Employers View Washington State Child Support

Adding Employees Can Be A New Adventure - Because for each new hire as an employer you need to notify Washington State Department of Social And Health Services – Division of Child Support (DCS). You can fill out this form Washington State New Hire Child Support Form or online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/csips/newhire/default.asp

This agency is linked with other states and tribal agencies for a comprehensive data base for child support orders which means they do a remarkable job keeping track of who owes them money.

As an employer you may receive an Income Withholding Order / Notice For Support. It may include a group of forms to be filled out by the employer and sent back to Department of Social Services.

The purpose for these forms is to verify the employee is working, their pay schedule and give notice to withhold child support from each payroll.

We can help with setting up QuickBooks to properly link all the payroll calculations and if needed we can assist with your bookkeeping needs.

Panic Time:

Never assume the order means your new / existing employee is a “Dead Beat” parent.

Yes - Some employees are “Dead Beat” parents and will quit working / skip out on paying / go off the grid / or try to explain to their employer “It is all a mistake – I shouldn’t have to pay because…..Employers must always promptly answer the forms / withhold funds from the employees payroll per instructions / Send Funds to address given on the forms.

Take A Deep Breath:

Parent’s rights for both sides and the children involved have come a long ways in the last 20+ years. Many calculations and factors go into what numbers are used to determine the “How much child support is owed". Formulas are determined by the state guidelines. These changes are a good thing!

Non-custodial parents now have a way to pay his / her child support where a 3rd party keeps the records of what’s has or has not been paid. It’s a big help if a parent gets behind due to part time employment / a change in jobs / or generally need to be able to document for visitation rights / In some cases courts need to approve a parent’s plan to move to another state and how it impacts visitation rights.

Previously lots of non-custodial parents would pay their child support directly (sometimes in cash) to the custodial parent who would say – "I Never Got It". Or the non-custodial parent would pay extra for school supplies / sports / etc. without having a way to document it. Then end up back in court and being required to “Pay More” and “Denied Visitation” – This was a re-occurring cycle that happened over and over and over.

Yes – Today mothers too are required to pay child support when the Father is the custodial parent.

Most Of Them Are Good Solid Employees:

For many employees having the employer withhold from their paycheck is a convenience. Employee doesn’t have to think about it. The order for Employers is to withhold a “Net Number” with a monthly cap. The form will have cap based on commonly used pay cycles. In case of a small payroll check – it usually is ½ the net up to the cap based on the pay cycle and monthly cap. If the amount changes – Employer will receive an Amended Income Withholding For Support Form.

Non-custodial parents add a little more paperwork for the employer. We recommend the employer never view Support Enforcement Orders as a “Garnishment” – these are parents who have a responsibility to their children the same as any other working parent who is involved in their children’s lives.

In a lot of cases the non-custodial parent may be a bit embarrassed by the situation due to previous employers who gave them grief about the additional paperwork and bookkeeping involved. The wise employer knows this and treats all their employees with respect, professionalism and kindness. Oftentimes the non-custodial parent becomes more loyal and a star performer because you have removed a heavy burden from their mind.

The authors have owned and operated a number of profitable construction firms and had several employees with Child Support Withhold Orders so this is an advice you can rely on.

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