Child Support: Creating An Arrangement That Works

In Washington state, child support is not just an issue that comes up during divorce cases. In any family law case that involves children, the court is required to ensure an appropriate child support arrangement is achieved.

At the law office of Philip R. Shucklin, P.S., in Bellevue, we are prepared to help you establish, modify or enforce child support orders. With over 35 years of legal experience, attorney Philip Shucklin has a deep understanding of the related laws as well as a practical knowledge of how to create child support arrangements that work — meaning they are fair and reasonable.

Has your income or child custody arrangement changed significantly since your child support order was established? Call 425-637-9886 to discuss child support modifications with a lawyer.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Child support is dictated by the Washington state legislature and the support guidelines it creates. In general, child support is based upon the combined net incomes of the parents. The guidelines typically require a 25-33 percent obligation of a parent's monthly net income.

However, child support cases are not always black and white. For example, the very first step of determining a parent's net income can be complicated. Factors such as multiple income sources, business ownership, unemployment or underemployment can require significant study to simply assess net income.

In addition to establishing net income, you may need to consider "extraordinary expenses." These are the unique costs of raising your child, on top of basic things such as food, clothing and housing. Extraordinary expenses can include:

  • Unusual health care costs
  • Extracurricular activity and sports fees
  • Travel
  • Education, including college costs

Understanding College Support

While most court-ordered child support arrangements end when a child graduates from high school, divorced parents can be ordered to pay for college tuition in many cases. This is called "post-secondary educational support."

These court orders can require one or both parents to pay a child's college expenses.

Washington courts tie tuition obligations to in-state tuition, room-and-board fees and other costs of attending the University of Washington and Washington State University.

This is a very complex area of law, and we urge you to contact us to learn more about potential college support obligations in your specific circumstances.

Get Your Child Support Questions Answered. Schedule A Free Consultation.

We invite you to contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your concerns. Call 425-637-9886 or send us an email to reach our firm today. We offer evening and weekend appointments, as well as on-site parking, at our law office in Bellevue.