Review of Child Support Guidelines
Report Type Final Report 
Date Published January 2010 
Publication Number 10-1 
2SHB 1009
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In 2007, the Legislature directed JLARC to conduct a review of Washington’s Child Support Guidelines. Courts and the Department of Social and Health Services use these guidelines to establish child support obligations for non-custodial parents.  Federal law requires states to review their guidelines every four years. As part of this process, the Legislature directed that beginning in 2011, the workgroups convened to review Washington’s guidelines must consider this JLARC report. JLARC reviewed the efforts of a 2007 workgroup, summarized research on the cost of raising children; and analyzed data collected by DSHS to review child support orders that deviate from the state’s guidelines. JLARC determined that the 2007 workgroup recommended statutory changes on a number of issues which the Legislature implemented in 2009. The workgroup did not resolve three main issues. JLARC’s review of research showed that these same three issues are of concern to many states, and a summary of the research on these issues is included in the report. Finally, JLARC found that the data currently collected by DSHS is inadequate to perform the reviews required by federal law. The report includes recommendations to both DSHS and the Legislature regarding direction to use an existing reliable data source for reviewing deviations from support guidelines.

Stacia Hollar, Analyst
Sylvia Gil, Analyst
Keenan Konopaski, Project Supervisor


Print Availability Request hard copy from the JLARC Publications Officer
Number of Pages 30 
Keywords child support, DSHS, courts 
Category Human Services