Child support is a monthly payment made from the non-custodial to the custodial parent. Support is intended to help meet the child or children’s basic needs when parents separate. RCW 26.19.001. It is factored on the net incomes of the parents as well as their resources and standard of living. Id. In assessing child support, Washington Courts will consider all income and resources of each parents’ household, although only the income of the parents of the children or child whose support is at issue will be considered unless a parent (or both) has remarried or resides with a significant other who helps generate income for the household, and that parent requests a deviation. RCW 26.19.071. Then, the court may consider the household income in establishing a child support obligation. Child support is also commensurate with the age and number of children involved. The parents’ combined net incomes will determine the amount of basic support to be paid and the proportion of such support each parent will be responsible to pay. Let’s say, for example, one parent makes $75 net each month and the other parent makes $25. Together, they have a community net income of $100 dollars. The amount of the basic support obligation is based on the child support economic table: Please See RCW 26.19.020. The proportionate obligation is 75/25% for the parents respectively. The proportionate obligation applies to child support provisions, such as special child rearing expenses, private education, uninsured health care costs, and transportation. The child support order will also allocate which parent utilizes the child tax credit and when. So you know, there are reasons that allow you to deviate from a standard calculation of child support. Please See RCW 26.19.075. If your child, for whom you provide support, spends a significant amount of time with you, you have children from other relationships exist and you owe a duty of support to those children, or the custodial parent has tremendous household income, then you may qualify for a deviation from your basic child support obligation. Id. Maybe you are also paying tuition, day care, transportation or health care directly to the service provider. If so, then a deviation may be appropriate and these reasons, among others, may be a basis to reduce your overall child support obligation. It’s always advisable to contact a competent professional for helpful information and insight. If you are in the middle of a child support issue, don’t hesitate to contact our office for help.
Child Support Modification
Either parent may petition the Court for a child support modification, provided that a substantial change in circumstance has occurred. A change in circumstance – for purposes of child support – is typically either an increase or reduction in income for the obligor (non-custodial) parent. Although there are those who feel that a change in income for the obligee (custodial parent) parent would affect a support transfer from the obligor parent, it really doesn’t. A change in income to the obligee will affect proportionate obligations (please see above), it doesn’t affect the obligor’s transfer. A child support modification may be brought once every two years with a change in income. Please See RCW 26.09.170. A support modification may be brought one year after your most recent order of child support had been entered in court, provided the order has become an economic hardship on either party or child. Id. Finally, a child support modification may be brought at any time following entry of your most recent order of child support should an individual involuntarily lose a job or other change in circumstance that would warrant a change. Id Whether via a modification of petition to establish child support, the court may always consider whether a deviation is appropriate. Please See RCW 26.19.075. Yet, it is important to note that Washington Courts as well as the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Child Support, take child support obligations seriously. If the obligor parent fails to pay his/her support obligation, then a contempt action or even imprisonment may be sought as a sanction. A child support order or child support modification includes many procedural steps and provisions that are more complex than one may think. Knowledgeable legal representation and counsel will benefit you. Phone for Free Consultation: 509.325.0125