Child Support Guidelines
Washington has enacted laws and established schedules and formulas for how to calculate child support. Our courts publish ‘support guidelines’ that provide a baseline for statutorily required support payments. Income levels, earning potential(s), number of children, and more are factored into the court’s calculations of this figure.
You can find and read these rules online. You should know, however, that the rules should not be taken literally. They are there to establish a baseline. A place for the clients, attorneys, and, if necessary, the courts to start.
You will not find the final figure in the statutes or online. Attorneys for either side can recommend a deviation from the guidelines – up or down – by documenting and presenting evidence to the court. The court will only accept recommendations after a thorough review of all available evidence.
This is a complex, emotionally charged area of family law that has a tendency to change rapidly, especially in this post-COVID era.
Whether settling child support payments, seeking a child support modification, or handling a contempt for non-payment, the first thing we look at are the children’s needs and each parent’s economic situation.
Remember, when it comes to child custody, parent plans, and child support, lawyers must always consider the interests of the children first.