Child custody and child support are often the most difficult aspects of a Washington State divorce. Unlike deciding upon property or alimony, child custody, visitation, and support involve the hard and complicated task of reforming your family without inflicting damage on your loved ones.
Child support, in which one spouse pays the other in order to help with the costs of raising the family, is determined through a number of different factors in Washington State. Very simply put, however, your child support payments will be based on your income, the number of children you have, and any special needs that your children have. During the court process, you will be asked to fill out a Washington State Child Support Schedule Worksheet, which will largely determine how much you will pay. However, other issues may come into play in your own unique case that are not included in the worksheet.
Your child support amount may depend upon:
• Your income. Your total gross monthly income is very important in deciding how much you will pay in child support. This income will include your wages as well as interest, income from property, or any other support that you have. However, the courts will also take into consideration how much you pay in taxes, business expenses, retirement savings, and other expenses.
• You and your ex-spouse’s assets and debts. If you or your ex own multiple properties, have a lot in the bank, or have significant investments, this may affect your child support payments. In the same way, if either of you are struggling with significant debt, this could also play a role in the court’s decision.
• The expense of raising your children. This includes how many children you have and how old they are. Children can be very expensive when you start adding up their needs, which could include health care costs, daycare costs, education costs, and the cost of traveling between parents.
• Your children’s past standard of care. Judges make decisions in the best interest of your children, and it is important to them that children feel a minimal amount of change during a divorce.
If you live in Washington and are struggling with getting a fair decision when it comes to child custody and child support payments, talk with a child custody and support attorney today. Make sure that you and your children are treated fairly.