74.20A.057  <<  74.20A.059 >>   74.20A.060

Modification of administrative orders establishing child supportPetitionGroundsProcedure.

(1) The department, the physical custodian, or the responsible parent may petition for a prospective modification of a final administrative order if:
(a) The administrative order has not been superseded by a superior court order; and
(b) There has been a substantial change of circumstances, except as provided under RCW 74.20A.055(4)(d).
(2) An order of child support may be modified one year or more after it has been entered without showing a substantial change of circumstances:
(a) If the order in practice works a severe economic hardship on either party or the child; or
(b) If a party requests an adjustment in an order for child support that was based on guidelines which determined the amount of support according to the child's age, and the child is no longer in the age category on which the current support amount was based; or
(c) If a child is a full-time student and reasonably expected to complete secondary school or the equivalent level of vocational or technical training before the child becomes nineteen years of age upon a finding that there is a need to extend support beyond the eighteenth birthday.
(3) An order may be modified without showing a substantial change of circumstances if the requested modification is to:
(a) Require medical support under RCW 26.09.105 for a child covered by the order; or
(b) Modify an existing order for health care coverage.
(4) Support orders may be adjusted once every twenty-four months based upon changes in the income of the parents without a showing of substantially changed circumstances.
(5)(a) All administrative orders entered on, before, or after September 1, 1991, may be modified based upon changes in the child support schedule established in chapter 26.19 RCW without a substantial change of circumstances. The petition may be filed based on changes in the child support schedule after twelve months has expired from the entry of the administrative order or the most recent modification order setting child support, whichever is later. However, if a party is granted relief under this provision, twenty-four months must pass before another petition for modification may be filed pursuant to subsection (4) of this section.
(b) If, pursuant to subsection (4) of this section or (a) of this subsection, the order modifies a child support obligation by more than thirty percent and the change would cause significant hardship, the change may be implemented in two equal increments, one at the time of the entry of the order and the second six months from the entry of the order. Twenty-four months must pass following the second change before a petition for modification under subsection (4) of this section may be filed.
(6) An increase in the wage or salary of the parent or custodian who is receiving the support transfer payments is not a substantial change in circumstances for purposes of modification under subsection (1)(b) of this section. An obligor's voluntary unemployment or voluntary underemployment, by itself, is not a substantial change of circumstances.
(7) The department shall file the petition and a supporting affidavit with the secretary or the secretary's designee when the department petitions for modification.
(8) The responsible parent or the physical custodian shall follow the procedures in this chapter for filing an application for an adjudicative proceeding to petition for modification.
(9) Upon the filing of a proper petition or application, the secretary or the secretary's designee shall issue an order directing each party to appear and show cause why the order should not be modified.
(10) If the presiding or reviewing officer finds a modification is appropriate, the officer shall modify the order and set current and future support under chapter 26.19 RCW.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 476: See note following RCW 26.09.105.
SeverabilityEffective dateCaptions not law1991 c 367: See notes following RCW 26.09.015.
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