George T. Cowan


Simply stated, the purpose of child support is to provide necessary elements of support to those typically incapable of self-support. The definition of "necessary elements" constantly changes to meet the demands of an increasingly complex society. And although child support is limited to necessities, what is necessary also depends upon the social status and financial resources of the parents and is not limited to bare essentials unless those criteria so dictate. Accordingly, courts retain continuing jurisdiction to modify support decrees as the ability of the parents to provide support and the needs of the children change. In light of the purpose of child support, this comment explores the extent to which Washington courts may order post-majority child support and the sources of their authority to do so.

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