We Help You Seek Fair And Sustainable Child Support Solutions
Child support is often a contentious issue because it keeps parents tied to one another financially after a divorce, separation or breakup. But the ultimate beneficiaries of child support are the children, which is why it is critical to reach a support order that is adequate, fair and sustainable.
When you hire the Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer, one of our skilled attorneys will work closely with you to ensure that the court receives accurate, relevant financial information from you and your co-parent. And as needs and circumstances change over time, we can help you petition to modify an existing order, if necessary.
How Child Support Works-An Overview
Parents in Washington have an obligation to support their children. If you are the primary residential parent, you should be receiving child support from the other parent. Calculating support is quite complex, and should be done with an experienced attorney. Child support in Washington is calculated using each parent’s income. While disclosure of income of other persons in the household is required, it is not used in the “standard calculation.”
The court may deviate upward or downward from the standard child support obligation for a number of reasons. These include a shared residential schedule, non-recurring income, tax planning and children from other relationships. It is wholly within the discretion of the court whether to deviate from the standard calculation, but it cannot leave the primary parent with insufficient resources in their household.
In addition to the standard calculation, the court can order each parent to pay their proportional share of uninsured medical expenses and other special expenses. Special expenses can include (but are not limited to):
- Educational costs
- Extracurricular activities
- Private school tuition
- Long-distance transportation costs
Tax exemptions and responsibility for maintaining the children’s health insurance are also allocated in a child support order.
Legal Help For Unmarried Parents
When unmarried parents end their relationship, paternity and child support should be established so that the parent with whom the child resides a majority of the time receives child support. There are special rules that apply to unmarried parents, and it is important you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney before attempting to establish child support.
Enforcing An Order When One Parent Fails To Comply
Court orders including visitation, child support payments and spousal support are all legally binding actions that require fulfillment by one or more parties. In the event that these orders are not completed, in whole or part, a court may choose to hold one or more parties in contempt. It is important to understand when you (or another party) are in contempt, and how to enforce court orders in your favor. Our team can assess your specific situation and provide recommendations and solutions that meet your needs.
Seeking A Modification To Your Support Order
Child support can be modified every 24 months if there has been a change in income of the parties, or at any time based on a substantial change in circumstances. Child support issues can be complex, and having an experienced attorney is important to ensure you are receiving or paying the appropriate amount of support.
Let Our Attorneys Advocate For You
Child support is just one aspect of our comprehensive practice, and we are ready to help you with whatever family law issues you may be facing. To discuss your legal options with one of our skilled and experienced attorneys, contact us in Tacoma by calling 253-356-6460 or can also reach out online.