Child support is governed by statute and the child support economic table in RCW 26.19.020. Each parent has a duty to support the children. The amount of basic child support is determined by completing a child support worksheet. After determining the parents’ combined net income, the table shows the amount of basic support for each child depending on the number of children and if the children are 12 or older. An Order of Child Support can set forth rules about how the parents will share the extra costs for other expenses such as extracurricular activities, childcare and educational costs. Paying for college is also addressed in the Order of Child Support. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is a good resource for questions about child support. In order to evaluate child support, you will need documents such as tax returns, income verification (paystubs) and bank statements.
Child Support Adjustments and Modifications
Changing an Order of Child Support issued by a court can be done by Filing a Motion for Adjustment or Petition for Modification of Child Support, depending on what type of change you want. A Motion for Adjustment is a shorter process because it can be ruled on in a shorter amount of time than a modification action. However, a Motion for Adjustment is only appropriate in limited circumstances such as changing the transfer payment amount after a certain amount of time has passed since the entry of the original order. By contrast, a Petition for Modification is a court action that would allow actual changes in the language of the support order such as adding a residential credit or changing which parent can claim the federal income tax exemptions for the children. In order to prepare for either action, you will need to gather your tax returns, income documentation and bank statements.