What Happens if I Miss ONE Court-Ordered Child Support Payment In Spokane, WA?

Posted On March 21, 2024 Child Support

Child support is a legal obligation for one parent to pay the other parent to provide financial resources for the child. It recognizes the child’s right to benefit from the financial support of both parents, even when they are no longer together. If you fail to make court-ordered child support payments, you could face serious legal consequences. 

However, this will depend on whether the other parent reports the missed payment or the Washington Division of Child Support decides to take enforcement action. Missing a payment may also indicate that you are having economic problems that may justify modifying the child support order. Here is what to know about this important issue and your legal options. 

Enforcement Actions and Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

Various state laws allow the Division of Child Support to take collection actions, even if you haven’t missed a single child support payment. This includes sending a Withholding for Support or Order to Withhold and Deliver to your employer or any other person or organization that has your assets or income. 

If you fall behind on child support payments, DCS can take additional enforcement actions, including:

  • Turning your case over to a debt collector
  • Referring the case to credit reporting agencies 
  • Attaching your bank accounts
  • Suspending your driver’s license
  • Suspending other licenses you may have, such as your professional, business, occupational, hunting, fishing, or recreational license
  • Intercepting tax refunds or other monies owed to you
  • Not renewing or issuing your U.S. passport
  • Filing liens to seize and sell other property you own 
  • Referring your case to a prosecuting attorney for contempt proceedings

However, these actions are more likely to occur when there is more than one missing payment. Still, you want to be aware of these possible consequences in case your missed payment becomes a series of missing payments. 

If your ex decides to take legal action, you will be served with a complaint and summons. You could try to catch up on payments before the hearing. 

How Washington Determines Child Support Obligations

Washington State requires parents to complete Child Support Worksheets

Critical information is extracted from these worksheets, such as:

  • The number of children
  • The children’s ages
  • The income of each parent
  • The child’s available financial resources
  • Child custody arrangement
  • Childcare expenses
  • Spousal support
  • Travel costs for visitation and custody 

This information is then applied to a formula and the Washington State Support Schedule to calculate the support that should be ordered. Child support is intended to cover the basic recurring expenses involved in raising a child, such as housing, food, and clothing. Child support in Washington can also be ordered to cover extracurricular activities, medical expenses, and college expenses.  

Even though there is a mathematical equation involved in establishing child support, there are many variables that can affect the calculation. The court can also use its discretion to deviate from the child support guidelines. 

Modifying Child Support Orders

If you are having trouble meeting your child support obligation, you could seek to modify the child support order. Your child support obligation will not change automatically, even if you lose your job or some other life circumstance changes. 

However, you may be able to ask the court to change your child support order if circumstances have changed, such as:

  • You lost your job.
  • You changed jobs. 
  • You became permanently disabled. 
  • You’ve had another child since the child support order was put in place.
  • Your child’s expenses have increased. 

To change your child support order, you would need to follow these steps:

  • File a motion to modify your child support order with the court where the current order is in place. 
  • Serve the other parent with the petition.
  • Attend the hearing.
  • Submit evidence to show a material change in circumstances.
  • Receive a new order.

An experienced child support lawyer can help guide you through this process. 

A Spokane Child Support Attorney Can Help You With Seeking Modifications

Don’t delay getting the help you need after missing a child support payment in Spokane, WA. If you are wondering about whether you could change your child support order, an experienced attorney can review your case and help determine your legal options.

Contact the Washington Child Support Lawyers at Twyford Law Office To Get Legal Assistance Today

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our child support lawyers or reach out to Twyford Law Office online by visiting our contact us page. You can also visit our office at your nearest location.

Twyford Law Office – Seattle Office
814 Second Avenue, Suite 515,
Seattle, WA 98104

(206) 590-7085

Twyford Law Office – Spokane Office
430 W Indiana Ave,
Spokane, WA 99205

(509) 327 0777

Twyford Law Office – Bellevue Office
1408 140th Pl NE Suite 400,
Bellevue, WA 98007

(425) 517-3350


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