Tacoma child support attorneys

Calculating child support? Count on the professionals.

Calculating child support can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be painful or unfair.

The issue of child support arises in nearly every case involving children. Washington State law requires that child support be set in all cases that involve the residential placement of a child. A consultation with a Tacoma child support attorney at Helland Law Group can help guide you toward the best and fairest result possible.

Expertise in Fair Child Support

Our Tacoma child support attorneys are experienced at advocating for a fair level of child support. We can educate you on the statutory formula used to set the level of child support and inform you of the documentation you will need to obtain.

How does calculating child support work?

Calculating child support is largely determined by the net incomes of the parties. Determining what is “income” and how to calculate income — especially in the case of a self-employed or unemployed individual — can be challenging.

In addition, if your child has special needs or “extraordinary expenses” like special sports programs, music, travel costs, need for child care, etc., you may be entitled to receive child support beyond the basic obligation.

Challenges in Determining Fair Child Support

Our Tacoma child support lawyers have experience and knowledge regarding effectively calculating child support so that a fair result is obtained — even in the most challenging of circumstances.

We handle cases where:

  • Incomes are hidden
  • Financial matters are complicated
  • Or where extraordinary expenses are involved

We would be happy to offer you a consultation so that we can discuss your particular situation. Calculating fair child support is important to your children and to you. Let a skilled Tacoma child support attorney at our office help you get a child support rate that makes sure parental obligations are met without putting you or the other party at an undue disadvantage.

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Questions about Child Support? Ask Slater.

How do I get child support?▾

Nothing is more important than taking care of your pups...er, I mean...children. So how does child support work? Child support is often paid from one parent to the parent who is providing most of the support for the child. Parents that are married and separated, divorced, or never married and separated, are eligible for child support. To receive child support you must ask the court or Division of Child Support to establish child support.

How is child support determined?▾

Child support in Washington is determined on statutory factors established by the legislature. Basically, that means that state law will have a big influence on how child support will be calculated for your family. It is mostly a mathematical computation taking both parties incomes into consideration.

Do I have to pay child support if we have a 50/50 parenting plan? ▾

Most likely, yes. Child support is mandatory in the state of Washington. However, a court may give a downward deviation ― that’s lawyer talk for a reduction ― in support based upon certain factors, including the number of overnight visits each parent has under the plan. Therefore, under a true 50/50 plan, it may either drastically reduce or cancel out child support transfer payments, but this is determined on the individual facts of your case.

What if my spouse doesn’t work? ▾

If your spouse does not work, the court may “impute” ― give income to them ― based upon past earnings history, minimum wage, or earning potential based upon age and sex.

What is included in child support? ▾

Child support covers the basic needs of the child. It goes towards basic things like food, clothing, school supplies, etc. Child support usually also addresses unique factors, things like: special education, sports, long-distance transportation, daycare, post-secondary education, and healthcare. I would suggest talking to a Tacoma child support attorney at our office to make sure that you negotiate child support that will cover your child’s actual needs.

How do I collect child support? ▾

Child support is usually either paid directly to the parent receiving support or collected through the Division of Child Support.

What if the other parent refuses to pay child support? ▾

I hate to speak ill of my species, but some parents can be real “dogs.” If you are entitled to receive child support, and the other spouse refuses to pay, there are remedies available to you. First, the Division of Child Support may initiate proceedings to collect the support through garnishment of wages or suspending driver’s licenses, or other benefits. Second, you may be able to get relief through the court system by way of a “contempt proceeding,” at which time the court has the ability to enter a judgment, award attorney’s fees, levy financial penalties, and incarcerate a non-paying parent.

Can my child support be changed? ▾

Yes, child support may be modified ***link***. Usually, a party can request that support be modified after two years based upon changes of income, or sooner than two years, based upon substantial unforeseen changes. It is best to talk to a Tacoma child support attorney at our offices to determine if it is in your best interest to modify your support obligation. For more, check out our child support modification page. ***link***