Monday, August 31, 2009
Motion to Adjust Child Support in Washington
Separate and distinct from a Petition to Modify an Order of Child Support, either party may file a Motion to Adjust Child Support. The substantive and procedural laws are different in a Motion to Adjust.
In a Motion to Adjust Child Support, the court is limited in what it can do. It cannot modify any and all provisions in the Order of Child Support. Primarily, all the court can do is adjust the amount of the transfer payment. The court does not have the jurisdiction to change other provisions like who gets the tax exemptions. This would take a Petition to Modify the Order of Child Support.
Under Statute, RCW 26.09.170, a person can adjust child support under 3 primary scenarios. 1) once every 24 months if there has been a change in income of one of the parties; 2) once every 24 months if there has been a change in the Child Support Schedules (there will be one in Washington effective October 1, 2009); 3) once every 12 months and a child has changed age categories (from under age 12 to over age 12); and 4) once every 12 months and the existing Order of Child Support specifically provides for an adjustment to happen more frequently than every 24 months. If one of these scenarios are in effect, you can file a Motion to Adjust Child Support.
Procedurally there is a great difference between a Petition and a Motion. In a Petition to Modify, you are given a trial date, which in King County usually takes place on affidavit only (no oral testimony) and is scheduled about 4 months later. A Motion can take place much quicker, it can be scheduled in about 2 weeks and be resolved at that point. It takes place on the Family Court Services daily calendar.
The Renton law firm of Mogren, Glessner & Roti, represents clients in a variety of family law cases, including the child support adjustment. We have 4 attorneys for you to chose from. Please visit our web page at http://www.mgrlaw.com/ for more information.