If you expect to spend time behind bars and owe child support, or if you receive payments from someone recently sentenced to prison, it is important to understand how a sentence could affect child support obligations. In fact, a new law regarding child support abatement and incarceration recently took effect in the state of Washington.
Some parents struggle to make child support payments behind bars, resulting in unmanageable debt. It is important to understand your obligations if you owe support and stay current to avoid serious repercussions.
Do parents in prison have to pay child support?
According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, a law regarding child support abatement and incarceration took effect in February. This law reduces the monthly child support obligations for incarcerated parents, so long as they satisfy certain conditions. It is important to note that not all incarcerated parents are eligible.
Under this law, eligible parents have their child support brought down to $10 per month for each child support order, irrespective of the number of kids included in the child support order.
Who is eligible for child support abatement?
If you were recently sentenced to time behind bars and owe child support, your monthly obligations could decrease. However, there are certain conditions to recognize. For example, your incarceration must take place on February 1, 2021 or later and your sentence must last for no less than six months. Additionally, your Washington State child support order needs to reference abatement and you must not have the means to make child support payments while behind bars.