In the event that you and your ex are not able to reach a custody agreement, you may have to go to court for a resolution. Courts will mandate that one parent pay child support to the other as a way of ensuring that both parents have sufficient funds to support their child.
Whether you are a custodial parent or non-custodial parent, it is important that you understand what costs you can expect if the other parent requests a court hearing on child support.
What will you be paying for?
As the parent obligated to pay child support, you may be responsible for covering certain expenses related to your child’s health and well-being, such as their health insurance, dental and vision care, and special education services. You may also have to cover transportation costs, extracurricular activities and childcare costs.
What can you expect to pay?
Generally speaking, courts will look at your income to determine how much you will have to pay for child support. In Washington, your payments will likely not exceed 45% of your net income. Sometimes there are exceptions to this rule: For instance, if your child has special medical needs or if you are very wealthy. Even if you are below the poverty line, you will probably have to pay at least $50 to each child on a monthly basis.
It is important to understand the costs associated with child support. Washington courts are very serious about these payments, but the clearer you are on your obligations, the fewer issues you should run into.