Washington uses a particular set of guidelines to calculate the correct amount of support a parent may be required to pay for their support of a child. Whether you are seeking to establish child support for the first time in conjunction with a divorce or paternity proceeding or looking to modify an existing support order these support guidelines calculate the child support obligation using each parent’s monthly net income. Once child support has been calculated, a court may then consider other “equitable” factors (e.g., overnight residential credit, other children in need of support, expense sharing, etc.) which may affect the final transfer payment from one parent to the other.
Above and beyond the mere calculation of support there are many other considerations that must be addressed such as: method and timing of payment, enforcement, possible “post-secondary education” expenses, uninsured medical expenses, income tax exemptions, etc. When asked, our clients will often remark that the most surprising element of a child support order is that costs for day care, education, and often clubs, sports and extracurricular expenses are not even included in the basis child support payment!
Yes, the child support calculation process can be quite complicated and it is at all times subject to the broad discretion of the Court. Results can vary a great deal from one case to the next. Therefore, it is vital that you seek the advice of legal counsel with experience in the Court in which your child support matter is to be heard.
At the law firm of Spencer & Sundstrom, we have helped hundreds of clients throughout Clark County and Southwest Washington in a variety of child support-related issues. We ensure that every relevant detail has been considered in an effort to secure an accurate child support order, including income verification and any applicable allowances that could impact the amount of the order. Which parent is paying for the children’s health insurance, day care, education and other considerations could also significantly change the final amount ordered.
Contact our office today to talk to one of our attorneys about your child support questions. We will give you an honest assessment of your case and help you understand your legal options. You can reach us by phone at 360-356-1710 or via e-mail using the form on your right.