Calculating child support can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be painful or unfair.
Nothing is more important than taking care of your pups...er, I mean...children. So how does child support work? Child support is often paid from one parent to the parent who is providing most of the support for the child. Parents that are married and separated, divorced, or never married and separated, are eligible for child support. To receive child support you must ask the court or Division of Child Support to establish child support.
Child support in Washington is determined on statutory factors established by the legislature. Basically, that means that state law will have a big influence on how child support will be calculated for your family. It is mostly a mathematical computation taking both parties incomes into consideration.
Most likely, yes. Child support is mandatory in the state of Washington. However, a court may give a downward deviation ― that’s lawyer talk for a reduction ― in support based upon certain factors, including the number of overnight visits each parent has under the plan. Therefore, under a true 50/50 plan, it may either drastically reduce or cancel out child support transfer payments, but this is determined on the individual facts of your case.
If your spouse does not work, the court may “impute” ― give income to them ― based upon past earnings history, minimum wage, or earning potential based upon age and sex.
Child support covers the basic needs of the child. It goes towards basic things like food, clothing, school supplies, etc. Child support usually also addresses unique factors, things like: special education, sports, long-distance transportation, daycare, post-secondary education, and healthcare. I would suggest talking to a Tacoma child support attorney at our office to make sure that you negotiate child support that will cover your child’s actual needs.
Child support is usually either paid directly to the parent receiving support or collected through the Division of Child Support.
I hate to speak ill of my species, but some parents can be real “dogs.” If you are entitled to receive child support, and the other spouse refuses to pay, there are remedies available to you. First, the Division of Child Support may initiate proceedings to collect the support through garnishment of wages or suspending driver’s licenses, or other benefits. Second, you may be able to get relief through the court system by way of a “contempt proceeding,” at which time the court has the ability to enter a judgment, award attorney’s fees, levy financial penalties, and incarcerate a non-paying parent.
Yes, child support may be modified ***link***. Usually, a party can request that support be modified after two years based upon changes of income, or sooner than two years, based upon substantial unforeseen changes. It is best to talk to a Tacoma child support attorney at our offices to determine if it is in your best interest to modify your support obligation. For more, check out our child support modification page. ***link***