You may already know about the calculations that Washington has for child support. However, there are a number of reasons that a judge may deviate from the standard calculation.

Here is what the Washington State Legislature has to say about standards for deviation from the general child support calculations.

Expenses and debt

A special needs child or one whose medical, psychological or educational expenses are unusually high may require a different calculation from the standard. Or, a parent may incur an extreme amount of debt through no fault of his or her own, such as medical debt, which would cause a judge to consider altering the way he or she figures the child support amount. It may also make a difference if, through conditions that are out of the parents’ control, their incomes have a significant disparity.

Other sources of income

Regular income is considered in the standard calculation, but deviation may be necessary if one of the parents receives regular child support from another relationship. Gifts, prize money or nonrecurring income such as bonuses, overtime or contract-related benefits may also lead to a deviation.

Asking for a deviation

If a parent asks for a deviation from the standard calculation, and he or she is living with someone new, whether it is a partner, spouse or another adult, the judge may consider the income of that other person when determining whether the deviation is fair. However, the judge will not take the other person’s income into consideration for standard calculations.

The residential schedule and other child support obligations may also be factors in a judge’s calculations. Because a judge has the authority to determine whether or not to consider any particular factor, these general guidelines should not be interpreted as legal advice.