Child And Spousal Support

Understanding Your Finances After A Divorce

Finances can cause such a strain on a family. Understandably, when you separate from your partner, it can be difficult to know how things will work moving forward. Getting experienced legal advice is of the utmost importance. At Lutz & Associates, P.S., we provide you with the effective representation you need. Our skilled divorce attorneys have been helping clients determine child and spousal support since 1997.

Spousal Support Vs. Child Support

In Washington, the court determines spousal and child support very differently. Spousal support takes many different factors into consideration. They include:

  • Financial conditions for each spouse
  • Length of the marriage
  • Length of time the spouse who makes less money would need to become self-sufficient
  • Age and emotional state of both spouses

Together, we can look at your case and determine what is fair. While our goal is to work with your spouse’s attorney, we are not afraid of a challenge. Child support, on the other hand, takes different considerations into account. The best interest of the child is always the most important factor. However, there are many other aspects, including:

  • Where the child will primarily reside
  • Educational and medical needs
  • Age of the child
  • Income of both parents

Who pays child support and how much?

Technically, both parents pay child support! The amount one parent pays directly to the other (called a transfer payment) depends on many factors, for example, who has custody, how much both parents make, the amount of visitation the noncustodial parent gets and whether there are children from other relationships.

Is child support taxable?

No, according to both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the state of Washington, child support is not taxable, nor does the paying parent get a tax deduction for paying it.

When can child support be modified in Washington?

Three years or more after a child support order has been in place, a paying parent can ask the Division of Child Support (DCS) to review new facts in support of a modification if the proposed change will be at least $100 or 25% of the existing support amount and remaining child support to be paid equals $2400 or more.

Successful modification requests often show significant changes in income or expenses for either parent; increases in costs of caring for a child, possibly for medical reasons; and/or the birth of a child of the paying parent. A paying parent who becomes incarcerated must apply for a modification; this does not happen automatically.

For how long do you have to pay spousal support?

The duration of spousal support typically depends on the length of a marriage. Spousal support is rarely expected after a short-term marriage of less than five years but is common after a marriage of 25 years or longer when one spouse was dependent on the other. For marriages lasting five to 25 years, a typical expectation by a family law judge is that spousal support will last for about one year for every three to four years of marriage.

Factors that may influence the amount and duration of spousal support include the resources of each spouse, the time needed for the receiving spouse to get education or training to become self-sufficient, and the standard of living that was established during the marriage.

When is spousal support not required?

The terms of a court order or negotiated settlement will determine whether spousal support will apply, and for how long. Spousal support is almost never expected after a short-term marriage and typically ends if the recipient spouse remarries or registers a domestic partnership.

Call Today For Guidance

We will do our best to make sure you and your child receive fair compensation. We are determined to figure out the fairest possible settlement for all parties involved. If you have questions about spousal support or child support, don’t wait. Let us help you figure out your financial future.

Call our office in Tacoma today at 253-292-5939, text us at 253-292-5939 or fill out our contact form.


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