According to Washington State law, both parents are required to provide financial support for their children. Income levels are especially scrutinized when determining the amount necessary for the parents to provide.Determining Income
Determining child support can be confusing and sometimes difficult. The state laws don’t always help in determining what amount is appropriate. Traditionally, support for children is based on the combined income of both parents. But what about when one of those parents isn't working or is under-employed? It's questions such as this where the law offices of Family Law Attorney Laurie G. Robertson can help.
If a parent is unemployed or under-employed, the income may be imputed by the court per Washington State law. It's important to provide the court with as much information as possible regarding each party’s income so that an amount can be set fairly and will adequately meet the child or children's needs.
If there is actual income, all sources of that income must be disclosed and presented to the court. Worksheets are prepared and filed with the court, along with verification of all income. Income of a present spouse may be considered by the court, but can also be excluded from the actual calculations. When all details have been disclosed, an amount will be determined based on the parent's combined income and the number of children involved in the case.What if an Ex-Spouse Does not Comply?
Unfortunately, once the amount has been determined there is no way to guarantee that your ex-spouse will pay. There are also circumstances where income levels may have changed, or where your ex-spouse is being dishonest about their true financial state of affairs. In situations such as these, we can help enforce your orders so that you are able to receive the amount of child support wo which you are legally entitled by the courts.
The court may also decide to deviate from the basic child support amount in extenuating circumstances such as income from other adults in a parent’s household, non-recurring income, debt and high expenses not voluntarily incurred, residential schedule or children from other relationships. There are a number of reasons the amount can deviate which our Washington child support attorneys can discuss with you in detail.During a Pending Case
The court can provide children with support during a pending case, whether it be divorce or a case determining paternity. A Motion for Temporary Orders can be filed to provide the court with the information it needs to set up a Temporary Child Support Order . This order is good until a new or final order is entered in a case.After Graduation
A parent may petition the court for support of children who are still considered dependents, such as college students. There are several factors that help the court determine if post-secondary support is appropriate. Some of those factors include the parent's ability to pay as well as the child’s ability to be successful in school. It is important to talk to a child support lawyer regarding the necessity of post-secondary help prior to the end of the current order as the receiving parent must ask for this before the termination of the current order.Adjustment and Modification
Child support is subject to periodic adjustments and/or modifications to meet the changing needs of both children and parents. Our the legal offices of Family Law Attorney Laurie G. Robertson can assist you during any modifications necessary to accommodate life's ups and downs.Agreed Upon Orders
As is the case with any area of family law, orders can be agreed upon by the parties involved as long as the laws are followed in determining the transfer amount. Our child support attorneys are skilled in helping divorcing couples come to an agreement so that the decisions benefit the needs of everyone involved.