Child Support Attorneys in Everett, Kent, and Lynnwood
The dedicated and experienced child support team at Feldman & Lee PS is here to assist you with your child support proceedings in our Marysville, Lynnwood and Kent locations. We will work to protect your rights and preserve your family’s best interests so you receive the most ideal child support solution possible given your circumstances.
There are many contentious and emotional issues in divorce, and child support can be one of them. Support cases arise from a variety of family law actions, including parenting plan changes, relocation, non-parental custody, paternity and divorce. The court is obligated in a legal sense to ensure that a suitable plan for support is set if there is a child 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. Because these cases can get complicated, it is recommended that people get representation from an experienced child support attorney.
Our attorneys and support staff at Feldman & Lee PS have experience in a wide variety of child support scenarios and cases. We can help you establish child support or modify or enforce an order you already have in place. If you are not sure what your options are, we can review the circumstances of your situation with you and give you an honest assessment of your potential moves and the possible outcomes for your specific case.
Child Support Calculation
How much support a parent pays is calculated using a statutory formula that is set out in state laws. The primary determining factor is the net, or post-tax, incomes of both parents. This is fairly straightforward to determine when both parents receive all their income on W2 forms without additional sources of income. It can get far more complicated when a parent is unemployed, owns a business, or has an irregular income. In 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.
If a parent is underemployed, the court may impute the income for that parent. Income imputation is done when the court believes one parent is working below his or her ability intentionally to pay less child support. The court will estimate the income the underemployed parent could bring in if working at his or her earning capacity, and it’s based on that parent’s experience, skills, education and past job history. Income imputation can get complex, so be sure to speak to a child support attorney if this is part 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 call for a modification, including the child moving in with the other parent, a new job with higher pay, or the loss of income. Speak to a child support lawyer as soon as you know a modification may be applicable to your case. You will need to complete and file the necessary paperwork in court, and you will also have to demonstrate that the change has happened to receive a modification. Your attorney 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, he or she will be able to take you to court for enforcement of the original support amount if the modification was never formalized by the court. Similarly, if you experience a drop in income, you still must make the original support amount payment 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 since the support was ordered.
At Feldman & Lee PS, we have handled many different types of child support cases and have the experience and knowledge necessary to represent you in your support case. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as possible so we can get to work for you.