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Child support changes in Washington State


The State of Washington calculates child support on the income of both parents and the number of children.

Every state has unique methods for determining child support in cases where parents are divorced or perhaps were never married. However, the laws surrounding these statutes and provisions must not conflict with federal or international laws. The State of Washington recently made updates to its laws governing child support based upon a mandate from the federal government.

The Spokesman-Review reported on how the United States government issued an edict to all 50 states that federal funding for certain purposes would be lost if child support laws were not updated by this summer. The changes were to ensure that all such laws were in line with an international treaty related to the Islamic Sharia law. The report notes that while this is not expected to be a common issue in Washington, the change was important to continue the federal income stream.

State legislators approved the necessary changes with two noted amendments. One of the amendments provides the ability to state courts to deny a foreign order if it is found to violate the constitutional rights of a Washington state resident. The other amendment allows courts the ability to put such matters in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for either approval or denial.

How Washington calculates child support

In Washington, parents can expect any child support award to be based upon two primary factors-the number of children involved and the total income of both parents combined. According to the Washington State Legislature website, child support payments are expected to provide for a child’s everyday living expenses and needs. The financial support is also required to be equitably shared by both parents.

For most situations, child support will be calculated following a clearly outlined table. For families with income under $1,000 per month, the courts will review expenses and resources individually. A $50 minimum per child is noted as the state requirement.

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services even provides an online calculator that parents can use to get an idea of their potential obligation or the amount that they may receive. In Snohomish County, the Family Services websites notes that this department is responsible for both establishing and enforcing child support payment for cases within its jurisdiction.

Important tips for parents

No matter which parent has custody of a child or how many children are involved, it is important to work with a lawyer when determining child support agreements. This level of assistance can help people to navigate unforeseen issues and prevent other problems.

Keywords: divorce, child, support, family law