Child Support in Washington
What Is Child Support?
Child support is a financial obligation that a parent has to pay to support her or his child. This continues as they age and mature. Are you the parent who has custody of your son or daughter currently? If so, then the court will assume that the child receives full financial support while residing in your residence.
However, if your child does not live in your house and she or he is not currently under your custody, the court may require you to pay child support to the custodial parent. In Washington, the Superior Courts have jurisdiction over child custody and child support cases. Washington has 39 Superior Courts, one in each of the state’s counties.
In Washington, this means that you have to make payments to the custodial parent until your child reaches adulthood. There are other situations where you may only have to make payments until the courts have legally declared your child as emancipated or your daughter or son goes into military active duty. Keep in mind that if your child has special needs, there may be a requirement that you have to make child support payments past the legal age of adulthood.
Do you wonder if you can terminate your parental rights and not pay child support? Most states will not allow a parent to do this and cease support unless certain requirements are met. There may be some situations where a court terminates financial responsibilities if both parents agree that one party no longer has to provide financial support to their shared son or daughter. One situation where a parent may be able to terminate her or his responsibility to child support is if someone else, like a stepparent, adopts the child.
Under Washington law, parental rights may be terminated on a number of grounds including abandonment, permanent neglect, severe abuse, mental illness, or alcohol or drug incapacity. As well, parental rights may be terminated if the parent was convicted of rape, criminal mistreatment, or assault of the child. Once a statutory basis for termination has been met, the court must also determine that termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interests. The Washington Courts provides forms for Petition for Termination of Parent-Child Relationship, as well as Petition for Reinstatement of Terminated Parental Rights.
Do you believe that the other parent has violated your rights to receive child support? Then get immediate legal help from an experienced Washington lawyer on standby in your area who can help you fight for your child’s right to financial stability.
Get in contact with us today to get in touch with an experienced legal advocate in your area.
How a Washington Child Support Attorney Can Help You
If you constantly struggle to get the other parent to pay, hiring a lawyer can help you learn about your available options and guide you on the best decision for your son or daughter.
Many people struggle with parents who refuse to pay. Hiring an experienced and dedicated lawyer will bring you professional help while navigating the legal system. Additionally, you may also have an easier time getting the money your child needs and deserves to better ensure a stable childhood.
In Washington, child support can be obtained through a court order, typically as part of a child custody action. You can also fill out an application with Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support (DCS). The DCS can also enforce payment through income withholding, property liens, and driver’s and occupational license suspension. As well, the DCS can utilize credit bureau reporting and private collection agencies. The DCS can refer a case for contempt proceedings or criminal nonsupport which can result in fines and jail time.
Whether you look to receive child support payments as a part of an agreed-upon divorce settlement or you are not married and look to receive financial support, hiring a legal professional in Washington with a background in child support can help to streamline the entire process. Without the help of a legal advocate, the cost of living can quickly drain your bank account and involve traumatic experiences for your unsupported children.
Working with an attorney can help you to:
- Establish paternity
- Answer a child support petition
- File a petition for support
- Request a child support order
- Explain the tax consequences that come with a child support order
- Work with the other parent to reach an agreement
- Represent you in court
- Locate the other parent
- Subpoena the other parent’s financial information
- Prove income
- Determine any factors that a court will look at to calculate how much you might owe
- Educate you on the available child support enforcement options
- Give you an estimate of how much financial support you may receive from the other parent
Do you believe that you deserve to receive payment from the other parent or that you are not receiving a sufficient amount? If you have to answer, yes, then make every effort to avoid missing what your kid deserves. Work with a dedicated Washington lawyer who fights for your rights as well as your child’s rights.
Information to Share With Your Lawyer
As you work with your lawyer, make sure you share proper documentation to better ensure that you can properly proceed with your case in Washington. The information that you need to share with your attorney includes:
- Check stubs for the last two years or more if applicable
- Outstanding debts
- A change in debt, such as filing for bankruptcy
- Paternity records
- Adoption records
- Previous child support payment records
- Bonds, stocks or any retirement account records
- Tax return records
- Purchase of sale records for a home, land, or any other type of assets
- Any child support forms that you have
The Washington State Child Support Guidelines use the Income Shares Model to determine child support. The basic monthly obligation comes from Washington’s economic table. It is also based on the parties’ combined monthly net income and the number of children. The Washington Courts provide a Child Support Schedule Worksheet for calculating child support payments. Child support can be paid by mail, in person, or online through Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support.
Work with an Experienced Local Lawyer in Washington
Are you facing a costly and emotional child support battle? Talk to an attorney equipped to help you in this delicate situation. Call now or fill out the simple form below to take steps to protect your children’s interests. Learn more about your child support law options below.
One of our expert Washington attorneys will help to navigate you through the legal system to get you the money you and your kid should have. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Washington state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!