New Year brings new laws affecting child support

OLYMPIA- New child support laws that reflect the changing nature of families, technology and our work will take effect Jan. 1. The Department of Social and Health Services’ (DSHS) Division of Child Support has been working for months to make the transition to the new laws as smooth as possible for our customers.

The new laws include:

The Uniform Parentage Act, which makes it easier for parents to establish a legal relationship with a child.

Child support payments will go to parents faster and more efficiently as most employers will be required to send payments electronically to DSHS on behalf of their employees. Employers will save money, time and reduce payment errors.

An adjustment was made to the table used to calculate child support so the costs of maintaining separate households when both parents do not live with the child are more accurately reflected.

The DSHS Division of Child Support serves parents of more than 376,000 children and collects more than $675 million annually. For very low-income families child support can be as much as 40 percent of their income. However, this work is important to all families as it helps parents provide strong foundations for their children so those children can reach their full potential.

For more information about the DSHS Division of Child Support and these new laws, visit

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