It is not uncommon for non-custodial parents in Seattle to fall on hard times and be unable to both support themselves and make court-ordered payments for the care of their children. Fortunately, the Division of Child Support (DCS) will often work with parents to tweak the current payment plan until the full amount is paid.

If you live in Washington State and you believe you are paying too much in child support, you can:

  • Contact your Support Enforcement Officer (SEO) – You may be able to negotiate the amount of your payments, and discuss relief measures if you are suffering financial hardship.
  • Complete a Resource Statement – In the process of negotiating your child support payment, your SEO may ask you to complete a form that outlines your monthly bills, assets, and expenses to discover where money will be best appropriated.
  • Ask about the Escalation Clause – DCS may allow you to pay less toward back child support in the coming months and increase the amount later, allowing you to pay more support after you have paid your current bills.
  • Consider a Waiver – DCS may agree to a lesser payment for back support if you sign a Waiver of the Statute of Limitations. However, you should read the terms of the Waiver carefully or have your attorney look it over to see if it is the right choice for you.
  • Request a Conference Board – If you and your SEO cannot come to a repayment agreement, you will have to file a request for a DCS Conference Board to meet and offer a decision on how to move forward.

It is important to remember that DCS is supposed to work with you, but while they will consider your needs, they must give more weight to the needs of your child. To find out more about modifying your monthly child support payments, click the related links on this page or download our FREE book, The Thinking Man's Guide to Divorce in Washington.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington