Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support
Child support cases can be incredibly complex and overwhelming, which is why we have compiled and answered some frequently asked questions. To learn more about child support, read on.
How much will I pay in child support?
Child support payments vary on a case-by-case basis, so the amount you pay depends largely on your income. The court will determine a fair child support obligation based on several factors, including the income of each parent, each parent’s employment status, each parent’s tax obligations, and the child’s cost of living. In many circumstances, the child custody arrangement will also play a part in determining how child support will be paid.
What is the average child support payment in Washington state?
As we state above, several different factors determine how much a parent must pay in child support. There is no standardized payment in Washington state, so determining an average is quite unlikely. However, it is helpful to consider the factors the court will examine when deciding on an appropriate payment.
If I do not pay child support, will I still be allowed visitation?
Parents often wonder if they are legally permitted to deny their ex visitation rights if he or she refuses to pay child support. In short, no. As the saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right, and just because one parent breaks the rules, that doesn’t mean the other should as well. In fact, denying visitation, regardless of the circumstances, can result in serious repercussions. If your ex does not pay child support, make sure you report this issue to your divorce attorney so that you can determine your next move. If the case is extreme, you can bring the matter before the court, at which point the judge may decide to alter the visitation schedule.
Do I need to pay child support if I am unemployed?
Because child support is determined by a parent’s income, an unemployed parent is unlikely to pay child support. However, a parent cannot simply stop making payments just because he or she lost a job. Instead, an unemployed parent should go through the Washington legal system and ask the court for a modification to the existing child support agreement. The court will see the change in income and adjust accordingly. Typically, this means the court will grant a temporary freeze for child support.
What if my child support payments are more than I can afford?
When financial circumstances change, it is extremely important to take action within the Washington state court system in order to adjust your child support payments. If your child support payments are more than you can afford, you do have options to decrease or pause payments. However, you cannot stop making payments without seeking an official modification.
What can I do if my ex stops paying child support?
If your ex stops paying child support, you should start by contacting him/her directly to ask about the missing payments. Hopefully, there will be a simple explanation, such as a bank error, or maybe your ex simply forgot. However, if your ex chose not to pay support, or if he or she is unable to afford it, you will need to take action through the court. If your ex cannot afford child support, he or she should petition for a modification, and until they do so, they will be required to continue making the predetermined payments. If they miss payments, they can face serious repercussions in court, including the withholding of tax returns, licenses, and more. When missing payments becomes a true problem, you should contact your attorney immediately and discuss the details of your situation, what you’ve done to solve it, and your legal options going forward.
Need help with a child support issue? Our experienced attorneys can help you find a workable solution for your current family law predicament. We’ve handled countless cases in Washington state and beyond, and we know how to handle complex, challenging cases both in and out of the courtroom.
Contact McKinley Irvin to discuss your case with one of our experienced child support attorneys.
- Child Support