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Home » Seattle Child Support Lawyer
No one enjoys having to fight for child support for their kids. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens every day in Seattle, WA. And while the law is supposed to be fair and equitable, sometimes that’s just not the case.
Contact our Seattle child support lawyers at Twyford Law Office today at (206) 590-7085. Our attorneys have over 33 years of combined handling complex cases involving child custody, Seattle prenuptial agreements, divorce, Seattle property division, and much more.
Washington requires parents to support their children, even if they do not live with the child. The law provides minimums for child support obligations, but these can be adjusted. The best way to ensure a fair outcome, with your child’s best interests at heart, is to work with an experienced child support attorney.
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Your financial obligation to your children doesn’t end if you get separated or divorced. Under Washington law, you are required to financially support your children until they are emancipated. This helps ensure your children’s health, education, and basic needs are met, regardless of your marital status.
Attorney Julie A. Twyford, our founding partner, has worked with parents and families on child support and child custody matters since 1978. Partner Mark Cassell has successfully handled hundreds of divorce cases. He has earned a reputation as one of the area’s premier family law attorneys from Superlawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and other legal rating services.
As skilled child support attorneys, the Twyford Seattle law team possesses extensive experience with child support issues.
When you hire our Seattle child support lawyers, you can rely on us to:
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with a seasoned child support attorney in Seattle, WA. We are dedicated to helping you get the best result for your family.
During a divorce proceeding where children are involved, Washington family courts will generally determine child support obligations. This support is typically paid to the custodial parent.
The custodial parent is the parent with primary physical custody, though other factors come into play in determining child support recipients and amounts.
Child support obligations generally end once a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. In addition, support payments may cease if your child is emancipated before their 18th birthday or if either parent dies.
Child support obligations are enforced by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Child Support (DCS). Depending on the court’s order, you may have to send your payments through DSHS instead of directly to the custodial parent. DSHS also handles wage garnishments for child support.
Child support payments are calculated using Washington State Child Support Guidelines, primarily based on each parent’s net income. However, other factors do come into play.
Additional elements used to calculate child support cases in Seattle include:
A judge might look at other factors when determining child support, like style of living and if the child went to private school, especially if the parents occupy a high-income bracket. If your child has special needs, that can also be a consideration. So, while there may be lower limits set down by law, a judge has the power to adjust those levels for good cause.
If it is shown that parents can work together and it’s in the child’s best interest, judges may grant joint custody. But, even though custody may be shared jointly, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have an even 50-50 split on your child’s time.
In most cases, children of divorced parents reside with one parent to encourage stability in the child’s life. The child then “visits” with the other parent. In this type of joint custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent will be obligated to pay the custodial parent child support.
Parents can encounter several consequences for not paying child support payments in Seattle. If you fail to pay your court-ordered child support as scheduled, you might find yourself in a child support contempt action and face penalties like:
If you fall behind on child support payments made through the court, the court will schedule a hearing to determine why you’re behind and whether the court should hold you in contempt. If you fall behind on payments made directly to the other parent, that parent can petition the court for an order to show cause.
No. A parent cannot deny visitation from the non-custodial paying parent in the event they fail to pay child support. If this happens, contact a child support lawyer to help you work it out. If you take matters into your own hands, you may find yourself facing contempt charges for failing to follow a visitation and custody order.
Reach out to our Seattle child support attorneys to discover your legal options for enforcing child support payments. In some cases, it may be necessary to return to court to enforce the child support obligations.
Depending on your child’s age at the time child support payments are ordered, your child support obligations may last almost two decades. Naturally, your situation may change during that time, so modifying the child support order may be necessary.
If they can prove a substantial change in circumstances that makes them unable to pay the ordered child support, either parent can petition the court for a modification of the child support order. Usually, this change was not foreseeable when the order was first made.
Here are some examples of situations that may lead to a reduction in child support payments:
Generally, a child support modification order will not be changed due to remarriage or voluntary unemployment. Nor would your child choose a costly extracurricular activity. However, you and your co-parent can agree to share the cost of any new costs outside of court.
If you are able to modify a child support order, you must continue making child support payments under the old order until the new order is entered.
Child support modifications are not retroactive past when you filed the petition to modify support with the court. If you have a significant change in circumstances that makes you unable to fulfill your child support obligations, contact our Seattle child support attorneys as soon as possible to discuss a modification to the child support order.
Child support obligations are a serious matter. Our goal is to ensure that those obligations are fair to both you and your children. We have decades of experience helping families with complicated legal matters. Contact us today at (206) 590-7085 for a free consultation with a Seattle child support lawyer.
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