Lowering child support when children turn 18

Asked about 6 years ago - Renton, WA

My husband has 3 children. His son is 20 and has been living with my husband parents in Texas for over 2 years. His daugter will be 18 in November and has been living with us since Christmas. His youngest daughter still lives with the mother. My husband pays $700.00 a month and has been paying faithfully for alot of years. The child support office tells my husband that his child support order has the child support lumped into one sum so he can't get it lowered. They say we have to go to court to have the children separated and then they can drop the children that are of age. We are currantly in a chapter 13 (payback plan) and cannot afford a lawyer. Is there a better way for us to approch this because we need this dropped to help us live. Chapter 13 takes alot from us and we were praying for some relief.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Dave Hawkins

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . With all due respect to the previous answer, your case has both child supoprt and parenting issues that must be dealt with. With three children and a lump sum Order of child support, it will be difficult to align the kids to conform to the order of child support, especially if there is a post-seconday support obligation. You will first have to deal with the parenting plan issues that control who is the primary custodial parent and who is the non-custodial parent. There may aslo be issues of unpaid back child supportt if you have strayed from the PP. In in King county, once you file a Peition for a support mod., a trial date is set on a shortened calendar and you have to comply with all of the local procedural rule in King County (and there are a lot) to proceed with your case. Often, when individuals try to litigate these cases themselves, trials are delayed and errors made which dranmatically effect the relief you can receive from the court if you have failed to provide the proper documentation. I usually do support mods on a flat fee basis to limit the cost to the clients. So, please consult with an atorney on the east side -- King County procedure is different from Pierce County procedure, so be sure to consult with an attorney who practices in King.

  2. Michelle M. Letourneau

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . You will have to file a Motion in the Court asking that the child support be modified. In Michigan, it is quite common for individuals to seek modifications of child support without legal counsel. Provided that the children have been split among their parents by agreement, it should be a relatively simple case of recalculating numbers. I am assuming that Washington would also have forms available for an unrepresented party to seek modification. You may want to look at this link http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/index.cfm. In addition, prior to modification, you may want to consult with your Bankruptcy attorney to determine whether a decrease in your support obligation would have any impact on your pending Bankruptcy.

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