How to increase child support payments

In Washington State, the law permits a custodial parent to file a petition for child support payments increase in order to accommodate changes in circumstances. Once a child support order is announced, either parent may ask that a court change the amount of support, either high or low. It is very obvious that child support orders should need modifications in order to keep up with the growing requirements of the children and to correctly account for the dynamic circumstances of the parents. 

A custodial parent may file a petition to increase child support payments as long as the conditions are met. Child support orders that have been in place for less than a year may not be changed unless there is a valid proof of a major change in circumstances that can be presented by the petitioner.

Show a Substantial Change in Circumstances

In Washington, generally in order to increase child support payments, the requesting parent will have to confirm that after the current order was put in place, a substantial change in circumstances happened, such as a difference in the child’s needs, an addition in salary, or the loss of a job.

Some of the common reasons for child support increments include:

• A major increase in the paying parent’s income, usually 10% or more, courts deem it in the best interests of the child to breathe in reasonably equal circumstances when living in either parent’s house.

• A substantial reduction in the custodial parent’s income, usually 10% or more. In a challenging economy, if a custodial parent involuntarily loses a job, through no mistake of his or her own, the custodial parent may need a substantial increase in child support, which may be temporary.

• An actual addition in the child’s needs, including medical expenses, daycare costs, insurance, educational expenses, age-related expenses, or cost-of-living increases.

Major changes like these should not be based upon intentional actions by either parent. For instance, if the custodial parent leaves a job or takes a substantial pay cut voluntarily, that is not supposed a qualified basis for increasing support payments from the other parent.

Payments Modification Hearing

If you meet your requirements for changing child support payments, the first move is to file a formal petition with the court. During the court appearance, you, your lawyer, or the state will give relevant testimony and proof, including evidence of current expenses and income.

In most cases, once the court schedules a review of child support, it will send information to each parent with a list of needed information for the expected hearing. In front of the judge, both parents will have the chance to show their side of the story, and the filing party will require satisfying the judge for the change of circumstances warranting a review.

If the court is convinced that there has been a notable change of circumstances, the judge will review or run a child support calculation according to the parents’ new incomes. If there’s a distinction between the new calculation and the old, and it meets the state condition, the judge will place a new child support order.

Obstacles to Increasing Child Support

It may be more challenging to determine the noncustodial parent’s incomes when he is self-employed or attempts to conceal assets. If the noncustodial parent is not cooperative, there are some additional detection techniques that may be employed to determine his financial status. The noncustodial parent may be directed to attend a deposition where he will be asked a series of questions about his incomes, under oath, and subject to perjury. Additionally, subpoenas may be issued for bank statements along with other financial documents that may contain data that prove the noncustodial parent’s capacity to pay increased child support payments.

Get your Child Support Order Approval 

It’s vital to get a court endorsement for any child support payment modification. The parent who wants to modify child support must visit the court and take an order declaring the new amount. Otherwise, the initial child support order will be considered the only official record of the amount owing.

Even, if both parents have entered into a written or verbal agreement between yourselves about changing child support and have consented to a new amount, you must request a judge to approve your agreement and issue a new order following new terms. While a non-custodial parent may agree to increase child support and decide that a verbal agreement is enough, if your relationship deteriorates, the parent that accepted the changes requested by the other may renege on the agreement, and request the court to invoke the original support payment order.

Courts don’t enforce verbal child support agreements. If the noncustodial parent falls behind, and the custodial parent requests a judge to assist collect support payments, the court will invoke the original support order.

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