Washington Child Custody And Child Support Issues

Parents — whether married or not — often struggle to resolve child-related issues when a relationship ends. Child support determinations are complicated when a parent is self-employed or unemployed. Disagreements over custody decisions can easily become heated and grandparents or other relatives may even be involved if the parents struggle with addiction or other problems in parenting.

In any of these situations, seeking the assistance of an experienced lawyer is the best way to protect your interests and find a solution.

Our firm, Gibson & Jarvey, Inc., P.S., has roots in the community that stretch back to 1948. We leverage our combined experience of more than 65 years to help parents in Auburn and across King and Pierce counties resolve family law disputes.

Child Support Calculations And Modifications

Washington uses a child support guideline formula when determining child support awards. It is important to get child support correct, because you will owe it until your child turns 18 (or 19 if attending school full time) or possibly up to age 23 if he or she goes on to college.

A self-employed parent may use a business to minimize income, so we will carefully review the accuracy of the numbers that go into the formula. In other cases, the court will assign phantom income or "impute income" if the judge finds that you or the other parent is underemployed or unemployed.

If you or the other parent has a significant change in circumstances, we can seek a modification of child support. Often a modification is necessary when your child starts college — divorce agreements often reserve questions of how much each parent contributes to post-secondary expenses.

A Workable Custody Arrangement/Parenting Plan

Our attorneys will explain Washington custody laws, so that you know what to expect and can make informed decisions. We can help you negotiate a long-term workable parenting plan that covers:

  • Where your kids will live and with which parent
  • How you will make important decisions together and resolve disputes

Negotiating a parenting plan allows parents to come up with a plan that will work for them. If they are not able to agree, then a judge will decide.

Grandparents' Custody Rights

We also represent family members — grandparents, aunts and uncles — in third-party custody matters when the parents are unable to care for children. Whether contested or uncontested, we can assist your family through the court process.

To schedule a free initial appointment to discuss your child support or child custody questions, please call us at 253-245-1254 or complete our online form.