Child support is all about a child’s well-being and distinguishing between wants and needs. There are specific guidelines that parents can use as a starting point when navigating child support.
What child support covers
In general, child support covers child-related expenses. This includes child care, medical treatment and insurance, education costs, travel for visitation, extracurricular activities, and other basic living expenses for the child.
Washington courts hold that child support should meet the child’s needs first and foremost. This means that courts will take a child’s specific situation into account when setting child support levels.
Determining child support
There are a few factors that courts look at when determining child support. The first is the income of each parent. Courts will also consider the number of children getting supported and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. For instance, if one parent has the child more than 50% of the time, that parent may not have to pay as much child support.
In addition, child support may get adjusted based on child care expenses. This includes child care that the parents share equally or child care costs that one parent pays more than the other.
It’s possible for child support payments to get adjusted if either parent has a significant change in their income. This could include things like job loss, promotion, or increased child-related expenses.
The process of requesting child support
If you are looking to get child support or adjust an existing child support order, you will need to file a motion with the court. There is a child support request form that you can fill out and file. The child support motion should include information about both parents, including income, expenses, and other factors mentioned above.
The aim of child support is child well-being, not child control. Child support guidelines are there to help parents determine fair child support payments. It’s important to note that child support is designed to benefit the child, so no one should use it as a tool of revenge or punishment.