Your child support obligation in the state of Washington should reflect your current economic circumstances. A change in your circumstances, such as the loss of a job or a substantial drop in income, may warrant a reduction in your child support obligation. You want to support your kids to the best of your ability, but when your income changes, so does your ability to pay child support. It's unfortunate but perfectly natural that the financial pain that you suffer as the result of a job loss or reduction in income be shared by the entire family. If you have experienced or are about to experience a drop in income, it is often in your best interests to take legal action quickly, since you can only change your child support prospectively. An attorney can often help you estimate what your child support obligation would be if you were to bring the issue before a judge. This will help you to determine whether the expense of doing an adjustment or modification of child support is justified by the financial benefit you are likely to gain.
Contact Us to review your financial circumstances to see if it's in your interests to take action.
If the custodial parent is seeking an increase in your child support, you should get advice about your rights before agreeing to an increase and before going to court. To achieve a just and fair result, you need to know what deductions you are entitled to, whether you qualify for a deviation from the standard child support calculation, and whether can request a gradual rather than an immediate increase in your support. Child support law in Washington underwent a considerable number of changes that took effect in October of 2009. Some of these changes potentially provide some benefit to you as the parent paying support. For example, changes in the allowance of certain retirement contributions and overtime pay might lower the calculation of your income and consequently the amount of your child support.
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The Washington State law that defines what counts as your income and what you can deduct from your gross income when setting child support is RCW 26.19.071. Once the incomes of the parents are established, the law dictates a certain standard child support calculation based on a table that considers the family size, the age(s) of the child(ren) and the combined net incomes of the parents. The law requires that your basic child support obligation be set at the standard calculation unless there is a legal basis for deviation from the standard child support calculation. The most common reasons for deviating from the standard calculation are a "residential schedule" deviation, based on the child(ren) spending a significant number of overnights with you (the parent paying support), and what is commonly referred to as a "whole family" or "blended family" deviation, generally based on the paying parent's obligation to support children from other relationships. If you have changed your parenting plan or added children to your family since your support was last set, you may now be in a position to request a deviation from the standard child support calculation
Contact Us to see whether you qualify for a deviation.