Failure to comply with support or maintenance order — Contempt action — Order to show cause — Bench warrant — Continuing jurisdiction.
(1) If an obligor fails to comply with a support or maintenance order, a petition or motion may be filed without notice under RCW 26.18.040 to initiate a contempt action as provided in chapter 7.21 RCW. If the court finds there is reasonable cause to believe the obligor has failed to comply with a support or maintenance order, the court may issue an order to show cause requiring the obligor to appear at a certain time and place for a hearing, at which time the obligor may appear to show cause why the relief requested should not be granted. A copy of the petition or motion shall be served on the obligor along with the order to show cause.
(2) Service of the order to show cause shall be by personal service, or in the manner provided in the civil rules of superior court or applicable statute.
(3) If the order to show cause served upon the obligor included a warning that an arrest warrant could be issued for failure to appear, the court may issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the obligor if the obligor fails to appear on the return date provided in the order.
(4) If the obligor contends at the hearing that he or she lacked the means to comply with the support or maintenance order, the obligor shall establish that he or she exercised due diligence in seeking employment, in conserving assets, or otherwise in rendering himself or herself able to comply with the court's order.
(5) As provided in RCW 26.18.040, the court retains continuing jurisdiction under this chapter and may use a contempt action to enforce a support or maintenance order until the obligor satisfies all duties of support, including arrearages, that accrued pursuant to the support or maintenance order.
[2008 c 6 § 1030; 1993 c 426 § 5; 1989 c 373 § 22; 1984 c 260 § 5.]