You and your spouse may have decided to end your marriage, but you know that nothing will ever separate you from your children. You want to remain in contact with your kids and are willing to pay a fair amount of child support, but you’re not sure how much money your spouse will expect for their care. What happens if you are ordered to make an unreasonably high payment—is there something you can do?

How Much Child Support Will I Have to Pay?

The amount of child support may be decided on in divorce court or by order of the Division of Child Support. If you disagree with the amount set, you may send an official Request for Review of Child Support to DCS to see if your payments may be modified.

Division of Child Support will NOT modify child support payments in WA if:

  • DCS does not have jurisdiction over your child support order.
  • The change in payment does not represent at least a 25 percent change up or down
  • The adjusted difference in payment is less than $100—unless that amount will allow your family to reduce their amount of public assistance.
  • It has been less than three years since your order was given or last modified by DCS.
  • Your financial circumstances have not changed since the order was approved.

What Changes Could Affect the Amount of My Child Support Payments?

The most common reason parents seek to lessen their child support payments is loss of income or personal hardship. Your child support may be amended if:

  • You lose your job are cannot find work that pays you a comparable wage.
  • You suffered an injury that has left you disabled for an indefinite amount of time.
  • You are approved for federal or state income assistance—such as Supplemental Security Income.
  • You are ordered to serve jail time.
  • You have new children that will rely on you for financial support.

Child support payments are not set in stone. If your situation changes, you should not have to struggle to make ends meet if your ex-spouse is capable of providing for your child. To find out how much you can expect to pay in child support, click the link at the top of this page to begin reading 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