Ensuring your child's needs are met.
Both parties have a legal obligation to support their children in the State of Washington. In a divorce or legal separation, the court can order one or both parties to provide support. Support is not just an amount a party may pay to support a child, you could also be obligated to pay health insurance premiums, day care costs, educational expenses and extracurricular expenses depending on the case. Child support is payable until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school whichever occurs last. In Washington, you can be obligated for post-secondary support if you child attends college or trade school.
Washington courts use the Washington Child Support Schedule as a baseline for support. A child support order will include which parent will pay child support, what if any child care and other expenses will be paid and included in the order of support. Depending on which parent is paying these extra expenses they may be entitled to a credit towards his/her child support order. Child support can be complicated due to these extra expenses, 401k deductions of either party, seasonal work, union dues, retirement deductions, per diem pay, state taxes (Oregon).
In determining support all income and resouces of each parent's household shall be disclosed and considered by the court. Only the income of the parents of the children whose support is at issue shall be calcualted for purpose of calculating the basic support obligation. It is important for the court to have all information of both parents in arriving at the proper amount of child support for their needs. This is sometimes difficult if the other party is unemployed or self employed, this is why you need an experience attorney who can obtain all the necessary income information to ensure the child support calculation is correct.
Depending on you parenting time with your children you may be entitled to a residential credit which will may reduce the amount of child support you pay the other parent. Such deduction is discretionary with the court and depends on many factors. This is why a dedicated attorney who has the knowledge from years of experience dealing with these factors is important when establishing a child support order.