WSR 06-13-026

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed June 13, 2006, 4:23 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-02-073.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Amendment of WAC 388-14A-3200 How does DCS determine my support obligation? and 388-14A-8100 Are there special rules for setting child support for children in foster care?, to clarify how the division of child support (DCS) completes the Washington state child support schedule worksheets when administratively determining a child support obligation for a child in foster care. New sections WAC 388-14A-8125 How does DCS complete the WSCSS worksheets when setting the child support obligation for one parent of a child in foster care? and 388-14A-8130 How does DCS complete the WSCSS worksheets when setting a joint child support obligation when the parents of a child in foster care are married and residing together?

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane, behind Goodyear Tire. A map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6097), on July 25, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than July 26, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m. on July 25, 2006.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller, DSHS Rules Consultant, by July 21, 2006, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6097 or by e-mail at schilse@dshs.wa.gov.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: DCS is amending existing rules to provide that, when setting a parent's support obligation for a child in foster care, DCS completes the WSCSS worksheets using that parent's income and the income of the child's other parent, even if the other parent is not a party to the administrative determination of support. DCS does not impute income for another parent when paternity has not been established or when the other parent is known but dead.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Clarity of procedures for establishing support in foster care cases.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.20A.055.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Nancy Koptur, DCS HQ, P.O. Box 9162, Olympia, WA 98507-9162, (360) 664-5065.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. It only affects individuals who have support obligations or individuals who are owed child support.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The rule does meet the definition of a significant legislative rule but DSHS/DCS rules relating to the care of dependent children are exempt from preparing further analysis under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).

June 8, 2006

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

3649.6
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-15-016 and 00-20-022, filed 7/10/00 and 9/25/00, effective 11/6/00)

WAC 388-14A-3200   How does DCS determine my support obligation?   (1) The division of child support (DCS) determines support obligations using the Washington state child support schedule (the WSCSS), which is found in chapter 26.19 RCW, for the establishment and modification of support orders.

(2) See WAC 388-14A-8100 for rules on completing the worksheets under the WSCSS for cases where DCS is determining support for a child in foster care.

[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-3200, filed 7/10/00 and 9/25/00, effective 11/6/00. Formerly WAC 388-11-205.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-12-135, filed 6/1/05, effective 7/2/05)

WAC 388-14A-8100   Are there special rules for setting child support for children in foster care?   (1) Child support obligations for children in foster care are set ((under)) according to the Washington state child support schedule (the WSCSS), found in chapter 26.19 RCW((, just like any other support obligation)).

(2) When a child or children are placed in foster care, DCS may use the administrative process to set a support obligation:

(a) As a joint obligation for married parents who reside together;

(b) As two separate obligations for parents who do not reside together; or

(c) For just one parent, if:

(i) There is already a court or administrative order setting the support obligation of the other parent;

(ii) The other parent is dead; or

(iii) The other parent is unknown.

(3) When setting a support obligation for only one parent, DCS follows the procedure set out in WAC 388-14A-8125.

(4) When setting a joint support obligation for parents who are married and residing together, DCS follows the procedures set out in WAC 388-14A-8130.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 13.34.160(3), 13.34.270(7), 74.08.090, 74.13.031(11), 74.13.350, 74.20A.030(4), and 74.20A.310. 05-12-135, 388-14A-8100, filed 6/1/05, effective 7/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 01-03-089, 388-14A-8100, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-8125   How does DCS complete the WSCSS worksheets when setting the child support obligation for one parent of a child in foster care?   (1) When the division of child support (DCS) is setting a support obligation for only one parent, DCS follows the steps set out in this section.

(2) The noncustodial parent (NCP) for whom DCS is setting support is called the party NCP, because that parent is a party to the administrative action.

(3) The parent for whom DCS is not setting support is called the non-party NCP, because that parent is not a party to the administrative action.

(4) DCS completes a Washington state child support schedule (WSCSS) worksheet using income information for both the party NCP and for the non-party NCP, instead of setting support based solely on the income of the party NCP.

(5) DCS uses the best available information regarding the income of both the party NCP and the non-party NCP, as provided in WAC 388-14A-3205.

(6) DCS does not include the income of a non-party NCP in the worksheets if:

(a) Paternity has not been established for the child;

(b) The non-party NCP's parental rights have been terminated; or

(c) The non-party NCP is known but deceased.

(7) DCS determines the support obligation of the party NCP without regard to:

(a) The amount of the non-party NCP's support obligation for the same child or children; or

(b) The cost of foster care placement, as provided in WAC 388-14A-8105.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-8130   How does DCS complete the WSCSS worksheets when setting a joint child support obligation when the parents of a child in foster care are married and residing together?   (1) When the division of child support (DCS) is setting a joint support obligation for married parents who reside together, DCS follows the steps set out in this section for completing the worksheets under the Washington state child support schedule (WSCSS).

(2) DCS calculates each parent's income under the rules set out in WAC 388-14A-3205, and then calculates the income of the marital community by combining both parents' income in the "Father" column of the worksheet and does not put any income in the "Mother" column.

(3) DCS calculates the joint support obligation using the limitations contained in RCW 26.19.065:

(a) The joint child support obligation may not exceed forty-five percent of the net income of the marital community except for good cause.

(b) Even with the need standard limitation, there is a presumptive minimum obligation of twenty-five dollars per month per child.

(c) DCS or the administrative law judge (ALJ) may find reasons for deviation and must support those reasons with appropriate findings of fact in the support order.

(4) The support obligation in the "Father" column of the WSCSS worksheet is the joint support obligation of the parents. The support obligation in the "Mother" column of the WSCSS worksheet is irrelevant for purposes of this particular support calculation.

(5) DCS determines the joint support obligation of the parents without regard to the cost of foster care placement, as provided in WAC 388-14A-8105.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office