SUPPORT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PATERNITY AND CHILD SUPPORT
The DSHS/Division of Child Support contracts with the prosecuting attorney to handle paternity cases for both welfare and non-welfare parents.
Determination of paternity involves interviewing the mother, filing a lawsuit against the possible father's), genetic tests, pretrial motions, entry of a judgment, and on occasion a trial. This may also involve interrogatories and guardian ad item reports. DSHS/DCS locates absent parents and enforces the child support orders.
If the absent parent resides out of the area, the procedure can be done through an UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) action. 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 there.
The prosecutor also handles modifications of child support and enters into private paternity, modification, and dissolution cases where a child is receiving public assistance. The prosecutor may also opt to file contempt charges for not paying child support.