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Washington Child Support Lawyers

Pursuing Fair Child Support Arrangements for Our Clients

Child support cases can arise under a variety of family law circumstances, such as a divorce, paternity, non-parental custody, relocation, and parenting plan modifications. In fact, family law courts are legally obligated to ensure that a suitable support plan is established if a child is involved in a family law case. This is to ensure that parents adequately support their own children rather than the state taxpayers. Child support cases are often complex, requiring representation from a knowledgeable lawyer.

McKinley Irvin's child support lawyers have represented hundreds of clients in a wide variety of child support cases. Our firm can assist you with establishing a child support arrangement, modifying a preexisting child support order, and/or enforcing child support obligations.

Calculating Child Support

The amount of child support that the paying parent is required to provide is calculated with a statutory formula. To find an estimate for how much child support your case would warrant, visit the Washington State Child Support Calculator provided by Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

In Washington, the primary factor for determining child support is both parents' net income. Determining net income is fairly simple in the case of W-2 wage earners with no additional sources of income. Determining net income can become significantly more complex when the party is unemployed, underemployed, a business owner, or receives an irregular income.

To arrive at a fair child support resolution, you need a lawyer who will go to great lengths to obtain the necessary documents that accurately establish net income. At McKinley Irvin, our attorneys have achieved countless successful case outcomes for clients, even when net income was difficult to prove.

What are "extraordinary expenses"?

Parents will also need to share the burden of "extraordinary expenses," which include expenses for the child that go beyond basic needs. Extraordinary expenses are not the same as "child support," but rather refer to costs for education, extracurricular activities, travel, and other similar kinds of expenses. Each parent's responsibility for paying extraordinary expenses is determined by his or her proportional share of the net income between both parents.

Example of Determining Obligation for Extraordinary Expenses

If John's net income is $5,000 a month, and Joan's net income is $3,500 a month, the combined net income of both parties is $8,500. John's share of the combined net income is 59% ($5000 / $8,500), and Joan's share is 41% ($3,500 / $8,500). Thus, John will pay 59% of extraordinary expenses, and Joan will pay 41%.

How Is Child Support Enforced?

If the paying parent fails to make child support payments or misses a deadline, the state or a private party can file an enforcement action. McKinley Irvin's child support lawyers understand the complexities involved in enforcement and contempt actions and can help you navigate the situation, whether you are pursuing the judgement or have been served one.

The lawyers at McKinley Irvin have experience with child support cases brought by the state as well as child support cases filed through the Division of Child Support. To find the attorney best suited to meet your family law needs, contact our office to schedule your consultation.


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