Child Support Legal Counsel.
As child support attorneys serving Kennewick and the Tri-Cities, we deal in child support issues on a regular basis. Below is what is entailed in a typical child support scenario.
Along with any child custody orders, the court will require an Order of Child Support to be entered to provide financial support for the minor children. Because this issue involves the parties’ finances, the parties will be required to produce their last 2 year’s tax returns and written verification of their last 6 months of income. The parties’ income figures are then used to generate the Child Support Worksheets. Although, theoretically, this can be done manually, that is very hard to do (especially to do it correctly). We have the FamilySoft® software, which is continually updated by the manufacturer, to accomplish the task. The Child Support Worksheets will identify the monthly amount of child support that the visiting parent will be required to pay to the primary residential parent for the financial support of the children. Then, the court will enter its Order of Child Support reflecting that monthly child support obligation.
The Order of Child Support will also address other related issues. For example, it will specify when the visiting parent’s child support obligation will end; that is typically “when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later.” Also, the Order of Child Support will specify, for the future years, which parent will be able to claim which children for the dependent exemption on their tax returns. Also, it will require the parents to provide medical insurance, where available – and pay a specified portion of uncovered medical expenses – for the children. It will also specify how (and by when) either parent can have the issue of “post-secondary educational support” addressed by the court with respect to a child. Post-secondary education support refers to the parents’ obligations to financially assist their child with trade school or college expenses, even after the child no longer is a minor.
Child support is vital to achieving financial stability for your children as you go forward in life after a divorce or separation. Proper child support contributes to your child’s health and education and can contribute to a sense of stability for your children post-divorce or separation. Most people understand child support as financial support of children – and that’s true – but child support also plays a significant role in making sure that children have a similar experience of stability in each home in which they spend time.
While there are many factors that family law courts take into consideration to determine child support, child support calculations include:
- The income of both parents
- The time children spend with each parent, and whether that parent is a custodial or noncustodial parent
- Various other factors, including health care expenses, childcare expenses, mandatory fees, and other deductions
Child support cases can range in their complexity depending on circumstances. If you are working through a child support case, it is important that you retain experienced, compassionate counsel to advocate for you and your loved ones’ rights and wellbeing. We would be happy to help you understand your options.