Going through divorce is never easy, especially as a parent. As a noncustodial parent, numerous challenges may arise regarding visitation or a custody agreement, as well as child support payments. If co-parents disagree, the court will step in to resolve the issues at hand. In Washington and most other states, judges use set guidelines to help them make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Concerning child support, parenting time is a key factor, as well as income. The more a parent knows about how to build a strong case ahead of time, the better. Most judges consider percentage of parenting time and each parent's income as main factors that influence financial support decisions.
Trying to find ways to lower child support payments doesn't necessarily make someone a bad parent or mean that he or she is trying to abdicate parental responsibilities and obligations to help provide for children's financial needs. It may just mean that a parent is trying to come up with a feasible plan that helps take care of the kids but doesn't break the bank regarding personal household needs and expenses. Since a greater percentage of parenting time often equates to lower monthly support payments, a parent seeking a lower amount may want to consider trying to increase parenting time.
Washington parents who are willing to cooperate and keep children's best interests in mind have a good chance of finding a fair and agreeable middle ground. When a noncustodial parent needs to keep child support payments as low as possible, he or she can enlist the guidance of an experienced family law attorney who understands the ins and outs of the system and can recommend a best course of action. What is most important, of course, is making sure children are well-cared for while a paying parent's rights are protected, as well.