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When paying child support, does the judge look at other financial responsibilities before issuing an amount?

Renton, WA |

Recently, my child support amount was modified. The judge raised it to almost $700 for one child. They have my income a little over $800 more than what I actually make, and I have another child and a mortgage to pay. I wasn't notified about the change until after it happend. Can I contest it due to these situations?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

If you did not receive proper notice of the proceedings then you can contest the new order. You will be able to present documentation of your earnings, but you should know that the court does have authority to impute income to you in certain circumstances. Also, having another child to support can be a factor in the court granting a deviation from the presumptive amount calculated according to the Washington support schedule. Your debts are not a factor unless they qualify as "extraordinary debt not voluntarily incurred." You need to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.

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13 comments

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

Again, your local attorney’s are usually the best source of advice, and their answers should be given the highest regard.

Asker

Posted

Mrs. Brown, why do you always write this after somebody's reply? Does that give you more avvo points? I have found this comment after SO MANY answers. Why don't you take the time to ANSWER some people instead?

Asker

Posted

Sorry, I looked up your profile and you actually DO take the time to answer people also. My bad.

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

No problem, thanks for taking the extra step to follow up your comment :-) The primary reason I make some comments over and over is because they are worth repeating. Many of the questions asked here on Avvo are appropriately responded to with general information that may be true in several jurisdictions. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to remind everyone that specific legal advice should be obtained by direct consultation with an attorney in the same jurisdiction as the problem for which the advice is being sought.

Asker

Posted

You are absolutely right and I have seen now that you are one of the top lawyers on this website. I'm really sorry for my rude comment. It was totally uncalled for. You are truly not one of the people who are doing what I get so upset about!

Asker

Posted

Oh, yes she is! Lawyer from WA, asker from WA. Where is Waldo!!!???

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

As previously noted, I agree with the answers given by the other attorneys however, it is important note that lawyers and judges alike may approach the same law from different viewpoints and reach different conclusions. Thus, I usually recommend consulting directly with an attorney who practices in your local court and who is familiar with the opinions of the judges most likely to consider your issue. Similarly, I believe all the attorneys who answer questions here on Avvo make their best effort to provide accurate and useful information, I always recommend giving priority consideration to the information provided by the attorneys from your state. Good luck!

Asker

Posted

But why do you not approach avvo and ask them to write it to every new asker who enters the site with a question instead? It seems to me that you have taken it upon yourself to "educate" the whole avvo community and it's annoying both to askers hoping for a good comment and especially to other attorneys who feel like "What the heck?! Does she think I'm stupid?!" It sure seems like you paste your comments in just to get avvo points and to be able to see your face after every question asked. Sorry, but I'm tired of seeing your photo everywhere with the same two "cut and paste" comments all the time. When I talk to other people (lawyers or not) about this website, you are always the running joke. Wa ask each other "How many times have you seen Waldo Brown today....?" It's really annoying to a lot of people.

Asker

Posted

"Try to find a lawyer who lives next door to the Judge you are going to get, and tell him to be really nice to that Judge and showel outside his house, bring over banana bread and flowers, surprise him with doing some weeding and on night before the trail, make sure he brings him a big bottle of wine. That way you are consulting directly with an attorney who practices in your local court and who is familiar with the the judge most likely to consider your issue." C'mon, no lawyer is able to predict how all Judges are going to react on a certain day. Please stop your "cut and paste" comments for every attorney.

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

I believe the anonymous poster's suggestion is a good one ("But why do you not approach avvo and ask them to write it to every new asker who enters the site with a question instead? It seems to me that you have taken it upon yourself to 'educate' the whole avvo community..."). Thank you! I will forward it to Avvo and suggest they formulate a similar posting, which may be useful to those askers who view only the answers to their own questions and perhaps would not see the comments that are so familiar to those who take a greater interest in the postings of others :-)

Asker

Posted

Thanks. I really hope you do. I enjoy reading your answers, but I am so annoyed with your "cuts and pastes", since I spend a lot of time on avvo. As to anonymous poster, I would have no problem to post my name, but they don't let you as an asker.

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

I am truly sorry that my comments are personally annoying to you and your colleagues; however, I do not think continued dialogue here on this topic is appropriate or useful to the average Avvo reader who is not so personally invested. I will, as promised, make your suggestion to Avvo (I'm sure Avvo would also welcome your suggestion directly). Also, my contact information is readily available here on Avvo and although I can't say I "welcome" it, I encourage you to vent your frustrations to me directly in the future.

Asker

Posted

I did. I called your office twice two weeks ago and left my name, number and what it was about. Nobody called back. I am not trying to be rude. I think it would be good for everybody to have the information when they sign up for avvo, but I think it's enough to read it when you enter the webpage and not after every answer. I can certainly call you again, but I would be happy if you would suggest it to avvo.

Posted

It depends on a variety of factors. For a solid answer, you need to bring all of the paperwork in to an attorney who can review them.

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4 comments

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

It is always a good idea to give priority consideration to the information provided by your state's attorneys as they are most often the best source of up-to-date information on local law.

Asker

Posted

Look at the comment above!

Asker

Posted

I found Waldo Brown again!

Asker

Posted

She is from WA and perhaps she lives next door to the Judge!

Posted

Yes, the judge should look at other financial responsibilities if the law is being applied correctly. For a further detailed explanation please read Fathers’ Rights (Basic Books) and visit www.dadsrights.com.

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1 comment

Mark L. Alexander

Mark L. Alexander

Posted

Perhaps this statement is true in Illinois, but it is not in Washington, except for the limited point raised in the next-to-last sentence of the first post.

Posted

Although judges have great discretion in their rulings, in general child support is governed by RCW 26.19 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.19). You can also read relevant cases on the MRSC website.

[In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.]

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