Room 314, 128 North 2nd Street, Yakima, WA 98901
Honorable Robert W. Inouye
Honorable Lani-Kai Swanhart
Honorable Gayle M. Harthcock
YAKIMA COUNTY COURT FACILITATOR
CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION
If you are requesting a change in your child support order (such as payment amount, duration, college support or tax exemption), and you have an existing case number, you may file for a support modification. You can purchase a “Child Support Modification Book” in room 323 of the courthouse for $30.00. This book contains all the forms and instructions necessary to start and finalize your modification. The filing fee is $56.00.
If you need assistance completing this packet, you may schedule an appointment with the Facilitator by calling (509) 574-2695.
1. Do I need an attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney and you may represent yourself. You may also hire an attorney at any time.
2. How often can I modify my child support order?
Generally the court will allow you to modify a support order every two years if there has been a change in income or circumstances of the parties.
3. What is the basis for child support modification?
You may request to change the support obligation if incomes of the parties have changed or children have moved to a new age category. You will be required to provide a copy of your most recent pay stub as well as the last two years tax returns and W2’s. The court may base your income on past earnings.
4. If the paying parent has another biological child, is that a basis for modification?
The court may choose to set support at an amount lower than the “standard calculation” based on the fact that the paying parent also supports other biological children.
5. If either parent remarries, is that a basis for modification?
Generally, remarriage would not be a basis to modify child support because the support is based only upon the biological parent’s income. However, Parties do have an obligation to disclose a new spouse’s income in a support modification proceeding.
6. What if the paying parent is unemployed or going to college full time?
The court can “impute” income to them which can be based on past earnings or earning potential given their age.
7. What if the other party does not agree with my request?
If the other party disagrees with the request to modify child support, they must file an Answer. You will then be required to schedule a hearing so the court can determine if support should be modified.
8. Can I change the amount of back support I owe?
No. The court may only change your current obligation. You will still owe any back support under prior orders.
9. Can I ask for college support (post secondary support)?
Yes, provided your order allows you to do so. However, you must file a Petition before the child graduates from high school or turns 18, depending on the language on your Order of Child Support. You will need to supply the court with information concerning your child’s high school grades, college to be attended, and financial aid received.
10. Will my support obligation change when I file the Petition?
No. Your obligation will not change until a Judge signs a new order.
11. Do I have to notify the Prosecutor’s Office about my request?
If you owe back support to the State of Washington or either parent receives money from public assistance, you must send notice of your request to the Prosecutor’s Office. They may appear at your hearing.
12. Do I have to go to court?
If the other party responds to the Petition to Modify Child Support, you will have to go to court.