Sometimes in a Washington child support case, a parent may seek credit for expenses during their residential time or a modification of the custody arrangement in an effort to reduce child support payments. However, the parent must show adequate cause to modify the parenting plan to change the custody arrangement. A Washington appeals court recently considered a husband’s efforts to reduce his child support obligation.
The parties divorced after approximately 11 years of marriage. The agreed parenting plan allowed equal residential time with the two children, and other agreed orders required the husband to pay $1,700 in child support and $900 in maintenance each month.
In 2012, the husband moved to adjust child support due to the child care expenses he paid while he had the kids. The court denied the motion, noting a residential credit could not be considered in a motion for adjustment but should instead be raised in a petition to modify. A couple of months later, the husband filed a petition to modify the child support. The court found he failed to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances and denied the petition. It also awarded the wife attorney’s fees and costs.