After a divorce in Washington, some of the most difficult decisions involve what happens with the couple's children. Parents have to decide who will be the custodial parent, how they will share custody, and which parents are responsible for certain important decisions. After determining custody, visitation, and responsibilities, one parent will generally have to provide regular financial support for the children until the child reaches adulthood.
The court's decision on ordering child support will likely be in effect for years to come. If you are concerned that the court may make a mistake in calculating support for your child, talk to the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers to make sure your kids will be provided for.
How Much is Child Support in Washington?
In general, both parents are responsible for providing for their children. In a divorce, one parent is determined to be the “custodial” parent. Generally, the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent to make sure the financial needs of the child are provided for.
After calculating the total net income and basic support obligations, there may be special child-rearing expenses that need to be calculated, including:
- Health care and insurance expenses,
- Daycare expenses,
- Education expenses,
- Long-distance travel expenses, and
- Other special expenses.
There are a number of additional factors for consideration in determining the child support order, including:
- Age of the children,
- Number of children the couple has,
- Residential schedules,
- Children from other relationships,
- Household assets,
- Household debt,
- Child support owed, and
- Other children living in the household.
After child support is calculated, it is entered as part of a Washington child support order. This provides for the terms of payment, minimum payment, payment schedule, and duration of payment.
The courts may take action to collect any unpaid child support amounts. This could include wage garnishment, freezing the funds in a bank account, or going to collections to get the money owed. There may also be additional penalties for failing to pay child support, including fines and a suspended driver's license. The state can also suspend other licenses, including professional licenses or contractor licenses.
Child Support Assistance in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties
It can be more complicated to change a child support order after it has been entered than to make sure the order is right the first time. At the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers, we provide family law services for individuals and families, including making sure they get the amount of child support they deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers today.