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Mark L. Alexander

Mark Alexander’s Answers

656 total

  • Does the Department of Child Support have the right to submit my claim to collections when payment arrangements have been made?

    It has only been 4 months that I unfortunatly fell behind due to loss of job. Each month I have been in contact with the eforcement officer giving complete details of my situation and have paid what I could each month but still I was unable to kee...

    Mark’s Answer

    I totally agree with Mr. Couture's response. In addition, it's hard to understand why you wouldn't be able to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return, if allowed to by your child support order, and it's not conditioned on your being current in support. Just be sure that your support order is clear as to which year you can claim. Many merely say something like "father can claim the child in even years." That raises the question of whether even "tax years" or even "calendar years" was intended. To eliminate such ambiguity, the language would ideally say father can claim the child for even tax years, filed in odd calendar years.

    Absent that, you should probably look at the parties' practice: who claimed the child on the 2013 tax return? That is a good indication that the parties intended that the other parent claims him/her on last year's return.

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  • My ex and I parent under a CR2A due to my 2 day relapse in July 2012. I Ehave weekly random UA'. Each monthly report has been

    My ex and I parent under a CR2A due to my 2 day relapse in July 2012. I Ehave weekly random UA'. Each monthly report has been great. NO PROBLEMS! I had a surgery in July to remove 2 lymph nodes. This is the only report that has everything ok...

    Mark’s Answer

    Not if you can document that the only "lapse" wasn't a violation at all, because hydrocodone is a prescription drug. It shouldn't even go to a hearing. If it did, I would ask for the other side to be responsible for your legal fees.

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  • Appearance at agreed child support modification?

    Is anyone required to appear in court at an agreed child support modification hearing? Both, petitioner, respondent, neither?

    Mark’s Answer

    At least the moving party needs to appear: the person who asked for the modification. Otherwise, it will be dismissed.

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  • Can child support take my student loan money in wash. state,and can they take my work study program money?

    I owe 13000

    Mark’s Answer

    Probably. When the state looks to collect for back child support, they look for accounts in your name. They can't tell the source of those funds, nor would it likely matter if they could.

    The courts' attitude is basically that supporting your child is not optional; going to school is optional.

    That being said, there are limits on how much of your income the state can take. See the Limitations Standards, at page 3 of the Washington State Child Support Schedule Definitions and Standards. Online you can find that document at:
    Then scroll down to Domestic Relations Forms, where it's under Child Support Schedule/Worksheets.

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  • Can I get child support for my son is his father collects SSI?

    I do get help from state but now that I'm working my cash benefits are being cut off. I only work part time and I need help with my son. his father was around for a few months but says that I am ruining his relationship and that he no longer wants...

    Mark’s Answer

    Yes, the state's Division of Child Support would probably be glad to prepare most of the paperwork needed for entry of an administrative child support order, and to collect it. And it's free!

    Here is the online link: Then click on Apply for Child Support Services.

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  • What is the recourse for a college student if a parent ignores the court ordered post secondary support order in WA state?

    Our daughter is a sophomore in college and doing well. Her father has consistently defaulted on his obligation to pay for agreed upon post secondary support. Her registration is being held up for non payment. His obligation is very reasonable as ...

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answers, and also want to suggest contacting the State's Division of Child Support to explore their collecting the amounts due from him. They might make you first go to court to get a judgment entered against him for a specific amount (because you advanced the amount he was previously ordered to pay), but ask first.

    In addition, be sure that you can document your request that he pay the specific amounts. If all you have is his verbal refusals, your case is weaker.

    Finally, I'm not clear what your followup question meant by asking if the child's portion could be eliminated. If the existing order says the child bears a specific share, you would have to show a material change in circumstances to warrant its modification. In my experience, if asked the court usually will require the child to bear a portion of the cost of their own education - whether that is met through scholarships, grants, loans, or work.

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  • Do WA courts find in favor of the child, in motions for parents to assist with college costs, if financially able?

    I have a provision to petition for a child support modification for college costs. I want to propose that each parent and the child contribute 1/3 of tuition for my children to go to college. I will also use an average in-state tuition rate at o...

    Mark’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If the children are still minors (or, arguably, dependent), and most of the statutory factors indicate that postsecondary educational expenses should be furnished, in most cases the court will order both parents to contribute for (usually) 4 years if the child remains pursuing their degree and in good academic standing.

    Note that the 1/3 each usually is not what the court would order if it was left for the judge to decide. In my experience, the child usually does have to bear some share (through grants, scholarships, loans, or work) but the remainder is normally divided between the parents in proportion to their incomes. See Marriage of Daubert, 124 Wn. App. 483 at p. 505. Assuming that you are the mother and earn less than the father, he should jump at the offer to pay only 1/3.

    However, this conclusion might be affected by the language in your current support order. If it already makes provision about college, you would probably have to show a material change in circumstances.

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  • I recieved a Petion FOr Divorce from My wife. It is not from the court or does it have a summons attached.

    I wanted to call and see if we can work out some of the points we disagree on. If I do that does it count as being served and being acknowledged by me? Server in Washington and respondent out of state.

    Mark’s Answer

    There is little reason to try to avoid service. Being served doesn't mean you agree with the relief requested. You may want to sign an Acceptance of Service, rather than make her have you served by a sheriff's deputy or process server.

    If you never lived in Washington, you might want to object to the court making any orders affecting you financially. If so, you should discuss "personal jurisdiction" with an experienced family law attorney.

    If you disagree with anything in the petition, DON'T sign the Joinder (which often appears at the end of the petition.) When the action is filed and you have the case number (and case schedule, if in King County), you should file a written Response to the petition, admitting or denying each numbered paragraph of the petition. Since you are out of state, do that within 60 days after receiving the petition (you are also supposed to receive a summons, but it can be found online at Then work out the details of the final orders; there will be several months to do so.

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  • How much $ do I keep giving when she's drained every penny in savings?!

    1. if I ran a , operated, and managed a co 95% of the time, and we separated, is the income considered half hers even after separation? 2.House lose value, but spouse wants to force me to sell it it so she can get a small proceed from it, howeve...

    Mark’s Answer

    1. There is a difference between the business as an asset (it may well be community property), and your income from it. Under RCW 26.16.140, "When spouses or domestic partners are living separate and apart, their respective earnings and accumulations shall be the separate property of each. . . ." However, calling the income separate property doesn't end the inquiry, because the court can divide separate property (though it usually doesn't), or consider separate property when dividing community property (note: this sentence applies to the asset division, not to the income aspect.)

    2. A court will seldom order sale of a party's residence unless the parties agree. Instead, they tend to order an equalizing payment to the other spouse, taking its equity into account. How that payment is made is wide open: refinance, borrow against retirement, etc.

    3. Spousal maintenance is discretionary with the court, and based primarily on need and ability to pay. Other factors are found in RCW 26.09.090. If the incomes are approximately the same, maintenance ordinarily would not be ordered.

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  • Can a parent move a child from one school to another in the middle of the school year without the consent of the other parent?

    Custody is 50/50 although the teenaged child resides more than 90% with the father. Father has enrolled the child in private school nearby and the mother is trying to move the child to a boarding school 5 hours away. Legal custody is not defined...

    Mark’s Answer

    If there is a court order for alternating week residential time, it sounds as if there must be a parenting plan or residential schedule. If so, what does the Decision Making provisions say about education decisions? I'd guess it says they are a Joint decision. That should answer the question.

    No judge is going to be very sympathetic with unilateral action, especially by a parent who has not in fact exercised the allotted residential time for several months.

    Of course, the specific facts might make a difference in this case. That's why it's best to consult with an experienced local family law attorney, who can better weigh all the facts in light of what has been already ordered.

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