74.20A.055  <<  74.20A.056 >>   74.20A.057

Notice and finding of financial responsibility pursuant to an affidavit of paternityProcedure for contestingRules.

*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 5332-S.SL) ***
*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 5333-S.SL) ***
(1) If an alleged father has signed an affidavit acknowledging paternity which has been filed with the state registrar of vital statistics before July 1, 1997, the division of child support may serve a notice and finding of parental responsibility on him and the custodial parent. Procedures for and responsibility resulting from acknowledgments filed after July 1, 1997, are in subsections (8) and (9) of this section. Service of the notice shall be in the same manner as a summons in a civil action or by certified mail, return receipt requested, on the alleged father. The custodial parent shall be served by first-class mail to the last known address. If the custodial parent is not the nonassistance applicant or public assistance recipient, service shall be in the same manner as for the responsible parent. The notice shall have attached to it a copy of the affidavit or certification of birth record information advising of the existence of a filed affidavit, provided by the state registrar of vital statistics, and shall state that:
(a) Either or both parents are responsible for providing health care coverage for their child either through health insurance or public health care coverage, which is accessible to the child, or through coverage that if coverage that can be extended to cover the child is or becomes available to the parent through employment or is union-related, or for paying a monthly payment toward the premium if no such coverage is available, as provided under RCW 26.09.105;
(b) The alleged father or custodial parent may file an application for an adjudicative proceeding at which they both will be required to appear and show cause why the amount stated in the notice as to support is incorrect and should not be ordered;
(c) An alleged father or mother, if she is also the custodial parent, may request that a blood or genetic test be administered to determine whether such test would exclude him from being a natural parent and, if not excluded, may subsequently request that the division of child support initiate an action in superior court to determine the existence of the parent-child relationship; and
(d) If neither the alleged father nor the custodial parent requests that a blood or genetic test be administered or files an application for an adjudicative proceeding, the amount of support stated in the notice and finding of parental responsibility shall become final, subject only to a subsequent determination under *RCW 26.26.500 through 26.26.630 that the parent-child relationship does not exist.
(2) An alleged father or custodial parent who objects to the amount of support requested in the notice may file an application for an adjudicative proceeding up to twenty days after the date the notice was served. An application for an adjudicative proceeding may be filed within one year of service of the notice and finding of parental responsibility without the necessity for a showing of good cause or upon a showing of good cause thereafter. An adjudicative proceeding under this section shall be pursuant to RCW 74.20A.055. The only issues shall be the amount of the accrued debt, the amount of the current and future support obligation, and the reimbursement of the costs of blood or genetic tests if advanced by the department. A custodian who is not the parent of a child and who has physical custody of a child has the same notice and hearing rights that a custodial parent has under this section.
(3) If the application for an adjudicative proceeding is filed within twenty days of service of the notice, collection action shall be stayed pending a final decision by the department. If no application is filed within twenty days:
(a) The amounts in the notice shall become final and the debt created therein shall be subject to collection action; and
(b) Any amounts so collected shall neither be refunded nor returned if the alleged father is later found not to be a responsible parent.
(4) An alleged father or the mother, if she is also the custodial parent, may request that a blood or genetic test be administered at any time. The request for testing shall be in writing, or as the department may specify by rule, and served on the division of child support. If a request for testing is made, the department shall arrange for the test and, pursuant to rules adopted by the department, may advance the cost of such testing. The department shall mail a copy of the test results by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the alleged father's and mother's, if she is also the custodial parent, last known address.
(5) If the test excludes the alleged father from being a natural parent, the division of child support shall file a copy of the results with the state registrar of vital statistics and shall dismiss any pending administrative collection proceedings based upon the affidavit in issue. The state registrar of vital statistics shall remove the alleged father's name from the birth certificate and change the child's surname to be the same as the mother's maiden name as stated on the birth certificate, or any other name which the mother may select.
(6) The alleged father or mother, if she is also the custodial parent, may, within twenty days after the date of receipt of the test results, request the division of child support to initiate an action under *RCW 26.26.500 through 26.26.630 to determine the existence of the parent-child relationship. If the division of child support initiates a superior court action at the request of the alleged father or mother and the decision of the court is that the alleged father is a natural parent, the parent who requested the test shall be liable for court costs incurred.
(7) If the alleged father or mother, if she is also the custodial parent, does not request the division of child support to initiate a superior court action, or fails to appear and cooperate with blood or genetic testing, the notice of parental responsibility shall become final for all intents and purposes and may be overturned only by a subsequent superior court order entered under *RCW 26.26.500 through 26.26.630.
(8)(a) Subsections (1) through (7) of this section do not apply to acknowledgments of paternity filed with the state registrar of vital statistics after July 1, 1997.
(b) If an acknowledged father has signed an acknowledgment of paternity that has been filed with the state registrar of vital statistics after July 1, 1997:
(i) The division of child support may serve a notice and finding of financial responsibility under RCW 74.20A.055 based on the acknowledgment. The division of child support shall attach a copy of the acknowledgment or certification of the birth record information advising of the existence of a filed acknowledgment of paternity to the notice;
(ii) The notice shall include a statement that the acknowledged father or any other signatory may commence a proceeding in court to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial of paternity under *RCW 26.26.330 and 26.26.335;
(iii) A statement that either or both parents are responsible for providing health care coverage for the child if accessible coverage that can be extended to cover the child is or becomes available to the parent through employment or is union-related as provided under RCW 26.09.105; and
(iv) The party commencing the action to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial must serve notice on the division of child support and the office of the prosecuting attorney in the county in which the proceeding is commenced. Commencement of a proceeding to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial stays the establishment of the notice and finding of financial responsibility, if the notice has not yet become a final order.
(c) If neither the acknowledged father nor the other party to the notice files an application for an adjudicative proceeding or the signatories to the acknowledgment or denial do not commence a proceeding to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment of paternity, the amount of support stated in the notice and finding of financial responsibility becomes final, subject only to a subsequent determination under *RCW 26.26.500 through 26.26.630 that the parent-child relationship does not exist. The division of child support does not refund nor return any amounts collected under a notice that becomes final under this section or RCW 74.20A.055, even if a court later determines that the acknowledgment is void.
(d) An acknowledged father or other party to the notice who objects to the amount of support requested in the notice may file an application for an adjudicative proceeding up to twenty days after the date the notice was served. An application for an adjudicative proceeding may be filed within one year of service of the notice and finding of parental responsibility without the necessity for a showing of good cause or upon a showing of good cause thereafter. An adjudicative proceeding under this section shall be pursuant to RCW 74.20A.055. The only issues shall be the amount of the accrued debt and the amount of the current and future support obligation.
(i) If the application for an adjudicative proceeding is filed within twenty days of service of the notice, collection action shall be stayed pending a final decision by the department.
(ii) If the application for an adjudicative proceeding is not filed within twenty days of the service of the notice, any amounts collected under the notice shall be neither refunded nor returned if the alleged father is later found not to be a responsible parent.
(e) If neither the acknowledged father nor the custodial parent requests an adjudicative proceeding, or if no timely action is brought to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial after service of the notice, the notice of financial responsibility becomes final for all intents and purposes and may be overturned only by a subsequent superior court order entered under *RCW 26.26.500 through 26.26.630.
(9) Acknowledgments of paternity that are filed after July 1, 1997, are subject to requirements of chapters **26.26, the uniform parentage act, and 70.58 RCW.
(10) The department and the department of health may adopt rules to implement the requirements under this section.
(11) The department has rule-making authority to enact rules consistent with 42 U.S.C. Sec. 652(f) and 42 U.S.C. Sec. 666(a)(19) as amended by section 7307 of the deficit reduction act of 2005. Additionally, the department has rule-making authority to implement regulations required under 45 C.F.R. Parts 302, 303, 304, 305, and 308.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 26.26.500 through 26.26.630, 26.26.330, and 26.26.335 were repealed by 2018 c 6 § 907, effective January 1, 2019. For later enactment, see RCW 26.26A.400 through 26.26A.515, 26.26A.235, and 26.26A.240, respectively.
**(2) Chapter 26.26 RCW was repealed by 2018 c 6 § 907, effective January 1, 2019, with the exception of RCW 26.26.065, 26.26.130 through 26.26.190, and 26.26.270, which were recodified as RCW 26.26B.010 through 26.26B.120, effective January 1, 2019. For later enactment of the uniform parentage act, see chapter 26.26A RCW.
Effective date2009 c 476: See note following RCW 26.09.105.
Severability2007 c 143: See note following RCW 26.18.170.
ApplicationConstructionShort title2002 c 302: See RCW 26.26.903 and 26.26.911.
Short titlePart headings, captions, table of contents not lawExemptions and waivers from federal lawConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1997 c 58: See RCW 74.08A.900 through 74.08A.904.
Birth certificateEstablishing paternity: RCW 70.58.080.
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