The state of Washington determines child support by using a specific formula. The courts base this formula on your current financial situation.
However, your life changes. Will that change impact your child support payments?
Your child support will not change automatically when your finances change. Depending on the type of order—administrative or court—you will submit your new information for recalculation. If you have an administrative order, you will make your request in writing and take it to the Division of Child Support, and the DCS will review your case.
Child support arrangements made through a court case will need to go through the county prosecutor’s office. You will fill out a Child Support Order Review Request to modify your current order. DCS will review your case and then refer it to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
Reasons for modification
No matter what type of order you have, you must have a reason for wanting the change in child support. Changes may include:
- You or your ex-spouse changed jobs
- Medical or child care costs changed
- You had another child
- You lost your job
- Your child graduated high school or turned 18
When asking for a modification, DCS will ask for proof of your change in finances. They will want to see your most recent pay stubs, tax documents and other papers that may back up your request.
Be aware of the law concerning child support to have it benefit you. You want to support your children, but you cannot if you do not have the money to support yourself first.