February 11, 2013

How is Child Support Determined?

Parents have a legal duty to support their children. In Washington, child support is calculated based on the parents' income as well as the number and age of the children. If Parent A makes 65% of their combined income, Parent A will pay 65% of the child support due. Washington has a mandatory schedule courts must use to calculate child support. To estimate how much child support might be awarded in your case, use DSHS's online child support calculator.

The court is allowed to deviate from the schedule if it determines that, under the circumstances, a deviation is in the child's best interests. If the court determines a parent is voluntarily not working or making less money to avoid his or her support obligation, the court can impute income to him or her and award child support based on the imputed income.

Child support must usually be paid monthly - even if the child moves to another state, but it may not exceed 45% of your net income (absent unusual circumstances). 

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