Everett Child Support Attorney Advocates on Behalf of Parents
Washington family law firm seeks appropriate orders for clients
Regardless of a child’s living arrangements, both parents have a legal responsibility to provide financial support. The Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett advises parents in Snohomish and Skagit counties on various issues related to Washington’s child support laws. If you’ve just broken up with your spouse or partner and are unsure about setting an initial rate, my firm can examine the pertinent information and advise you regarding the outcome you can expect. I also advocate for parents in situations where an existing order should be revised and when action is required to deal with nonpayment.
How is child support determined?
Whether you’re going through a divorce or were never married to your child’s co-parent, I can explain the factors that determine the child support obligation under the state’s guidelines, including:
- Parental income — The incomes of both parents are taken into account when a child support rate is set. Along with wages, disability payments and unemployment benefits are included in this amount. My firm can assist if you believe your co-parent is reporting their income inaccurately or intentionally avoiding work to lower the percentage of support they’re responsible for.
- Time in each home — Some children spend a great deal of time in the home of the parent who does not have primary residential custody. In other cases, the child might have very little visitation. The court can deviate from the standard calculation depending on how often the noncustodial parent takes care of the youth.
- Alimony terms — When child support rates are set, income amounts are adjusted based on the amount of alimony that one party pays to the other. This way, the comparison that is used in the formula more accurately reflects each side’s financial position.
- Group health insurance and day care expenses — Premiums for a child’s health insurance coverage and day care fees frequently constitute a substantial share of the total expense associated with raising a child. Accordingly, the parent who is responsible for these costs will have their share of the total child support obligation reduced.
In some cases, families will have significant costs associated with child-rearing that don’t fall within the state’s formula. Through skillful negotiation, mediation or representation before a judge, I can pursue a fair arrangement to address extraordinary expenses such as school tuition, uncommon medical costs or payments associated with extracurricular activities.
Can child support orders be modified in Washington?
Factors that go into a child support order can change quickly. However, whether the rate was set by an administrative or court order, parents are not allowed to adjust the monthly obligation on their own. If a pay raise, job loss, new child or increase in child-care costs would shift the monthly child support amount by at least $100, I can prepare a petition for an appropriate modification.
Thorough advocate handles child support enforcement proceedings
Failing to honor a child support order is a serious matter and the state’s Division of Child Services offers numerous ways to compel required payments. Sanctions for lack of compliance include the attachment of income, the seizure of assets and the suspension of state-issued driver’s and professional licenses. Even one missed or late child support payment could be harmful for a young person, so it’s worthwhile to seek legal assistance as soon as a problem arises. My firm handles all types of enforcement proceedings, including cases where clients are looking to assure compliance with out-of-state and international child support directives.
Contact an effective Everett child support lawyer to schedule a free consultation
The Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. represents Washington parents in a full range of child support matters. Please call 866-360-8050 or contact me online to make an appointment for a free 10-minute phone consultation. My office is located in Everett.