Washington D.C. Child Support Lawyer Assists Parents
One of the most important aspects of a separation or divorce between parents is the establishment of appropriate child support terms. Joel W. Anders has been representing clients in child support cases for more than 40 years in the Washington, D.C. and surrounding Maryland communities. We provide dedicated and aggressive representation to our clients in child support cases, focusing on protecting the best interests of the child with a sound agreement that averts future problems.
How is basic child support determined in Washington, D.C.?
Like many jurisdictions throughout the United States, Washington D.C. uses the income shares model for determining the basic child support obligation. The first step in the process is to determine each parent’s net income. The court takes all sources of income and subtracts allowable deductions to obtain the net income. The court then adds the two net incomes together to determine the total parental income. The court applies the guidelines to this amount, along with the number of children to be supported, to determine the amount both parents together would spend each month raising their children. That total amount is apportioned according to the relative income of the parents and how much time children spend in each home under the child custody arrangement.
Firm advises on situations that require parties to go beyond basic child support
Affluent parents in the D.C. Metro area can expect to spend more that the basic amount raising their children. Expenses such as private school tuition, music lessons, sports travel teams, summer camp and other items are common. Children might also have special needs that incur higher costs. Usually, the family law court will encourage a resolution that allows children to enjoy the same standard of living they’d have had if the parents had remained together. So, if a child was attending private school prior to the divorce (or even if there was only an expectation of private school when the child reached the appropriate age), the court will usually enforce payment for the tuition.
Skillful counselor explains modifications of child support orders in Washington, D.C.
Often after a divorce, the circumstances for one or both ex-spouses may change, leading to the need for modification of a child support agreement. Changes that could justify court-approved modification include:
- Loss of a job
- Income changes, for better or for worse
- Changes in a child's educational or health needs
- Changes in the child custody arrangement
Parents sometimes make the mistake of agreeing informally to changes in support payments. This seems all very amicable until it’s not. As long as the old court order is in force, those are the amounts owed, and a recipient parent can go to court at any time and demand enforcement of that order, despite having agreed to settle for less. Suddenly, the parent who relied on the other’s representation finds themselves in a bad position. For a paying parent, this could mean enforcement measures, such as the seizure of bank assets or garnishment of wages. For this reason, you should always go to court to get a formal modification of your support order.
Contact a reputable Washington, D.C. lawyer for a free child support consultation
Joel W. Anders helps clients in the D.C. Metro area obtain fair child support orders during and after divorce. To discuss how we can help with your child support matter, contact us online or call our office at 202-466-4334. We have offices convenient via Metro service in Washington D.C. and Bethesda, Maryland.