Parents must financially support their children. Below are the most common questions related to child support cases:
QUESTION: What is child support?
ANSWER: Child support is the amount of money that each parent is legally required to pay for his/her children. Typically one parent must pay the other parent a monthly payment. The person who is required to make the monthly transfer payment is called an "obligor." The person who receives this transfer payment is called an "obligee."
QUESTION: How much do I have to pay for child support?
ANSWER: Washington courts utilize the Washington State Child Support Schedule. This schedule performs a calculation where it considers both parties income, applicable deductions, the number of children, and whether or not to apply any credits or deviations.
QUESTION: What is considered income when calculating child support?
ANSWER: RCW 26.19.071 lists all of the sources that are included in income. This incudes: (1) salaries; (2) wages; (3) commissions; (4) deferred compensation; (5) overtime (some exceptions apply); (6) contract-related benefits; (7) income from second jobs (some exceptions apply); (8) dividends; (9) interest; (10) trust income; (11) severance pay; (12) annuities; (13) capital gains; (14) pension retirement benefits; (15) workers' compensation; (16) unemployment benefits; (17) maintenance actually received; (18) bonuses; (19) social security benefits; (20) disability insurance benefits; and (21) income from self employment/business; (22) rent; and (23) royalties.
QUESTION: How do I find out the other party's income?
ANSWER: Most courts require each side to file financial documents before the case goes to trial. This typically includes a signed financial declaration, six months of paystubs; two years of tax returns and W2s; and six months of all financial bank accounts.
QUESTION: What can I do if the other side is hiding money?
ANSWER: A skilled attorney can assist you when this becomes an issue. Typically, discovery methods will need to be utilized. Examples of discovery are: interrogatories, requests for production, depositions, subpoenas, and/or retention of experts.
QUESTION: Can I modify a child support order?
ANSWER: Yes, there are standards under which the Court can modify a current child support order. In order to proceed, a hearing must be held and the requesting party must convince the Court to reopen the case.