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Child Support Attorney
Child support arises not only in divorce cases, but also in other family law cases such as parenting plan modifications, paternity, non-parental custody, and relocation. The courts are required to ensure that an appropriate child support arrangement is reached in all family law cases that involve children.
We have represented hundreds of clients with varying child support needs and we have experience in:
- Establishing child support,
- Modifying child support, and
- Enforcing child support obligations.
Calculating Child Support
Child support payments are calculated based on a statutory formula. To estimate child support obligations in your case you can visit the Washington State Child Support Calculator provided by Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
In Washington, child support is calculated primarily by determining the net income of both parents.
What are “extraordinary expenses”?
In addition to basic child support obligations, parents will also have to share the burden of additional expenses, often referred to as “extraordinary expenses.” Extraordinary expenses do not fall under the category of child support. These expenses can include:
- Sports and other extracurricular activities,
- Work-related childcare,
- Travel, and more.
Like child support, the payment of extraordinary expenses is also based on the parents’ net incomes. Once net incomes are determined, each parent’s proportional share of the combined net income is determined. The resulting percentage is used to allocate responsibility for extraordinary expenses.
Example of Determining Obligation for Extraordinary Expenses
If Jane’s net income is $5,000 a month, and Jeff’s net income is $5,000 a month, the combined net income of both parties is $10,000. Jane’s share of the combined net income is 50% ($5000 / $10,000), and Jeff’s share is 50% ($5,000 / $10,000). Thus, each will pay 50% of extraordinary expenses.
Enforcing Child Support
When the parent charged with paying child support fails to make these payments or make them on time, a private party or the state can file enforcement actions on a child support order. We have handled many enforcement actions, including contempt, and we have experience with back support judgments – both for parties pursuing those judgments and for parties defending against them.