If you are going through a divorce that addresses child support or are facing another child support issue, the ramifications of the final orders you receive can significantly affect you and your children’s financial future. This means that getting it right is imperative. If you’re facing a legal issue that relates to child support, including child support modification, don’t leave this important matter to chance. Instead, work closely with a dedicated child support lawyer in Bellevue .
Child Support in the State of WA
In WA, both parents are legally required to contribute to the financial support of their children to adulthood, and child support is the legal tool that is used to help keep this financial support balanced between both parents. Child support is based on state calculation methods, but the court ultimately has discretion in the matter. While the parent with the visitation schedule generally pays child support to the parent with whom the children live the majority of the time (to help offset the cost of raising and providing for their shared children on a daily basis), even if the children live with both parents equally, child support usually still plays a role. This is because child support is calculated in relation to each parent’s income, each parent’s ability to pay, and many other important considerations – all of which are viewed in light of the children’s best interests. Typically, a parent with a significantly higher income will pay child support to the other parent to help keep things more financially equitable in both households (regardless of whether the paying parent shares custody equally).
Basic Child Support Guidelines in Bellevue, WA
In WA, the amount the obligor (the parent who pays child support) will owe is based on a fairly straightforward calculation process that includes the following:
- Child support is based on the paying parent’s net income, which is his or her total monthly income minus taxes, union dues withheld from pay, and withheld health insurance expenses for his or her children.
- The percentage of monthly income paid by the obligor is based on net earnings that don’t exceed $9,200 per month (this amount is recalculated every 6 years).
- The obligor is required to pay 20 percent of his or her monthly net income in child support for one child plus an additional 5 percent for every child thereafter (up to 40 percent for 5 children). If the obligor is paying for six or more children, the amount can’t be less than it would be for five children.
- If the obligor is already paying child support for another child or children (born of a different relationship), it can decrease the amount paid in the current case.
These guidelines are fairly straightforward. if you have a child support issue, however, it is important to realize that these are guidelines and that your final child support order may deviate from them.
How the Court Uses Its Discretion
The court uses the child support guidelines as a guide. Sometimes, it sticks closely to the calculations within, and sometimes it uses its considerable discretion to render child support orders that better align with the best interests of the children, which is always the court’s motivation. The court can use any factors it considers relevant in its determination process regarding child support, including the following:
- The children’s ages and unique needs
- Each parent’s ability to contribute to their children’s support
- The amount of possession each parent has with the children
- The total financial resources available for the children’s support
- The cost of the children’s outside care
- The cost of any special or extraordinary education the child receives
- The cost of the children’s health care (beyond what’s already covered by insurance)
These factors and many more like them can significantly affect the outcome of your child support case. The one constant when it comes to child support cases is that they’re all complicated, which is why you owe it to your case and to your children’s well-being to have a dedicated Bellevue child support attorney on your side.
It’s Time to Consult with a Knowledgeable Child Support Lawyer in Bellevue, WA
Child support directly affects your ability to provide for your children in the best way possible, and this makes issues related to child support exceptionally important. A formidable Bellevue child support lawyer at Aberdeen Family Law are committed to skillfully advocating for you and your children’s rights in pursuit of the child support to which you are entitled. We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 206-790-6430 today.