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Limits on child support payments under Washington law-Part II

Washington laws place some limits on the amount of child support that a parent needs to pay. The laws also specify these exceptions and a previous blog post discussed that. In this post, we will explain the presumptive minimum support obligations for parents whose net income is below 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

For such parents, the presumptive minimum support to be paid is $50 per child per month. However, exceptions will be made to this rule if the parents who are entitled to pay child support can establish that it will be unjust to impose such payment obligations on them. The court will take into account factors such the best interest of the child, the earning capacity of each parent and hardships that each affected household will face due to the imposition of this payment obligation before making an exception to the $50 rule.

While imposing basic support obligations on a non-custodial parent, the court must ensure that such support obligations do not reduce the net income of the parent below 125 percent of federal poverty line. Basic child care does not include health care, day care and other special expenses incurred while bringing up a child.

However, a presumptive minimum support obligation is not taken into account while determining the self-sustenance level for a non-custodial parent. Sometimes, factors like the parents' income, the assets and liabilities of each parent and not leaving an adequate sum of money with the custodial parent to meet the basic needs of the child are considered reasons for not applying the self-support reserve guideline.

Source: Washington State Legislature, "RCW 26.19.065 - Standards do for establishing lower and upper limits on child support amounts," Accessed May 22, 2015

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