If you are concerned that you are not receiving the appropriate amount of child support, we encourage you to:
- Understand the basics about child support modification law
- Assess whether anything has changed since the original order. This may include your child's needs or the financial status of one or both parents
- Consult with an experienced family law attorney
Child Support Modifications
In Washington State, the law allows parents to petition for a child support modification to accommodate changes in circumstances. The primary Washington State child support modification statute is RCW 26.09.170.
A Washington State child support modification is the legal process by which an Order of Support is adjusted to reflect the current finances of both parents. It is very common that child support orders should require adjustments in order to keep up with the growing needs of the children and to accurately account for the changing circumstances of the parents.
Either parent may petition for a modification as long as the requirements of RCW 26.09.170 are met.
Child support orders that have been in place for less than a year may not be modified unless there is proof of a substantial change in circumstances that can be provided by the petitioner.
Examples of factors that may serve as the basis for a petition to modify a child support obligation include:
- The age of the child(ren)
- Changes in income of one or both parents
- A child wishing to attend college after high school
- Changes in residential schedule
- Work-related daycare costs
- Medical insurance costs
- Extraordinary medical expenses
- The number of children in the household
The statute provides for a review and potential adjustment of child support every two years. If 24 months have passed from the date of the entry of the child support order or since the last modification (whichever is latest), the order may be adjusted without a showing of substantially changed circumstances. The adjustment is based upon:
- Changes in the income of the parents; or
- Changes in the economic table or standards listed in RCW 26.19
Our Family Law Attorneys are skilled and experienced in representing parents who are petitioning for child support modifications. We recognize that these cases can be complex and emotional for everyone involved and we urge you to call us to consult about your unique case. We will advise you about whether or not you have the substantial change of circumstances required to seek a child support modification. We will help obtain the outcome that is in the best interest of you and your children. Contact us today for a consultation.