In Washington State, basic child support is determined by statutory guidelines. The amount of support is calculated using the net incomes of the parents and the non-primary parent is responsible for paying to the primary parent a percentage of the support amount. The percentage is his or her proportionate share of the combined net income. Needless to say, accurately determining net incomes is critical to the bottom line number.How to Calculate Support
In situations where the parties are W2 wage earners, calculating basic child support is straight forward. Not so, if you work on a commission, are self-employed or unemployed. Determining the true income of the self-employed, imputing income to the unemployed or underemployed or dealing with non-recurring income such as bonuses can be difficult. Other complicating factors may be a deviation for more or less child support than what the guidelines provide. A common reason for a deviation may be that you have a special needs child or the paying parent spends a significant amount of time with the child.What Support Covers
The support determined based on the parents' incomes is intended to cover basic necessities of a child such as food, clothing and shelter. Other expenses that may come into play are daycare expenses, education expenses, sports, extracurricular activities, medical expenses and other costs associated with the child's care and upbringing. These issues can make determination of child support complicated requiring the expertise of a divorce attorney who is deft with numbers and can skillfully negotiate all elements of a child support order.
Child support is one of the critical components of any divorce proceeding because it directly impacts the well-being of the children. Our family law attorneys have the experience and the working knowledge of investigating and efficiently obtaining income records and financial documents necessary to accurately determine net income and ferret out hidden income. Here are some areas Blair & Kim, PLLC can help you with respect to child support matters:
- Determining the amount of child support, including other child-related expenses
- College expenses and post-majority support
- Enforcement of child support
- Modification of child support
- Collection of back support
We will work tirelessly to fight for your rights as a parent, as well as for the support that is needed for the care, health and other costs involved in raising your children.