Washington Divorce FAQ’s – Child Support

This is about child support in Washington after divorce, including how child support gets figured, how parents can change child support, when the court orders for child support to be withheld from paychecks, and when the court will deviate from child support guidelines in Washington.

This information is from Jennifer C. Rydberg, the DivorceInfo Network Lawyer for Washington.

How does child support get figured?

Basic child support is determined according to the net incomes of both parents, the number and ages of the children in each household, and a schedule that was determined by the Washington State Legislature. The income and assets of new spouses or partners usually must be disclosed, but does not become a reason to affect the child support amount unless they are extraordinarily high. Deviations from the basic child support calculation can be approved for specific, unusual reasons. A copy of the Washington State Child Support Worksheet, including instructions, is available from the Office of the Administrator of the Courts and can be downloaded at http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/.

How do you change child support?

A Motion for Adjustment or a Petition for Modification of Child Support can be filed. Both parents can agree on what the new support amount should be. In any case, the new support amount must be approved with a court order. Agreements without a court order cannot be enforced and are not effective.

Does child support get deducted from the payor’s paycheck? How?

Yes. This is done automatically through the Washington State Division of Child Support if support payments are late, or if your Order of Child Support says this will occur. There are no fees for this service.

When will the court allow a deviation from the guidelines?

A deviation is allowed for any good reason, but the court must put the reason in writing and it must be in the Order of Child Support. The judges do not approve deviations just because the parents agree to them – the deviations must make good sense and be within the law.

Other issues in Washington:

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