Getting a divorce is a complicated endeavor. For Washington parents, the ordeal can be even more trying because decisions regarding child custody and child support will need to be made. If the details of the custody arrangements mean that support is necessary, the noncustodial parent may have many questions.

First, it is common for parents to wonder how long they will need to pay child support. Typically, payments are no longer required as soon as the child reaches the legal adult age. However, if a child has special needs, the court may require support payments to continue even after the child is no longer a minor. Additionally, if a child becomes an active-duty military member, child support is no longer necessary. Other scenarios that could bring an end to support payments include a stepparent adopting the child and terminating the paying parent’s parental rights or the child becoming emancipated.

While child support is often considered more often with sole custody arrangements, this type of support could be necessary for joint custody as well. The court will look at the percentage each parent gives to joint income and the percentage of time each parent spends with the child. The outcomes of support decisions vary from case to case.

There can be a lot of confusion surrounding child support. Some parents may not feel that the court decisions are fair or may later feel as if they cannot meet the necessary obligations. Any Washington parents who have concerns over support orders may want to discuss the matter with their legal counsel for clarity.