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Can WA state DCS collect support from me when I am the Obligee?

Started by Pro Se Survivor, Jul 21, 2009, 12:24:10 AM

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Pro Se Survivor

Okay, this is a good one. Today I opened a letter from DCS saying I owe $17,000 in back support from 2003 to present, they are enforcing an order from 2001 (the most recent order).
Here's the kicker, the order they are attempting to enforce has me as the person RECEIVING support, not paying it! This same order does not order payments made through the registry.
I've read alot of the DCS manual for WA state, and I think the case worker has screwed up.
I think they needed to have modified the  order due to change in circumstances first.

A little history to explain. My child had equal shared residential time and a joint custody plan, until 2001 when my ex moved to attend school. That's when the order was modified to make me the Obligee. Fulltime residential time did not work well at our house, as my ex was adept at PAS, and my child believed my spouse was the root of all evil.

When my ex moved close again we reverted to the shared residential time, until it became necessary for my child to live only with my ex, for the safety of my other child. I chose to voluntarily pay to contribute to my child's support and did so until my ex moved out of country without our child. I received a reduced amount of support from my ex until my child went to live with my ex at the end of the school year.

I resumed voluntary payments until my child turned 16 and legally quit school in the new country. This was against both parents' wishes. My child got a job and provided own support.
I considered my child emancipated, if not legally, certainly in action. Through all of this the CS Order and Parenting Plans were never updated from 2001.

Now, months after my child's 18th birthday, I receive this Notice to Resume Child Support payments, using an order that doesn't apply, for a case they don't have enforcement on. Furthermore, to be expected, no credit has been given for payments I voluntarily, with no court order, made.  I cannot even fathom the $17,000 amount, it is substantially more than any calculation I can come up with.

Can DCS "enforce" this? Has anyone dealt with this before?  I thought I was done with this drama....



Sometimes orders are written with double negatives and other roundabout thinking. The WSSR doesn't employ rocket scientists and they often find following orders to the correct payor difficult. Call them and explain that they have the wrong obligor/payor. You might alos state that you are not pursuing CS, as the child is not only emancipated, but living out of the country. Forward  copy of the most recent order (check the legal file to make sure there were no other orders you do not know about -- it happens and is the basis for overturn of even a recent court of appeals ruling). Write a letter outlining where in the order they should look. Try not to be condescending, as they don't respond favorably to it.

I have even found that complimenting them on their intelligence and your expectation that they will have no problem in rectifying the situation has had some positive outcomes. (Our case worker recently found $172 they had neglected to credit to DH for the past 6 years.)Ask them if they need any further information or if you can facilitate the matter in any way. If you say nothing, they will continue to think they have you on the hook and they will find a way to make it stick.

A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves whats behind him...dear parents, please remember not to continue to fight because you hate your ex, but because you love your children.


My Personal Perspective:
If you have documentation supporting your position, take time out of your busy life, schedule an appointment with DCS, and work with DCS to resolve the matter. If you must hand hold the DCS Representative, be patient and professional about it as introducing unnecessary noise into the situation can drag DCS's misunderstanding out longer than it should.

For"New Fathers", only make voluntary monthly payments via check (e.x. March 2016 Child Support - "Child Name") until an official court order (not Administrative Order) is in place.  Always go to court with an attorney and never allow an Administrative Order to governing the obligations due your child.  If you cannot afford an attorney, research and educate yourself about family law and use all free resources to the best of your ability to represent yourself.   Furthermore, keep all documentation regarding custody, support, etc. in a safe place until your child is independent and thriving on their own.  #Sacrifice and be the father you would want your child to know.