The legal parents of children have an obligation to pay child support to whoever has custody, or primary care. In establishing child support, the court applies three main variables—the parties’ incomes, the number of children, and the children’s ages—to a set formula, resulting in a “standard monthly transfer amount.” As the name implies, the standard monthly transfer amount is the dollar figure most obligor parents end up paying in child support.
At first blush, establishing child support seems fairly cut and dry—it merely involves applying known numbers to a formula. Unfortunately, that tends not to be the case.
Parties commonly argue over the calculation of their incomes. The following are examples of frequently disputed issues involving income calculations:
- A party’s income varies from month to month due to commission, overtime, bonuses, cutbacks, or fluctuating business profits.
- A parent works a second job and claims he or she cannot keep up the extra hours.
- A party does not work fulltime even though he or she could.
- A party voluntarily watches his or her children instead of working.
- A party attends school instead of working.
- A party claims a disability prevents him or her from working.
- A party claims certain funds should not be counted towards his or income because the revenue stream is likely to end in the very near future.
- A party claims income should not be counted because of its statutorily protected treatment (such as certain types of disability reimbursement).
- A party lies about his or her income.
- A party receives unaccounted “under-the-table” income, as is common for builders and wait staff.
Parties also frequently argue over discretionary “deviations” from the standard monthly transfer amount. Potential reasons for deviation include:
- The necessity to support children from other relationships.
- The child(ren)’s significant residential time with the obligor parent.
- The obligor parent’s pre-existing debts.
- The obligee’s (child support recipient’s) possession of wealth.
At Genesis, we have experience with all these child support nuances and more, and cost-saving technologies allow us to address child support issues economically yet without sacrificing attorney work quality. Contact Genesis to speak with a Snohomish County child support lawyer located in downtown Everett, just a few blocks from the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse. Interpreters available upon request, including free Mandarin Chinese interpretation.