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Will You Pay Or Will You Receive Child Support?


Determining the amount of the child support obligation owed by each parent is one of the few “formulas” in family law.  There is actually a formula that applies the same to every case.  Parents are required to provide for their children, and child support is paid for the benefit of the child.  Each parent is required to pay a portion of their income.

For example, if each parent makes the exact same amount, the total child support obligation of each parent would be the same.  Each parent would pay a percentage of their combined income divided by two.  And likewise, if for example, the income of one parent is 10% higher than the other than that parents percentage of the total child support obligation will also be 10% higher.  The formula assumes that the parent who is the primary custodian will spend their share on the child since the child lives with that parent a majority of the time.  In that instance only the non-custodial parent will pay child support.  If both parents share custody equally, then there is typically no child support payment made by either parent.


Click here for the Washington State Child Support Calculator.  

To fill in the form, you will need your most recent tax returns and paycheck withholding statements.  If you are unemployed or disabled, get any paperwork that documents your disability or unemployment benefits.  Child care costs, health care costs, voluntary retirement savings (up to $5,000.00), mandatory fees like union dues or mandatory retirement contributions, or other job related expenses can also be deducted from your gross income.  




 Child Support Payments and Spousal Support Payments are also 

 deductible.  Once you have the final result of the calculation,      

 remember that everything is negotiable.  There is always an 

 opportunity for negotiation and lawyering in establishing child              support.  The guidelines allow for Deviations based upon 


 Children supported from previous relationhips,                                         Extraordinary taxes and debts, 

 And Substantial disparity between the  income of the parents. 

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