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Pursuing child support if the other parent has left the state

Custodial parents in Washington State who are supposed to be receiving monthly payments from a supporting parent might not realize that there are steps that can be taken to secure the money regardless of where the other parent has gone. Those who are violating the support agreement and have left the state or absconded from the country can still be pursued by Washington State child support enforcement. The key is knowing what to do to receive what is owed.

The Washington State Division of Child Support has the ability to request that the jurisdiction in which the supporting parent now lives enforces the support order. When the case is sent to that other jurisdiction, in general, that jurisdiction will be in control over the actions related to the case. In the event that the supporting parent has left the U.S. entirely, it is possible that the DCS will have an agreement with that country and it might be able to recover payments.

It can be difficult for custodial parents who were not married to receive supporting payments from the other parent and to establish paternity. Approximately 50 percent of custodial parents who are owed payments from a supporting parent get everything they are owed. One-quarter receive the payments in part. One-quarter does not get anything at all. One new tactic that is being used is a "new-hire" reporting system that is now a federal law. States must now pass laws regarding child support that are uniform with automatic actions for enforcement, and harsher penalties such as license revocation could be a punishment for those who do not pay.

When there are delinquent payments to a custodial parent and the supporting parent has left the state or the country, it is imperative that it is understood that it is still possible to receive the payments under the law. Speaking to an attorney about DCS enforcing the support agreement is the first step to getting what is supposed to be paid to support the child.

Source: dshs.wa.gov, "How can DCS enforce support if the non-custodial parent lives out of state or in another country?," accessed on Oct. 19, 2015

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