Child Support Lawyer Spokane
Child support payments promote your child’s well-being by ensuring they have what they need for a protected and stable environment. It’s an essential part of their young development, and the Spokane court system enforces these payments for the child’s best interests. Whether you’re giving or receiving payments, the attorneys at Skyview Law LLC help ensure that court-ordered child support payments are on time. We offer a number of services that can help you, from modifying a custody agreement to seeking late child support payments.
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Your Trusted Child Support Lawyer in Spokane
Divorce greatly impacts the lives of children, but it’s possible to put your child’s interests first. Many things change during a divorce, such as living arrangements, education, and social life. Creating a functional child support agreement is the best way to ensure that your child is supported and that they have room to grow and find success.
The family law attorneys at Skyview Law LLC will help you craft a child custody agreement that works for everyone and puts your child’s well-being at the forefront. We can also help you modify any existing custody agreement as well as seek child support payments.
Whether you’re looking for a new child support agreement or a modification, we offer help with this major life change. Our attorneys are empathetic, understanding, and experienced—we work out the challenging details and help you and your ex-spouse reach mutual agreements.
Remember, you don’t have to go it alone. We specialize in helping families just like you across Spokane, and you shouldn’t feel as though you’re losing your children or your rights. Your life is immensely stressful right now, and we understand what you’re facing. Ensure this transition doesn’t come with unnecessary frustrations and headaches by calling a child custody lawyer at Skyview Law.
Areas we serve
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How Skyview Law Can Help You
Skyview Law handles family law in Spokane and offers expertise relevant to your family’s situation. Skyview Law helps clients prepare and understand paperwork, provides support in the courtroom, and navigate challenging legal scenarios. Having competent legal aid can also increase the chance of positive outcomes in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Child support attorneys specialize in structuring child support payments, clarifying child support orders, determining the terms of child support, implementing and enforcing custody agreements, and organizing visitation periods. Child support lawyers negotiate for their client and offer support.
On average, a child support attorney charges between $250 and $500 per hour. In uncontested cases, total costs will be somewhere between $2,500 and $5,000, but contested cases can be much more expensive, sometimes totaling $25,000 or more.
In Washington State, child support is calculated via the combined total income of both parents. The total amount is divided between both parents based on their individual contributions to the combined total income. This is calculated as a percentage, determined by the courts on which parents (or both) have to pay.
In Washington State, you can file a motion with the court to adjust your child support order. You can file these petitions online, using several options such as the personal interview program or Washington Forms Online. When you complete the child support and financial info, you can finalize any modification to your child support order pending the input of the courts.
If you are a stepparent, you are legally obligated in Washington State to help support any stepchildren living in your household, including financially. This obligation typically ends when the parents divorce, as child support payments are the sole responsibility of the biological parents. There are always exceptions, such as if you’ve adopted the children, which would require you to continue making child support payments.
Many stepparents continue their relationships with their stepchildren even after a divorce, regardless of a legal agreement, because of the emotional caring bonds they have fostered over the years. It’s normal for a stepparent and stepchild to spend more time with each other after divorce or even extend their emotional bond. Even if a stepparent is no longer legally required to pay child support, there might be lingering familial emotions between the parent and child.
All child support orders in Washington state are legal obligations enforced by the court. Any parent with outstanding child support debt or obligations can be held within contempt of court, fined, or face jail time. Their driver’s license could be revoked, as well as other professional licenses. States can report missed or late payments via consumer reporting agencies, and missing child support payments might make future payments more expensive.
Any parent with trouble making payments can go back to court and seek a modification of their child support order. Only a judge can agree to the modification and change the amount owed. There is also a court fees payment to consider, and the entire process is made easier by consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
When child support payments are late, typically the easiest method to recover them is to speak with the other parent and reach an amicable solution. Depending on your situation it might not be possible to contact the other parent, and the DCS is required to provide free child support enforcement in Washington State. There is a grace period for late payments, but after that period has ended the DCS will attempt to collect the child support through wage garnishment or other means. Wage garnishment is court-ordered debt collection, meaning they will take money directly from the non-custodial parent’s paychecks to satisfy the amount owed. DCS can also seek restitution via tax refund interception, property liens, contempt of court, revoking licenses, and more.
The length of time to get child support is based on several factors. Child support payments might come through within the first month of the DCS taking action, but the process can be lengthened if there is no child support order, if there are no assets, if the parent doesn’t have the money, or if the parent lives in another state.
When you win a child support case, this does not always mean you will receive the payments immediately. This also depends on a number of factors that must be resolved with the non-custodial parent.
Children can express their desire to live with a parent at any age, but there are legal considerations depending on their age.
Before The Child Is 18
A child can express their desire for where they wish to live during the custody proceedings, but that doesn’t mean the judge will follow through with the child’s wishes (depending on a number of factors). The older the child, the more the judge might consider what they want. Washington statutes governing custody law say that there is no established age before the age of 18 where a child can make their own unilateral decision about which parent to live with.
In most cases, the judge will provide a social worker or guardian to work with the child and discover the child’s preferences and which parent is best for them. This allows the child to avoid testifying in front of both parents and gives the courts a general idea about the relationship with each parent and the living situations as a whole. This report gathers up information such as emotional and mental health, financial stability, housing, school location, environment, and more to decide which residence is appropriate for the child and their upbringing.
After Age 18
When the child turns 18, they are no longer legally a child and can choose whomever they wish to live with. At the point of adulthood, they can legally choose where they live. Also, if the child is emancipated before the age of 18, they can choose their home. This scenario is uncommon and comes with a number of factors.
Before the child turns 18, both the state and the court do not believe that minors can make fully informed decisions as to where they wish to reside. The age of the majority is the only age where they can properly make that decision, but the courts and the judge will consider all factors present when it comes to the child’s wishes.