An Overview of the Child Support Modification Process in Washington

Couple Discussing Child Support with Lawyer

Change is a fact. Your ability to pay for child support will not stay constant. In Washington, you can ask for child support modification from the Division of Child Support. This is important if your present circumstances demand it. Here’s an overview of the process a child support law firm in Kent will discuss with you more fully.

Acceptable Reasons

You can ask to change your child support payments within a year of the order issuance. However, you need a good reason for it. Among the acceptable reasons for modification is a change of job. You may be earning less than you used to. You may also need to pay more for medical expenses or daycare. You have to pay those on top child support payments to your ex-spouse. Another valid reason for child support modification is the arrival of another child. Ask your lawyer if the reason you have to ask for a change is an acceptable one to avoid wasting time.

Starting the Process

You need to file a petition for child support modification. You can find the form online from the website of The Washington State of the Administrator of the Courts. You also need to fill up the child support worksheet. This will give the court a starting point for reviewing the petition. You can have your lawyer help you fill out these forms correctly. File the paperwork with the court clerk in your area and pay the fee.

Serving the Other Parent

Once you file the petition, you need to deliver or “serve” a copy of the paperwork to your ex-spouse. You need to show proof you served it properly. The best way to do this is to have a qualified process server do it for you. Your lawyer can help you with that. Your ex-spouse must give back an answer, serve you with the required documents, and file it with the court in 20 days or less. If your ex-spouse lives in another state, the deadline is 60 days.

Scheduling a Hearing

You or your ex-spouse can decide on a date for the hearing. The court administrator or your lawyer can advise you on how to do it according to the court rules. If your ex-spouse doesn’t respond in time to your petition, the court may decide to issue an order in your favor without the other party present.Asking to change court-ordered child support payments is perfectly acceptable. It will reflect your present circumstances more accurately. The child support law firm you hire will make sure you do it properly.