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What definitions apply to the rules regarding child support enforcement?
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
"Absence of a court order" means that there is no court order setting a support obligation for the noncustodial parent (NCP), or specifically relieving the NCP of a support obligation, for a particular child.
"Absent parent" is a term used for a noncustodial parent.
"Accessible coverage" means health insurance coverage which provides primary care services to the children with reasonable effort by the custodian.
"Accrued debt" means past-due child support which has not been paid.
means a man who has established a father-child relationship under RCW 26.26.300
"Adjudicated parent" means a person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the parent of a child.
means a determination, finding, decree or order for support issued under RCW 74.20A.055
, or 74.20A.059
or by the agency of an Indian tribe or another state or country's agency under an administrative process, establishing the existence of a support obligation (including medical support) and ordering the payment of a set or determinable amount of money for current support and/or a support debt. Administrative orders include:
(1) An order entered under chapter 34.05
(2) An agreed settlement or consent order entered under WAC 388-14A-3600
(3) A support establishment notice which has become final by operation of law.
"Agency" means the Title IV-D provider of a state or tribe, or the central authority of another country. In Washington, this is the division of child support (DCS) within the department of social and health services (DSHS).
"Agreed settlement" is an administrative order that reflects the agreement of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the division of child support. An agreed settlement does not require the approval of an administrative law judge.
"Aid" or "public assistance" means cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program, the aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) program, federally funded or state-funded foster care, and includes day care benefits and medical benefits provided to families as an alternative or supplement to TANF.
"Alternate recipient" means a child of the employee or retiree named within a support order as being entitled to coverage under an employer's group health plan.
means the twenty-five dollar annual fee charged between October 1 and September 30 each year, required by the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and RCW 74.20.040
"Applicant/custodian" means a person who applies for nonassistance support enforcement services on behalf of a child or children residing in their household.
"Applicant/recipient," "applicant," and "recipient" means a person who receives public assistance on behalf of a child or children residing in their household.
"Arrears" means the debt amount owed for a period of time before the current month.
"Assistance" means cash assistance under the state program funded under Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act.
means a cash assistance unit as defined in WAC 388-408-0005
. An assistance unit is the group of people who live together and whose income or resources the department counts to decide eligibility for benefits and the amount of benefits.
"Birth costs" means medical expenses incurred by the custodial parent or the state, tribe or country for the birth of a child.
"Cash medical support"
is a term used in RCW 26.09.105
and certain federal regulations to refer to amounts paid by an obligated parent to the other parent or to the state in order to comply with the medical support obligation stated in a child support order.
"Central authority" means the agency designated by a government to facilitate support enforcement with a foreign reciprocating country (FRC) pursuant to section 459A of the federal Social Security Act.
"Conditionally assigned arrears" means those temporarily assigned arrears remaining on a case after the period of public assistance ends.
"Conference board" means a method used by the division of child support for resolving complaints regarding DCS cases and for granting exceptional or extraordinary relief from debt.
"Consent order" means a support order that reflects the agreement of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the division of child support. A consent order requires the approval of an administrative law judge.
means the only order issued or, where multiple orders exist, the order determined by a tribunal to control prospective current support pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), chapter 26.21A
"Controlling order state" means the state in which the only order was issued or, where multiple orders exist, the state in which the order determined by a tribunal to control prospective current support pursuant to the UIFSA was issued.
"Country" means a foreign country (or a political subdivision thereof) declared to be a Foreign Reciprocating Country (FRC) under 42 U.S.C. 659A and any foreign country (or political subdivision thereof) with which the state has entered into a reciprocal arrangement for the establishment and enforcement of support obligations to the extent consistent with federal law pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 659A.
"Court order" means a judgment, decree or order of a Washington state superior court, or a court of comparable jurisdiction of an Indian tribe or another state or country.
"Current support" or "current and future support" means the amount of child support which is owed for each month.
"Custodial parent or CP" means the person, whether a parent or not, with whom a dependent child resides the majority of the time period for which the division of child support seeks to establish or enforce a support obligation.
"Date the state assumes responsibility for the support of a dependent child on whose behalf support is sought" means the date that the TANF or AFDC program grant is effective. For purposes of this chapter, the state remains responsible for the support of a dependent child until public assistance terminates, or support enforcement services end, whichever occurs later.
"Delinquency" means failure to pay current child support when due.
"Department" means the Washington state department of social and health services (DSHS).
"Dependent child" means a person:
(1) Seventeen years of age or younger who is not self-supporting, married, or a member of the United States armed forces;
(2) Eighteen years of age or older for whom a court order requires support payments past age eighteen;
(3) Eighteen years of age or older, but under nineteen years of age, for whom an administrative support order exists if the child is participating full-time in a secondary school program or the same level of vocational or technical training.
"Determination of parentage"
means the establishment of the parent-child relationship by the signing of a valid acknowledgment of paternity under RCW 26.26.300
or adjudication by the court.
"Differentiated support amount" means an amount of child support that represents a parent's support obligation for more than one child and may justifiably be divided into "per child" amounts for each child covered by the support order, based on information contained in the support order.
"Differentiated support order" means a child support order which provides a monthly amount of child support for two or more children, and either provides a specific support obligation for each child or provides enough information in the order so that the monthly amount may justifiably be divided into a "per child" amount for each child covered by the support order.
"Disbursement" means the amount of child support distributed to a case that is paid to the family, state, other child support enforcement agency in another state or foreign country, Indian tribe, or person or entity making the payment.
"Disposable earnings" means the amount of earnings remaining after the deduction of amounts required by law to be withheld.
"Distribution" means how a collection is allocated or split within a case or among multiple cases.
means a state registered domestic partner as defined in chapter 26.60
"Earnings" means compensation paid or payable for personal service. Earnings include:
(1) Wages or salary;
(2) Commissions and bonuses;
(3) Periodic payments under pension plans, retirement programs, and insurance policies of any type;
(4) Disability payments under Title 51
(6) Gains from capital, labor, or a combination of the two; and
(7) The fair value of nonmonetary compensation received in exchange for personal services.
"Employee" means a person to whom an employer is paying, owes, or anticipates paying earnings in exchange for services performed for the employer.
"Employer" means any person or organization having an employment relationship with any person. This includes:
(1) Partnerships and associations;
(2) Trusts and estates;
(3) Joint stock companies and insurance companies;
(4) Domestic and foreign corporations;
(5) The receiver or trustee in bankruptcy; and
(6) The trustee or legal representative of a deceased person.
"Employment" means personal services of whatever nature, including service in interstate commerce, performed for earnings or under any contract for personal services. Such a contract may be written or oral, express or implied.
"Family" means the person or persons on whose behalf support is sought, which may include a custodial parent and one or more children, or a child or children in foster care placement. The family is sometimes called the assistance unit.
"Family arrears" means the amount of past-due support owed to the family, which has not been conditionally, temporarily or permanently assigned to a state. Also called "nonassistance arrears."
"Family member" means the caretaker relative, the child(ren), and any other person whose needs are considered in determining eligibility for assistance.
"Foreign order" means a court or administrative order entered by a tribunal other than one in the state of Washington, including an order entered by a tribunal in an Indian tribe or another state or country.
"Foreign reciprocating country" or FRC means a country which the federal government has declared to be a foreign reciprocating country, which means that the foreign country has established, or undertakes to establish, procedures for the establishment and enforcement of duties of support owed to custodial parents who are residents of the United States, and that such procedures are substantially in conformity with the standards prescribed under title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act.
"Foster care case" means a case referred to the Title IV-D agency by the Title IV-E agency, which is the state division of child and family services (DCFS).
"Fraud," for the purposes of vacating an agreed settlement or consent order, means:
(1) The representation of the existence or the nonexistence of a fact;
(2) The representation's materiality;
(3) The representation's falsity;
(4) The speaker's knowledge that the representation is false;
(5) The speaker's intent that the representation should be acted on by the person to whom it is made;
(6) Ignorance of the falsity on the part of the person to whom it is made;
(7) The latter's:
(a) Reliance on the truth of the representation;
(b) Right to rely on it; and
(c) Subsequent damage.
"Full support enforcement services" means the entire range of services available in a Title IV-D case.
"Good cause" for the purposes of late hearing requests and petitions to vacate orders on default means a substantial reason or legal justification for delay, including but not limited to the grounds listed in civil rule 60. The time periods used in civil rule 60 apply to good cause determinations in this chapter.
"Head of household" means the parent or parents with whom the dependent child or children were residing at the time of placement in foster care.
"Health care costs"
means medical expenses. Certain statutes in chapter 26.19
RCW refer to medical expenses as health care costs.
means insurance coverage for all medical services related to an individual's general health and well being. These services include, but are not limited to: Medical/surgical (inpatient, outpatient, physician) care, medical equipment (crutches, wheel chairs, prosthesis, etc.), pharmacy products, optometric care, dental care, orthodontic care, preventive care, mental health care, and physical therapy. Health insurance coverage does not include medical assistance provided under chapter 74.09
means an adjudicative proceeding authorized by this chapter, or chapters 26.23
, 74.20 and 74.20A
RCW, conducted under chapter 388-02
WAC and chapter 34.05
"I/me" means the person asking the question which appears as the title of a rule.
(1) All gains in real or personal property;
(2) Net proceeds from the sale or exchange of real or personal property;
(4) Interest and dividends;
(5) Proceeds of insurance policies;
(6) Other periodic entitlement to money from any source; and
(7) Any other property subject to withholding for support under the laws of this state.
"Income withholding action" includes all withholding actions which DCS is authorized to take, and includes but is not limited to the following actions:
(2) Serving and enforcing liens under chapter 74.20A
(3) Issuing orders to withhold and deliver under chapter 74.20A
(4) Issuing notices of payroll deduction under chapter 26.23
(5) Obtaining wage assignment orders under RCW 26.18.080
"Initiating agency" or "initiating jurisdiction" means a state or Tribal IV-D agency or the central authority of another country, as defined in this rule, in which an individual has applied for or is receiving services.
"Intergovernmental IV-D case" means a IV-D case in which the noncustodial parent lives and/or works in a different jurisdiction than the custodial parent and child(ren) that has been referred by an initiating agency to a responding agency for services. An intergovernmental IV-D case may include any combination of referrals between states, tribes, and countries. An intergovernmental IV-D case also may include cases in which a state agency is seeking only to collect support arrearages, whether owed to the family or assigned to the state.
can mean efforts to obtain service of a support establishment notice in the manner prescribed by WAC 388-14A-3105
"Medical assistance" means medical benefits under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act provided to families as an alternative or supplement to TANF.
for the purpose of establishing support obligations under RCW 26.09.105
, or for the purpose of enforcement action under chapters 26.23
, 74.20 and 74.20A
RCW, including the notice of support debt and the notice of support owed, means medical costs incurred on behalf of a child, which include:
• Medical services related to an individual's general health and well-being, including but not limited to, medical/surgical care, preventive care, mental health care and physical therapy; and
• Prescribed medical equipment and prescribed pharmacy products;
• Health care coverage, such as coverage under a health insurance plan, including the cost of premiums for coverage of a child;
• Dental and optometrical costs incurred on behalf of a child; and
• Copayments and/or deductibles incurred on behalf of a child.
Medical expenses are sometimes also called health care costs or medical costs.
"Medical support" means any combination of the following:
(1) Health insurance coverage for a dependent child;
(2) Amounts owed by one parent to the other parent as a monthly payment toward the premium paid by the other parent for health insurance coverage for a dependent child;
(3) Amounts owed by a noncustodial parent to the state as a monthly payment toward the cost of managed care coverage for the child by the state, if the child receives state-financed medical coverage through the department under chapter 74.09
RCW for which there is an assignment; and
(4) Amounts owed by one parent to the other parent as his or her proportionate share of uninsured medical expenses for a dependent child.
"Monthly payment toward the premium" means a parent's contribution toward:
• Premiums paid by the other parent for insurance coverage for the child; or
• Amounts paid for managed care coverage for the child by the state, if the child receives state-financed medical coverage through the department under chapter 74.09
RCW for which there is an assignment.
This contribution is based on the obligated parent's proportionate share of the premium paid, but may not exceed twenty-five percent of the obligated parent's basic support obligation.
"National Medical Support Notice"
is a federally mandated form that DCS uses to enforce a health insurance support obligation; the NMSN is a notice of enrollment as described in RCW 26.18.170
"Noncustodial parent or NCP" means the natural or biological parent, adoptive parent, adjudicated parent, presumed parent, responsible stepparent or person who signed and filed an affidavit acknowledging paternity, from whom the state seeks support for a dependent child. A parent is considered to be an NCP when for the majority of the time during the period for which support is sought, the dependent child resided somewhere other than with that parent.
"Nonmedical expenses" means amounts incurred on behalf of a child which are not medical expenses as defined in this chapter. Nonmedical expenses include, but are not limited to, day care or other special childrearing expenses such as tuition and long-distance transportation costs to and from the parents for visitation purposes.
"Obligated parent" means a parent who is required under a child support order to provide health insurance coverage or to reimburse the other parent for his or her share of medical expenses for a dependent child. The obligated parent could be either the NCP or the CP.
"Other ordinary expense" means an expense incurred by a parent which:
(1) Directly benefits the dependent child; and
(2) Relates to the parent's residential time or visitation with the child.
means an individual who has established a parent-child relationship under RCW 26.26.101
"Parent-child relationship" means the legal relationship between a child and a parent of the child. The term includes the mother-child relationship and the father-child relationship.
"Participant" means an employee or retiree who is eligible for coverage under an employer group health plan.
"Pass-through" means the portion of a support collection distributed to assigned support that the state pays to a family currently receiving TANF.
"Past support" means support arrears.
"Paternity testing" means blood testing or genetic tests of blood, tissue or bodily fluids. This is also called genetic testing.
"Payment services only" or "PSO" means a case on which the division of child support's activities are limited to recording and distributing child support payments, and maintaining case records. A PSO case is not a IV-D case.
"Permanently assigned arrears" means those arrears which the state may collect and retain up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance.
"Physical custodian" means custodial parent (CP).
"Plan administrator" means the person or entity which performs those duties specified under 29 U.S.C. 1002 (16)(A) for a health plan. If no plan administrator is specifically so designated by the plan's organizational documents, the plan's sponsor is the administrator of the plan. Sometimes an employer acts as its own plan administrator.
means a person who, by operation of law under RCW 26.26.116
, is recognized as the parent of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding.
"Private insurance" means accessible health insurance for a child provided by a parent without the need for service of a national medical support notice, and does not include health insurance provided by the state without a contribution from either parent.
or "proportional share"
means an amount equal to a parent's percentage share of the combined monthly net income of both parents as computed on the worksheets when determining a parent's child support obligation under chapter 26.19
"Putative father" includes all men who may possibly be the father of the child or children on whose behalf the application for assistance or support enforcement services is made.
"Reasonable efforts to locate" means any of the following actions performed by the division of child support:
(1) Mailing a support establishment notice to the noncustodial parent in the manner described in WAC 388-14A-3105
(2) Referral to a sheriff or other server of process, or to a locate service or department employee for locate activities;
(3) Tracing activity such as:
(a) Checking local telephone directories and attempts by telephone or mail to contact the custodial parent, relatives of the noncustodial parent, past or present employers, or the post office;
(b) Contacting state agencies, unions, financial institutions or fraternal organizations;
(c) Searching periodically for identification information recorded by other state agencies, federal agencies, credit bureaus, or other record-keeping agencies or entities; or
(d) Maintaining a case in the division of child support's automated locate program, which is a continuous search process.
(4) Referral to the state or federal parent locator service;
(5) Referral to the attorney general, prosecuting attorney, the IV-D agency of another state, or the Department of the Treasury for specific legal or collection action;
(6) Attempting to confirm the existence of and to obtain a copy of a paternity acknowledgment; or
(7) Conducting other actions reasonably calculated to produce information regarding the NCP's whereabouts.
"Required support obligation for the current month" means the amount set by a superior court order, tribal court order, or administrative order for support which is due in the month in question.
"Resident" means a person physically present in the state of Washington who intends to make their home in this state. A temporary absence from the state does not destroy residency once it is established.
"Residential care" means foster care, either state or federally funded.
"Residential parent" means the custodial parent (CP), or the person with whom the child resides that majority of the time.
"Responding agency" or "responding jurisdiction" means the agency that is providing services in response to a referral from an initiating agency in an intergovernmental IV-D case.
"Responsible parent" is a term sometimes used for a noncustodial parent.
"Responsible stepparent" means a stepparent who has established an in loco parentis relationship with the dependent child.
"Retained support" means a debt owed to the division of child support by anyone other than a noncustodial parent.
"Satisfaction of judgment" means payment in full of a court-ordered support obligation, or a determination that such an obligation is no longer enforceable.
"Secretary" means the secretary of the department of social and health services or the secretary's designee.
"Self-support reserve" or "self support reserve" means an amount equal to one hundred twenty-five percent of the federal poverty guideline for a one-person family.
"State" means a state or political subdivision, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a federally recognized Indian tribe or a foreign country.
"Superior court order" means a judgment, decree or order of a Washington state superior court, or of a court of comparable jurisdiction in an Indian tribe or another state or country.
"Support debt" means support which was due under a support order but has not been paid. This includes:
(1) Delinquent support;
(2) A debt for the payment of expenses for the reasonable or necessary care, support and maintenance including medical expenses, birth costs, child care costs, and special child rearing expenses of a dependent child or other person;
(4) Accrued interest, fees, or penalties charged on a support debt, and attorney's fees and other litigation costs awarded in an action under Title IV-D to establish or enforce a support obligation.
"Support enforcement services" means all actions the Title IV-D agency is required to perform under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and state law.
"Support establishment notice"
means a notice and finding of financial responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3115
, a notice and finding of parental responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3120
, or a notice and finding of medical responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3125
"Support money" means money paid to satisfy a support obligation, whether it is called child support, spousal support, alimony, maintenance, enforcement of medical expenses, health insurance, or birth costs.
"Support obligation" means the obligation to provide for the necessary care, support and maintenance of a dependent child or other person as required by law, including health insurance coverage, medical expenses, birth costs, and child care or special child rearing expenses.
"Support order" means a court order, administrative order or tribal court order which contains a determination, finding, decree or order that sets a child support obligation (including medical support) and orders either the payment of a set or determinable amount of money for current support and/or a support debt, or the provision of medical support, or both.
"Temporarily assigned arrears" means those arrears which accrue prior to the family receiving assistance, for assistance applications dated on or after October 1, 1997, but before October 1, 2008. After the family terminates assistance, temporarily assigned arrears become conditionally assigned arrears.
"Temporary assistance for needy families," or "TANF" means cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.
"Title IV-A" means Title IV-A of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 U.S.C..
"Title IV-A agency" means the part of the department of social and health services which carries out the state's responsibilities under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program (and the aid for dependent children (AFDC) program when it existed).
"Title IV-D" means Title IV-D of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 U.S.C..
"Title IV-D agency" or "IV-D agency" means the division of child support, which is the agency responsible for carrying out the Title IV-D plan in the state of Washington. Also refers to the Washington state support registry (WSSR).
"Title IV-D case" is a case in which the division of child support provides services which qualifies for funding under the Title IV-D plan.
"Title IV-D plan" means the plan established under the conditions of Title IV-D and approved by the secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
"Title IV-E" means Title IV-E of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 U.S.C.
"Title IV-E case" means a foster care case.
"Tribal TANF" means a temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program run by a tribe.
"Tribunal" means a state court, tribal court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce or modify support orders or to determine parentage, and includes such courts, agencies or entities in other states or countries.
means an existing child support order for which DCS serves a notice of support owed under RCW 26.23.110
to determine a sum certain support obligation.
"Undifferentiated support amount" means an amount of child support that represents a parent's support obligation for more than one child which cannot justifiably be divided into "per child" amounts for each child covered by the support order.
"Undifferentiated support order" means a child support order which provides a monthly amount of child support for two or more children, but does not provide a specific support obligation for each child or does not contain enough information in either the order or the worksheets associated with the order to justify dividing the monthly amount into "per child" amounts for each child covered by the support order.
"Uninsured medical expenses": For the purpose of establishing or enforcing support obligations means:
(1) Medical expenses not paid by insurance for medical, dental, prescription and optometrical costs incurred on behalf of a child; and
(2) Premiums, copayments, or deductibles incurred on behalf of a child.
"Unreimbursed assistance" means the cumulative amount of assistance which was paid to the family and which has not been reimbursed by assigned support collections.
"Unreimbursed medical expenses" means any amounts paid by one parent for uninsured medical expenses, which that parent claims the obligated parent owes under a child support order, which percentage share is stated in the child support order itself, not just in the worksheets.
"We" means the division of child support, part of the department of social and health services of the state of Washington.
"WSSR" is the Washington state support registry.
"You" means the reader of the rules, a member of the public, or a recipient of support enforcement services.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.120
and 45 C.F.R. Parts 301.1, 302.36, 303.7, 303.11, 305.63, and 308.2. WSR 13-01-075, § 388-14A-1020, filed 12/18/12, effective 1/18/13. Statutory Authority: 2011 c 283, RCW 34.05.220
, and 74.20A.310
. WSR 12-01-002, § 388-14A-1020, filed 12/7/11, effective 1/7/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 26.09.105
(9), and 74.20A.056
(11). WSR 11-12-006, § 388-14A-1020, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 26.18.170
, [26.23.]110, 74.20.040
, [74.20A.]055, [74.20A.]056, and 74.20A.310
. WSR 09-02-059, § 388-14A-1020, filed 1/5/09, effective 1/27/09. Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, §§ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. WSR 08-12-029, § 388-14A-1020, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.20A.310
, 45 C.F.R. 302.31 and 302.33. WSR 06-03-120, § 388-14A-1020, filed 1/17/06, effective 2/17/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220
. WSR 05-14-101, § 388-14A-1020, filed 6/30/05, effective 7/31/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090
, and 26.18.170
, 42 U.S.C. 666 (a)(19), Child Support Performance and Incentives Act of 1998, 45 C.F.R. 303.31, and 45 C.F.R. 303.32. WSR 04-17-119, § 388-14A-1020, filed 8/17/04, effective 9/17/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090
. WSR 01-03-089, § 388-14A-1020, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-11-011 and 388-14-020.]