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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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how to sue for back child support

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how to sue for back child support
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. You state that you are going though the state, and I imagine that you mean you have the Washington State Division of Child Support representing you. Are you stating that you are not happy with the progress and are wondering if there is any way to expedite the process using private counsel?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That is correct. We are getting nowhere through the division of child support. This has been going on for years.

Thank you.

First, let us touch base on a few ground rules. Then I can explain how to possibly best proceed.

There are some statutes of limitations when it comes to enforcing child support. It is 10 years after emancipation of youngest child for orders entered after 7/22/89; 10 years after a payment becomes delinquent for orders entered before 7/23/89.

Ergo, the statute of limitations may cut off some of the arrears.

The fastest way would be to file for a contempt motion. The Judge is likely to admonish, fine, and/or imprison for contempt. At the very least, he'd be ordered to pay what is owed as much as he can and compliance hearings will be set later on. The problem is that this is a piecemeal solution if he only pays little.

Another possibility is to convert the order into a civil judgment and go after his assets. With a civil judgment, one can

1) levy a bank account
2) garnish up to 25% of a paycheck
3) lien property
4) attach non-exempt chattel for auction to satisfy judgment.

Finally, a garnishment order for his employment may also be entered.

The issue is that the state moves slowly and they generally will only pursue contempt, but nothing else. A private attorney may act faster, and pursue wider options. If finances are an issue, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...

…and another list:

Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Ely and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

You are welcome.