Child Support Lawyer in Washington State
Typically, Washington state courts order non-custodial parents to provide child support to the custodial parent, because the court assumes the custodial parent—who spends the most time with the child—will provide direct support for the child.
You’ll find an experienced child support lawyer in Washington state at LaCoste Law, where we understand the complexities of child support, and we’re here to help guide you through the process. We listen to your case and provide a custom-tailored solution to protect your rights.
Frequently Asked Child Support Questions
Do you have to be married to get child support?
No. Parents have a legal responsibility to care for and support their children, regardless of their marital status.
If I’m ordered to pay child support, how long will I have to pay it?
You must pay child support until your child turns 18 or graduates high school. Under some circumstances, the court can mandate that you also contribute to college expenses. The court may also order you to pay child support beyond the age of 18 if your child is disabled or otherwise medically dependent on their custodial parent.
Will the other parent be required to show how they are spending child support payments?
No. The parent receiving child support is not legally required to tell the parent who pays child support how they spend the payments.
However, in certain circumstances, there may be language in a Washington State child support agreement that states that the custodial parent may be required to prove child support payments that were used to support the child. If you receive child support payments, ask a family attorney in Washington State about any recordkeeping recommendations.
What if my spouse chooses not to work?
A capable parent cannot choose not to work to get out of paying child support. Your child support lawyer in Washington State can ask the court to set child support based on “imputed” income, which is determined by past work history and potential earning ability.
What if my spouse purposely leaves a high paying job for a low paying job to decrease child support payments?
The court will see this as voluntary underemployment and consider their income based on the income they were capable of making.
What if my spouse doesn’t comply with the child support order?
Washington State back child support laws allow the state to charge interest on past due child support payments. And a parent who fails to pay court ordered child support is in contempt of court. Washington State back child support laws dictate that the state can legally pursue your spouse for late support payments up to 10 years after the child turns 18.
Do you need a child support lawyer in Washington State?
Whether you need a child support lawyer depends on where you are in the legal process. While you should absolutely have a lawyer during the process of determining child support, you may not need a lawyer to help with enforcement. Many people do hire lawyers to represent them if they have to go back to court because their ex stopped obeying the child support order.
Your spouse is legally obligated to pay child support. Failing to comply with a court order is contempt of court and punishable by fines or even jail time.
Determining child support can be a complex and time-consuming process. Whether you are the custodial and noncustodial parent, you can benefit from speaking to an experienced child support lawyer in Washington, focusing around the areas of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, WA.