Child Support Attorneys in Kent, Everett & Lynnwood
The dedicated and experienced child support team at Feldman & Lee PS is here to help you with your child support proceedings in our Everett, Lynnwood, and Kent office locations. We will work to protect your rights and preserve your family’s best interests so you receive the best child support solution possible.
With divorce comes many contentious, emotional issues, child support being one of them. Support cases arise from a variety of family law actions, including parenting plan changes, relocation, non-parental custody, paternity and divorce. In a legal sense, the court is obligated to ensure that a suitable plan for support is put in place if a child is involved in the case. This is done to make sure that parents are adequately supporting their children instead of placing the burden on the taxpayers of Washington.
Our support staff and child support attorneys in Kent, Everett, and Lynnwood have experience in a wide variety of family law scenarios in the state of Washington. We can help you establish, modify or enforce a child support order, and give you an honest assessment of what options are available given the circumstances of your situation. Cases with children can get complicated, so we recommend representation from an experienced child support lawyer from Feldman & Lee PS.
Child Support Calculation
How much child support a parent pays is calculated using a statutory formula that is set in state laws. The primary determining factor is the net (post-tax) incomes of both parents. This is fairly straightforward to determine when both parents receive all their income via W2 forms and have no additional income sources. Complications often only arise when one or both parents own a business or have irregular income.
It can get far more complicated when a parent is unemployed or underemployed, the court may impute the income for that parent. Income imputation is done when the court believes one parent is intentionally working below their means to pay less or avoid child support payments. The court will estimate the income the underemployed parent could bring in if working at their earning capacity, based upon their experience, skills, education and past job history. Income imputation can get complex, so be sure to speak to an Everett, Lynwood, or Kent child support lawyer if this is part of your case.
In either of these situations, a child support lawyer is an invaluable resource as he or she can work to get the documents needed to establish an accurate net income and ensure that the child support award is both reasonable and fair. At Feldman & Lee PS, we have brought complex support cases to a successful outcome many times and will work to assist you in all areas of your case.
Extraordinary Expenses in Support Cases
Parents may also be required to share their child’s “extraordinary expenses,” which include costs for the child that go above and beyond basic needs. These expenses are not the same as child support and instead refer to costs for travel, extracurricular activities, education and other costs. Each parent’s responsibility for paying these types of expenses is determined by her or his proportional share of both parents’ net income combined.
If, for example, John and June are involved in a support case and have a net income of $8,000, their extraordinary expense shares will be set by how much each contributes to that total net income. If June’s income is $6,000, then she accounts for 75 percent of the total income and will pay 75 percent of the child’s extraordinary expenses, while John covers the remaining 25 percent.
Child Support Enforcement
When a parent who is supposed to pay fails to do so or misses deadlines, a private party or the state can file an enforcement action. For receivers, a lapse in payments can really strain household finances and make daily living difficult. The same can apply to payees who are struggling to pay the amount due because of job loss, medical illness or other circumstances.
At Feldman & Lee, we understand the intricacies involved in contempt of court and enforcement actions related to child support, so we can help you navigate the situation whether you are the receiver or the payer of the support.
Support Can be Modified
If there has been a significant change in circumstances that would impact the amount of support paid, you can file in court to have the support modified. Many situations warrant a modification, including the child moving in with the other parent, a new higher paying job, or loss of income. You will need to complete and file the necessary paperwork in court and demonstrate that the change has happened to receive a modification. Speak to a child support attorney and they will help you prepare and submit the paperwork and documentation needed to validate your request for the change.
Keep in mind that if you are the paying spouse, you still need to go to court for a formal modification, even if the receiving spouse agrees to the change. Should the relationship between the two of you erode, they may take you to court for enforcement of the original support amount if the modification was never formalized. Similarly, if you experience a drop in income, you must still make the original payment amount until you receive the court modification, which is why it’s important to file as soon as you realize there will be a significant change in circumstances.
At Feldman & Lee PS, we have handled many types of child support cases and have the experience and knowledge necessary to represent you in your support case. Contact one of our Lynnwood, Everett, or Kent child support attorneys to schedule a consultation as soon as possible so we can get to work for you.