HomeChild SupportChanging Washington State Child Support Orders
Posted in Child Support on 29th December 2010

Changing Washington State Child Support Orders

As the circumstances of parent’s and children’s lives change, there may be a need to modify a Washington State child support order to best serve the interests of children. For example, children may change schools, get involved in activities, or seek tutoring. Parents may change health care providers, suffer a decrease in income, or get married.

An order of child support that has been in effect for less than one year may not be modified except upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances. However, if a year or more has passed, a party may modify a Washington State child support order without a showing of a substantial change in circumstances if one of the following factors exists:

-Where the current order of child support works a severe economic hardship on either party or the child;

-Where the age of a child being supported under the current order has changed to a different category; or,

-Where the child is still in high school and there is a need to extend support beyond the child’s eighteenth birthday to complete high school.

Furthermore, Washington State family law requires the use of mandatory forms for child support modification, which can be found at Washington State child support attorneys forms.

All Washington State child support orders may be modified once every twenty-four months based upon changes in the income of the parents without a showing of substantially changed circumstances. Either party may initiate the modification by filing a petition and child support worksheets with the court.

Washington State Child Support Lawyers

As with all family law issues, there are many factors to consider in modifying a Washington State child support order. A McKinley Irvin attorney should be consulted to better inform a parent of his or her rights and obligations concerning Washington State child support. For example, in some cases verifying income for a party may be difficult, or there may be expenses for which the primary residential parent is entitled to reimbursement that is not addressed in the current order. There are other technical matters that a competent Washington State child support attorney can deal with such as whether Washington State has jurisdiction over a particular case.

For specific statutory language regarding child support modifications in Washington State please refer to RCW 26.09.170: Modification of decree for maintenance or support, property disposition — Termination of maintenance obligation and child support — Grounds.

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