Seattle, WA family law attorney Franni Turean talks about calculating child support and the factors that make certain cases more difficult.
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Calculating child support with the Washington State Support Schedule can be very easy if the party’s finances are incredibly simple and you have a very plain parenting plan. If you have two people, parents who are each W2 employees, then trying to figure out what their income is, what you use as a basis to calculate child support, that’s easy. Where it gets complicated is where someone owns a business, or owns part of a business, or receives income from a number of different sources. If there are stock options or other compensation besides just a paycheck, then it’s a little more complicated to figure out what is a parent’s income?
Once you’ve figured those two parts out, then you look at the parenting plan, and if a parenting plan is one parent has primary care of the child and the other one has every other weekend and what I call Pizza Wednesday, that’s pretty simple. If you have more of a shared parenting plan where the child spends equal amount of time with each parent, that is grounds or a basis for a deviation from the schedule. And a deviation isn’t, there is no formula for it. It’s up to the discretion of the court. So complicated parenting plan, complicated finances, that’s going to make trying to figure out what your child support is a little bit more difficult.