In Washington State, child support is typically determined based on each parent’s income. Both parent’s income is added together and put through a formula, known as the Washington State Support Schedule. This provides the basic structure for the support obligation. Other factors may come into consideration when determining the actual amount of child support that is paid.
Child support is paid from the custodial parent to the noncustodial parent. The custodial parent can be the one with the most amount of parenting time, determined by parenting plan. Child support is often times paid on a monthly basis.
Calculating child support can become more complicated, when step-parenting is involved, when one parent has a new live-in partner or other adults and children living in the household, or if a parent has other children to support.
Keep in mind, that a change in income, such as voluntary unemployment, may result in the Court imputing income. This means the Court decides on an income and will set the child support obligation based on that amount, even if the parent is unemployed.
Determining the correct amount of child support is important as it can have compounding implications for the future.
Remember, child support may not end at eighteen, and support may be ordered for college of vocational school.