Retroactively raising child support?
April 28, 2009 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Does WA state support retroactively raising child support?

Without going into the whole sordid tale, here's some background info:

I have been current in my support payments, haven't missed one. 2 years ago, my support payment was reduced to $50/month because I was disabled. I'm working again, but my ex has filed contempt claiming that I didn't notify her that I was working (I did, and she has even submitted the emails that back me up). She wants the court to order back support for the last year (I've only been a permanent--not temporary--employee since June of last year) and for me to pay interest on that amount, even though I've paid according to the current order. At no time did she request a modification of the support amount, despite knowing that I was working. Is this even lawful? Will the court retroactively change my support amount and require me to pay back support, esp. when I don't have the means?

YANAL, YANML, etc. I have an attorney, but she's busy and expensive, and I can't find my answer online.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (4 answers total)
Wait, do you mean you've been working as an employee since June? But were still paying the reduced amount of $50?
posted by barnone at 9:27 PM on April 28, 2009

Also, why did you notify her and not the court, once you got the job? Oh right, because you didn't want to lose income to your kid. You wanted her to deal with the paperwork and/or asking for you for the original percentage back.

According to this brochure [warning PDF] on what happens to child support if you've lost your job, get the payments reduced, and then get another job, DCS can take 50% of your take-home pay from your new job. Possibly not the same about disability. No information about back-pay. Call one of the numbers on that brochure to find out.
posted by barnone at 10:16 PM on April 28, 2009

From the original poster:
A modification to the original $50/amount that reflects my employment is supposed to be concurrent with a modification of the parenting plan, which has been held up due to other legal decisions. It's complicated. Suffice it to say, the amount hasn't been adjusted because 1) we've been waiting on the continuances of the other decisions to come to a close with a final decision; 2) It's been less than 24 months since the previous modification of support was entered; 3) I'm paying my ex back attorney's fees (that she didn't pay for in the first place) and don't have the means to pay an increased support amount until those payments are complete. I'm paying my ex $300/mo in total right now, but not all under the name of support. It's not that I didn't want to adjust the amount or didn't want to pay, but that I haven't been able, legally, to have the amount adjusted yet.
posted by mathowie at 5:32 AM on April 29, 2009

Dude, your situation is so personal and complicated that nobody here can really tell you -- and it's not like this stuff is cut and dry. Talk to your lawyer or child services - someone who knows the whole story.
posted by barnone at 7:48 AM on April 29, 2009

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