 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Division of Child Support (DCS) is considering making new rules and amending existing rules on the question of when DCS can suspend collection of part or all of a support obligation. Affected sections include WAC 388-14A-2000, 388-14A-2025, 388-14A-2080, 388-14A-3800, 388-14A-3810, 388-14A-4000, 388-14A-4300 through 388-14A-4304; and other related sections.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 74.08.090, 34.05.220(1), 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, and 74.20A.310.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: DCS seeks to clarify existing practice and to create new rules stating when DCS may suspend collection of part or all of a support obligation, whether the obligation is owed under a court order or an administrative order. Parties to a child support order often make informal changes, including changing the residence of a minor child, changing the daycare arrangements, and other things which affect the amount of support which should be paid each month; while the best practice would be for the parties to modify their support order, the parties often do not have the ability to return to court. DCS' suspension of collection will not modify the order, nor will it make the nonenforced part of the obligation uncollectable. The parties may choose to go to court to enter a judgment on arrears, which DCS will then enforce.

Process for Developing New Rule: DCS engages in modified collaborative rule making. Those persons wishing to participate in developing the new rules are encouraged to contact Nancy Koptur at the DSHS-DCS headquarters as soon as possible. DCS will post information regarding this rule development project and others on its website, which can be found at www.wa.gov/dshs/dcs, or on the DSHS Economic Services Administration's Regulatory Improvement website, which can be found at http://www-app2.wa.gov/dshs/esa/extpolicy/blue.asp. DSHS/DCS encourages the public to take part in developing the rules. After the rules are drafted, DSHS will file a copy with the Office of the Code Reviser with a notice of proposed rule making, and will send a copy to everyone currently on the mailing list and to anyone else who requests a copy.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Nancy Koptur, DCS Rules Coordinator, Division of Child Support, P.O. Box 9162, Mailstop 45860, Olympia, WA 98507-9162, phone (360) 664-5065, or 1-800-457-6202, fax (360) 664-5209, e-mail nkoptur@dshs.wa.gov, TTY/TDD (360) 664-5011.

January 3, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

Washington State Code Reviser's Office