Child Support: What If One Parent is Unemployed or Underemployed?

If you live in Washington, you may be wondering if unemployment or underemployment will impact child support. Find out how child support is determined in Washington and how an unemployed or underemployed parent impacts that.

If you live in Washington, you may be wondering if unemployment or underemployment will impact child support. This is something that can have a huge impact on your life, depending on how much child support you need to care for your children.

At Allen Fischer PLLC, our goal is to provide all our clients with exceptional and compassionate legal representation. Keep reading to find out how child support is determined in Washington and how an unemployed or underemployed parent impacts that.

How Child Support is Calculated

In the state of Washington, child support can be anywhere from $50 to $2000 per month. How this is determined is based on the income of the parents, custody arrangements, and the number of children the child support has to cover. The goal of child support is to cover the basic and recurring expenses associated with raising children.

Some things that can impact the child support amount include children with special needs, healthcare costs, and daycare costs. The child support may also go up as the payer’s income increases and the recipient’s income decreases.

Impact of Unemployment or Underemployment on Child Support

You may be worried about receiving child support if the other parent is unemployed or has become underemployed. The good news is that child support is still taken out even if the other parent is on unemployment benefits. Up to 50% of the unemployment benefits can be taken out, and if that is not enough, the unemployed parent will still be held responsible for making up the difference.

The court will consider whether the other parent is voluntarily or involuntarily underemployed. The court will do this by assessing the parent’s residence, employment and earning history, assets, education, job skills, and health. If it is clear that the underemployment is not voluntary, the parent will not be expected to pay the full child support amount.

What is Imputed Income?

In Washington, there is something called imputed income. This term is used when the parent is treated as having an income that they do not have. Imputed income is used for voluntarily unemployed or underemployed parents who could reasonably make enough to pay the child support amount.

If you believe the other parent is voluntarily earning less than they could to avoid paying child support, you can bring this to the Court. The Court will determine if this is true to decide whether the parent will still be required to pay the full child support amount.

An example of this is if a parent had a high-paying job but quit to instead work at a minimum-wage job instead. Their work history, wage history, and education level would all prove that they are voluntarily underemployed.

Hire Allen Fischer PLLC to Handle Your Child Support Case

Navigating the complexities of child support cases can feel very overwhelming, which is why you should hire an attorney with experience in family law. At Allen Fischer PLLC, we have many years of experience in family law and are dedicated to getting our clients the child support they are entitled to. To partner with a team of compassionate and seasoned professionals, reach out to Allen Fischer PLLC at (509) 466-7770.

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