How is Child Support Determined in Washington State?

By April 20, 2022 No Comments

As you move through the divorce process in Washington state, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the numerous decisions in front of you. Even relatively amicable divorces can be challenging to navigate, especially when children are involved. You may wonder how child support is determined, how much you’ll have to pay, and for how long. Below is some basic information about the child support determination process so you can approach this aspect of your divorce with greater clarity and confidence.

Putting Your Child’s Needs First

Child support is designed to ensure that your child continues to receive sufficient financial support after the divorce is finalized. Typically, the court will require one parent to make monthly payments to the other parent (usually the child’s primary custodial parent) to assist with the costs of clothing, food, daycare, and medical expenses. Washington courts prioritize the child’s needs and establish a child support order that allows the child to enjoy a secure and stable future.

Calculating Child Support Obligations in Washington State

As of January 1, 2019, the Washington child support laws have changed significantly. Before these changes were implemented, the court used to calculate child support payments based on the child’s age. Additionally, factors like the net family income and number of children within each family influenced the calculation, causing hardship for parents with younger children. Under the revised laws, there is no distinction based on the age of the children. Factors such as the amount of parenting time and each parent’s income are still used to determine child support obligations. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services has an online tool to help you estimate your potential child support payments.

How a Dedicated Vancouver Divorce Attorney Can Help

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the divorce process, you are not alone. This is often an emotionally challenging time, and the decisions you make carry lasting consequences. However, it’s important to remember that you are never alone in this process. Enlisting the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney is the best way to ensure you achieve your divorce goals. Together, you can lay the foundation for a brighter future.


Learn more about the divorce process in the Vancouver area by calling John L. Davis, PLLC, today at (360) 597-4740.

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