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PDFWAC 388-14A-3115

The notice and finding of financial responsibility is used to set child support when paternity is not an issue.

(1) A notice and finding of financial responsibility (NFFR) is an administrative notice served by the division of child support (DCS) that can become an enforceable order for support, pursuant to RCW 74.20A.055.
(2) DCS may serve a NFFR when the noncustodial parent (NCP) is a legal parent of the child, based on:
(a) The presumption arising from the existence of a marriage or registered domestic partnership;
(b) The entry of a court order adjudicating the parent-child relationship;
(c) The entry of an adoption order;
(d) The man's having signed and filed a paternity acknowledgment under RCW 26.26.300 through 26.26.375, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged; or
(e) The woman's being the biological mother of, and having given birth to, the child.
(3) DCS serves a NFFR in the situations listed in this section and in WAC 388-14A-3100. There may be other bases on which a court can determine parentage and/or establish a child support obligation.
(4) The NFFR:
(a) Advises the NCP and the custodial parent (CP) of the support obligation for the child or children named in the notice. The NFFR fully and fairly advises the parents of their rights and responsibilities under the NFFR.
(b) Includes the information required by RCW 26.23.050 and 74.20A.055.
(c) Includes a provision that both parents are obligated to provide medical support, as required by RCW 26.09.105, 26.18.170 and 26.23.050. This requirement does not apply to the CP when the CP is not one of the parents of the child covered by the order.
(d) Includes a provision that apportions the share of uninsured medical expenses to both the mother and the father, pursuant to RCW 26.09.105, 26.18.170 and 26.23.050.
(e) May include an obligation for the NCP to contribute his or her proportionate share of the cost of day care or childcare, which may be stated either as a sum certain amount per month, or as a proportion of the expenses incurred by the CP.
(f) Warns the NCP and the CP that at an administrative hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) may set the support obligation in an amount higher or lower than, or different from, the amount stated in the NFFR, if necessary for an accurate support order.
(5) As provided in WAC 388-14A-3125, DCS may serve a notice and finding of financial responsibility that can become an enforceable order for support to establish and enforce a health insurance obligation. This type of NFFR is called "medical support only" NFFR.
(6) DCS uses a medical support only NFFR when the CP has requested medical support enforcement services only and has asked DCS in writing not to collect monetary child support.
(7) A medical support only NFFR does not include a monthly financial support obligation, but may include:
(a) An obligation to pay a monthly payment toward the premium paid by the CP or the state for health insurance coverage for the child(ren); and
(b) An obligation to pay a proportionate share of the child(ren)'s uninsured medical expenses.
(8) An administrative order resulting from a medical support only NFFR may later be modified to include a monthly financial support obligation, as provided in WAC 388-14A-3127.
(9) After service of the NFFR, the NCP and the CP must notify DCS of any change of address, or of any changes that may affect the support obligation.
(10) The NCP must make all support payments to the Washington state support registry after service of the NFFR. DCS does not give the NCP credit for payments made to any other party after service of a NFFR, except as provided by WAC 388-14A-3375.
(11) DCS may take immediate wage withholding action and enforcement action without further notice under chapters 26.18, 26.23, and 74.20A RCW when the NFFR is a final order. WAC 388-14A-3110 describes when the notice becomes a final order.
(12) In most cases, a child support obligation continues until the child reaches the age of eighteen. WAC 388-14A-3810 describes when the obligation under the NFFR can end sooner or later than age eighteen.
(13) If paternity has been established by a paternity acknowledgment or an affidavit of paternity, DCS attaches a copy of the acknowledgment, affidavit, or certificate of birth record information to the notice. A party wishing to challenge the acknowledgment or denial of paternity may only bring an action in court to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial of paternity under RCW 26.26.330 and 26.26.335.
(14) If the parents filed a paternity acknowledgment or affidavit of paternity in another state, and by that state's law paternity is therefore conclusively established, DCS may serve a NFFR to establish a support obligation.
(15) A hearing on a NFFR is for the limited purpose of resolving the NCP's accrued support debt and current support obligation. The hearing is not for the purpose of setting a payment schedule on the support debt. The NCP has the burden of proving any defenses to liability.
[Statutory Authority: 2011 c 283, RCW 34.05.220, 43.20A.550, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, and 74.20A.310. WSR 12-01-002, § 388-14A-3115, filed 12/7/11, effective 1/7/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 26.09.105(17), 26.18.170(19), 26.23.050(8), 26.23.110(14), 34.05.020, 34.05.060, 34.05.220, 74.08.090, 74.20.040, 74.20A.055(9), and 74.20A.056(11). WSR 11-12-006, § 388-14A-3115, filed 5/19/11, effective 6/19/11. Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, §§ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. WSR 08-12-029, § 388-14A-3115, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.160. WSR 06-09-015, § 388-14A-3115, filed 4/10/06, effective 5/11/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310, 26.26.315, 26.26.320, 26.26.330, 26.26.335, 74.20A.055, 2002 c 302, and 2002 c 199. WSR 03-17-013, § 388-14A-3115, filed 8/12/03, effective 9/12/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056. WSR 00-15-016 and 00-20-022, § 388-14A-3115, filed 7/10/00 and 9/25/00, effective 11/6/00. Formerly WAC 388-11-285.]
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