Many other areas of family law are open to interpretation and leave room for human input.

Child support doesn’t operate that way.

In Washington, child support initially follows a strict, uniform formula. It accounts for an array of factors, but the equation remains the same.

However, there can be deviations from the calculated amount based on other factors such as number of overnights with the child(ren) and whether you have other children living with you or paying support for.

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Goldberg Jones

How We Help You With Child Support

Knowledgeable Information:

At Goldberg Jones, family law is our sole focus. Our Seattle-based attorneys offer real child support answers over the phone at no cost to you.

In-Depth Assessment

No two cases play out the same way. Ken Alan, our managing attorney, assesses your situation and explores your options.

Aggressive Representation

Our practice is dedicated to protecting your rights as a father and we take dynamic, assertive action to support you and your children.

Knowledgeable Information:

At Goldberg Jones, family law is our sole focus. Our Seattle-based attorneys offer real child support answers over the phone at no cost to you.

In-Depth Assessment

No two cases play out the same way. Ken Alan, our managing attorney, assesses your situation and explores your options.

Aggressive Representation

Our practice is dedicated to protecting your rights as a father and we take dynamic, assertive action to support you and your children.

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Have questions about child support?


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Have questions about support?


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What You Need

To get started, you need to collect documents related to your finances, income, and taxes. At the minimum, you should gather your most recent tax return, pay stubs, and tax forms, like W-2s or 1099s.

You also need to assemble paperwork related to any disability or unemployment benefits, mandatory fees like union dues or retirement contributions, child health care costs, and job-related expenses.

If you have child support payments for other children, spousal support payments, or comparable expenses, also gather any documentation of those.


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Washington’s Support Schedule appears to be a rigid, standardized formula.

Like a math equation, you plug numbers in and it shows a presumptive amount.

However, just like having a CPA look at your taxes, there may be things an attorney sees that will benefit you in getting a deviation from the presumptive amount.


When couples can’t come to terms on these or other important issues, they often must go through arbitration or mediation. If such methods of alternative dispute resolution don’t work, you may ultimately find yourself in trial.


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How to get a

Child Support Modification

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Like most court orders, once child support is in place it can be difficult to change.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, but just because you can, doesn’t make it easy, quick, or cheap. It can and most likely will take time, money, and effort.

The simplest way to seek a change to child support is through a process called Support Adjustment.

Support Adjustment can be sought when there are known changes to income of the parents and at least two years have passed since the last Support Order was entered.

If you are seeking more detailed changes to the terms of the Support Order, or less than two years have passed, you will need to file a Support Modification.

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Like most court orders, once child support is in place it can be difficult to change.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, but just because you can, doesn’t make it easy, quick, or cheap. It can and most likely will take time, money, and effort.

The simplest way to seek a change to child support is through a process called Support Adjustment.

Support Adjustment can be sought when there are known changes to income of the parents and at least two years have passed since the last Support Order was entered.

If you are seeking more detailed changes to the terms of the Support Order, or less than two years have passed, you will need to file a Support Modification.

What's required to qualify for a child support modification?

A child support modification is a more complex and sometimes uphill battle. Even if you follow the process, you may not be successful.  The courts require substantial financial changes, and often even that isn’t enough to move the needle.

That said, it is possible to modify child support if you meet certain criteria. These include:

  • When the income of one or both parents’ changes drastically. This includes both increases and decreases.
  • When one parent loses his or her job.
  • When one parent goes to jail or is otherwise incarcerated.
  • When one parent has a new child in another relationship.
  • When parenting time changes substantially.
  • When the child’s needs change, including the need for more or less child care, health care, or education.
  • When other factors used to calculate child support change.
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When it comes to child support modification, because it’s so difficult to alter, your best bet is to get it right the first time. Situations do change, but it’s good to have a solid base.

Take the time to make sure you have everything in order and that you have an agreement you can live with. Don’t sign off just be done. Such haste can lead to mistakes and oversights. If there are problems with an agreement, it’s easier to fix them now than down the road.

Modifying child support is a complicated process, one that has a huge impact on your life. It’s often in your best interests to hire an attorney with experience in these cases. A skilled lawyer, like those on our Seattle team, can help avoid mistakes and make sure you don’t wind up paying an unfair amount.

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