There are a number of reasons that people file for child support in Washington State. Among them are those who have gone through a divorce, those seeking paternity and subsequent support, or those who are have been declared the legal guardian of a child. In Washington, the State Department of Social and Health Services is the governing organization responsible for dealing with child support and child support enforcement.
How to Apply for Child Support In Washington
In order to apply you must first have finalized your divorce arrangements and have all issues concerning custody and visitation settled. Once it is settled both the custodial (child lives with you) and the noncustodial (child doesn’t live with you) parents have roles to play as well as applications to fill out. They can be filled out online here: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dcs/services/#s3
Custodial Parents Process
As the custodial parent, it falls to you to make the first move. You have to go to the above website address and click on the set of forms that best pertains to your situation. If you don’t have a court ordered child support order yet, you will have to use a different set of forms than if you have a child support order. Once these forms are filled out and all of the documentation provided, you need to mail it in to:
Division of Child Support
P.O. Box 11520
Tacoma, Washington 98411-5520
Noncustodial Parent Process
Just because the child is not going to be living with you does not remove the responsibility for filing paperwork. In fact, it is in your best interest to be fully vested in this process because otherwise you may end up conceding many financial obligations that are often negotiable. The following website will take you to the forms that you need to fill out. They have instructions on how to fill them out, but if you need help, there is a number that you can call: 1-800-457-6202 Forms website: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dcs/services/#s3
As a noncustodial parent, you will be sending payments into the Washington State Support Registry. The address that it can be sent to is:
Washington State Support Registry
PO Box 45868
Olympia, WA 98504-5868
Make sure that your check or money order clearly has your social security number on it so that you receive credit for making the payment. You can also have it automatically transferred each month. You can register to make that happen here: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/esa/dcs/18-484.pdf
There are other ways that you can pay, which include wage withholding, online payments, use of a credit or debit card (recurring payments). To set up the online payments or select an option, you can go here: https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/csips/csips/ You will need to have an account, so if you don’t have one you will need to do a quick registration.