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Child Support Modification

Hands Together Do you need to modify your current order? Has it been at least two years or more since your original orders were entered? Have circumstances regarding income, work-related daycare, or other expenses changed significantly since the original orders were entered?

If so, our legal team is here to help you ensure that you are either paying or receiving an appropriate amount based upon the WA State Child Support Guidelines. Although many factors often come into play, in general, the most critical factor underlying any proposed modifying of the plan is the respective incomes of both parties.

Under WA State’s laws, there are two basic ways in which current orders can be modified. One is typically referred to a “Motion for Adjustment of Support”. The other is generally known as a “Petition for Modification of Child Support”. Our Washington child support modification attorneys are very familiar with both of these processes.

Get Help and Answers From Experienced Washington State Child Support Modification Lawyers

As detailed above, there are two typical ways to modify your current order. Each has their pros and cons depending on your unique situation. Let’s look at each option in a bit more detail, starting with a Motion for Adjustment.

In general, you have a statutory right to bring an adjustment motion if your original order states that a party has a right to bring a motion for adjustment and you have carefully followed any instructions detailed your current Order of Child Support adjustment provision. And, despite your best efforts, you have not been able to reach an agreement with the other parent.

You can also bring an adjustment motion if been a full 24 months (two calendar years) since your original order was entered, AND, one of the parties’ incomes has either changed or it’s been at least 12 months (one calendar year) and one of the children in the original orders has changed age categories.

From a practical standpoint, bringing a Motion for Adjustment has its advantages. Generally speaking, it is typically a faster and simpler way to modify your current order. It does, however, have its drawbacks too.

If you have questions about whether or not bringing a Motion for Adjustment is right for you and your children, we strongly encourage you to call our offices for an initial contact us. One of our Washington State child support modification lawyers will be happy to review your finances and give an opinion based upon your specific facts and circumstances.

Our Washington State Child Support Modification Lawyers can Also Assist you in Bringing a Petition to Modify

A “Petition for Modification of Child Support” can be brought in several different circumstances as well. First, if you have a right to bring a Motion for Adjustment, you typically also have a valid basis to also bring a petition to modify. There are also, however, several other basis on which to bring motion to modify your current order.

Two of the most common are that there has been a substantial change in one of both of the parents’ circumstances, or when the existing order creates or causes a “severe economic hardship” to either one of the parents or children. A petition to modify can also be brought if you are seeking paid assistance beyond your child’s 18th birthday.

We are often asked what exactly is meant by “a substantial change in circumstances”. This is a hard question succinctly answer. Our family law lawyers have seen a lot of different and unusual circumstances over the years that warranted modifying an existing order.

In general, courts typically view a substantial change of circumstances as something that is beyond the party’s control. The most typical example is that one of the parents is laid off. Another frequently occurring situation is when one of the parties becomes ill, or for some other valid reason, is simply unable to work.

There are additional statutory bases on which to bring an action for modifying your current order. If none of the circumstances detailed above apply in your situation, you may still be entitled to bring an action attempting to modify your current orders. If you have questions about your specific situation, one our Washington child support modification attorneys can help you determine whether or not you have a valid basis to proceed.

Get in touch with one of our modifying Washington State child support lawyers today!

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