Child Support Attorney
As a family law attorney with over 20 years of experience, we have represented numerous clients in child support matters, from the most basic to the most difficult and complex. We can assist you with the initial determination of child support, post-divorce adjustments and modifications of child support. We have experience in more difficult child support matters including identification of hidden income and enforcement of child support.
- We can represent you in all aspects of child support, including:
- Determination of child support payments
- Modification and adjustment of child support orders
- Identification of income for child support
- Collection of back child support
- Paternity as it relates to child support
Basic Child Support
Although the parties may not believe child support is an issue in their case, the court will review all child support orders to ensure that appropriate child support obligations are set in all family law cases involving children. Child support is set according to a statutory formula, and DSHS has an online calculator that you can use to estimate your support obligations.
Child support is based on the net income of the parties. For W-2 wage earners with no other sources of income, determining net income to set child support is straight forward. Determining net income for the unemployed, underemployed, or for individuals who own businesses, investments, or have non-recurring income can be more difficult and can dramatically affect child support obligations.
The more complicated your financial affairs are, the more critical it is to ensure you have an experienced family law attorney assisting you when determining child support obligations.
Deviations from the guidelines may be appropriate in cases of poverty, significant wealth, or when the children have special needs. The support can change due to changes in the circumstances of either parent such as an increase or decrease in income, disability, or a change in the child's residential placement (custody).Other Support for Children
In addition to basic child support, parents are obligated to share in child related expenses, referred to as “extraordinary expenses.” Extraordinary expenses may include uninsured health care, education, sports and other extracurricular activities, work related childcare, travel, and other expenses. Again, the sharing of these expenses is typically based on the parents’ net incomes and each parents share of the combined net income. The resulting percentage is often used to divide responsibility for extraordinary expenses. Although technically not child support, the courts are able under certain conditions to require parents to pay for the higher education expenses of their adult children (post secondary support).Enforcing Child Support
Either a private party or the state can file an enforcement action on a Washington State child support order. We have represented clients in child support enforcement and contempt cases. We have negotiated and litigated on behalf of parties seeking back support judgments, as well as those defending against such actions, even in cases brought by the State through the prosecutor’s office or the Department of Child Support.