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How do I file divorce in Washington State

Divorce Issues: Child Support

Child support is the money given to the parent taking care of the children to help support the needs of the children.  It is mandatory if the couple has dependent children.  Generally, it is based on the Washington State Support Schedule and is derived based on the number of children, children’s age and needs and spouses’ income. This is the minimum standard to be followed so parents have the option to pay more as they deem necessary.

Who pays child support in a joint custody?

If there is joint custody or each parent spends 50% time with each parent, the one earning more may be ordered to pay support to the other.

Until when is child support paid?

Child support is typically paid until a child turns eighteen or until he or she graduates high school, whichever occurs later. Child support could be paid longer if, for example, a child has special needs. Child support is different from post-secondary education support, which may be required depending on many different circumstances.

Can the amount of child support be changed?

The amount of child support can be changed by the court if it finds it necessary as caused by altered circumstances.

When does one start paying child support?

Normally, a parent will need to start giving child support at a date when the court is expected to sign the judgment dissolving the marriage.

What happens if one does not pay child support?

There are a number of actions, which may be taken against a parent if he/she fails to pay child support or is significantly late in doing so. These include the following:

  • The parent may be sued for contempt of court
  • The parent’s driver’s license may be suspended.
  • The child support amount may automatically be deducted from the parent’s paycheck or tax refunds.
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