The Washington State DSHS/Division of Child Support contracts with the Prosecuting Attorney to handle cases for Paternity, Child Support Modification and Child Support Enforcement/Contempt for both assistance and non-assistance cases. The Prosecutors office does not take child support cases unless they are referred through the department of child support. If you have questions about how you can receive assistance with your Child Support, please contact The Washington State Department of Child Support at 1-800-442-kids.
Establishment of Paternity
The state sends the Prosecutor's office cases that are in need of paternity establishment based on jurisdiction of the parties involved. If the parties live in Skamania County then those cases will be sent to us to complete. Determination of paternity involves interviewing the mother, filing a lawsuit against the alleged father, genetic testing, pretrial motions, entry of judgments, and on occasion a trial. Cases may also involve interrogatories and/or guardian ad litem reports.
Modification of Child Support
Cases that meet the appropriate criteria through the Department of Child Support may be modified every three years or if there has been a significant change of circumstance of the parties. These cases are then transferred to the Prosecutors office to gather the remaining information and enter court orders.
Support Enforcement/Contempt Cases
DSHS/DCS locates absent parents who have not been paying their support and sends these cases to the Prosecuting Attorney to file with the court and enforce. These cases may include court monitoring and/or filing of contempt charges for non-payment (there are many remedies available to the court including imposing jail time). If a parent resides out of the area, the case may still be able to be worked through a process called UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act). This is an act whereby other states and some countries have agreed to reciprocally handle child support cases when one of the involved parties reside within their jurisdiction.
The Prosecuting Attorney also handles other cases at the request of the State where the State has an interest due to a child receiving public assistance or who has received public assistance in the past.