\Child support serves an important purpose in Washington. If you are the parent with primary custody after a divorce or separation, you most likely need the financial assistance child support provides to meet the needs of your child.
There are many different factors the court uses when determining the amount of child support a parent will pay. The first thing examined is the payor’s net income.
What is net income?
Net income is yearly gross income, minus certain deductions. The deductions are subtracted from gross income to arrive at a net income figure. There are various allowable deductions. Some common ones include:
- Federal income tax
- Social Security
Deductions are meant to be necessary expenses, rather than voluntary.
What about my income?
The court will also look at your net income. If you have remarried, the court will not use your spouse’s income to calculate the child support amount.
However, you must still report the income. In fact, you must report the income of anyone living in your household.
Although the additional income will not be used in the initial child support figure, it may be considered a reason to modify the initial figure.
The court examines the big picture. For example, if your new spouse earns a high income that could take care of the entire household, if necessary, you may not have a strong argument that you need a high amount of child support.
Do not lie to the court
You should always provide the court with honest and accurate information. Do not try to get a better child support amount by hiding or downplaying your income to them.
This can cause a court to impute income to you, meaning they decide on an income amount to use and set child support based on that. You could end up receiving less in child support than you would otherwise.
These are just a few of the factors a court considers when determining a child support amount. Everyone’s situation is different, and you might have circumstances that affect the amount you receive.
Working with an attorney familiar with Washington’s child support laws can help. Having support for your child is crucial, so you can give them the best life possible.