Child support is based on either actual or imputed income of the parents. Sometimes parents are underemployed, going to school or on disability. These situations affect how the court performs its calculations. Child support is determined by law and the judge usually does not have a lot of discretion in making an order. Our office uses a computer program which, based on the incomes of the parents and other information, makes the calculation easier than using the charts available at the courthouse. The client supplies us with the pay information and we supply the court with pay information and worksheets showing what we think support should be.
Deviating from Standard Calculations
There are a number of possible reasons to deviate from the statutory “standard calculation,” but certain requirements must be met and the household receiving the child support must not be put into financial jeopardy. A few of the more common court accepted deviations are due to both parents having approximately equal residential time, blended families with multiple child support obligations, and the special needs of the child/children. Since these deviations are court defined, you need to discuss the facts of your situation with an attorney to see if a deviation might be possible.
Child support may be changed if the circumstances change, after a period of time passes or the child/children are older. Remarrying in and of itself does not change support. Changing support is not automatic; a motion or other court action is necessary.
If the parties have children under 18 years old, still in high school or otherwise considered a dependent (child is disabled) child support may be ordered. If the child/children want to go to college there may be some provision for that event and a separate court action taken.
Chad Foster is a trusted Washington lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.