Modifying Child Support Orders in Washington State

When parents divorce or seek a legal separation, the judge may find that child support is appropriate and necessary to ensure that the children receive the stable financial foundation they need to thrive. In many cases, a Washington family law judge will order one parent to make monthly payments to the other parent (typically the parent who serves as the primary custodial parent). In other words, the court issues a child support order that keeps both parents actively participating in their child’s life, providing financial support for the child’s clothing, housing, and educational needs. Once the child support order is issued, the parent must keep up with their obligation to send monthly payments to the child’s other parent. Failing to pay child support can result in serious and enforceable penalties, so it’s important to stay on top of these obligations.

However, courts in Clark County recognize that peoples’ circumstances can change at any time. Either party has the right to pursue a modification of an existing child support order to account for life’s unexpected changes. It’s best to work with a knowledgeable and caring Clark County family law attorney who can guide you through the modification request process. Let’s take a closer look at the steps you can expect to take when seeking a child support order modification in Washington State.

Modifying an Administrative Child Support Order

Many child support orders are established by an administrative order. If you are seeking to amend the terms of an administrative child support order, you will need to make this request in writing and file a Petition for Modification-Administrative Order. As you complete this form, you will need to provide various types of information, such as the reason why you are making this request and the amount you believe the revised monthly child support should be. Once you complete this document, you should sign it and submit it to the Department of Social and Health Services. This agency will then forward your petition to the hearings unit, and it will be resolved with a settlement when all of the parties agree to the terms. However, if the parties are not in agreement about this request, a telephone hearing will be held to determine whether to honor the modification request. Enlisting the guidance of an experienced Camas family law attorney is the best way to ensure that your request moves forward as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Modifying a Court Order

For those whose child support order was established by court order, the modification request must move through the county prosecutor’s office. You can request the required forms from your Support Officer or find them online. In addition to completing the necessary forms, you will need to include several documents with your forms, including your most recent pay stubs, tax return documents, and any other financial records that will support your request. If the Department of Child Services reviews your case and finds that it meets the criteria for modification, a prosecutor will be assigned to your case to move it through the court system. These matters can become complicated, especially if you are unfamiliar with the steps and procedures involved in pursuing a modification request. Contact a dedicated and caring Vancouver family law attorney to discuss your concerns and feel more confident that this legal professional will advocate for your best interests at every opportunity.

If you need help obtaining a modification for a child support order in the Camas or Vancouver area, reach out to the dedicated and knowledgeable legal team at The Vern McCray Law Firm, PLLC, today. Call our office at (360) 834-6262 to discuss your goals with an experienced and caring Clark County family law attorney.

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