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November 2016 Archives

What may a Washington court consider when awarding alimony?

While many issues that come up in the end of a marriage can cause contention, perhaps one of the first and foremost is the issue of spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony. On one hand, one party may truly be in the need of maintenance, at least for a while, especially if he or she earns significantly less than his or her ex, or if he or she stayed out of the workforce altogether to care for the family. On the other hand, the party being asked to pay alimony may feel that the amount due is unfair. Either way, it can help to understand how a Washington court goes about determining whether to award alimony after a divorce, and if so, how much.

How to establish paternity for child support purposes

In order for a child support order in Washington to be made, the biological father of the child must be identified. Of course, if a couple is married before the child was born, it will be presumed that the husband is the biological father of the child for legal purposes. Similarly, if the child's mother was in a registered domestic partnership while pregnant, that will also constitute a presumption of parentage. However, how can paternity be established if the child's parents are not married or in a domestic partnership?

Making sure a child support award is fair and appropriate

Parents in Washington who have ended their relationship with one another may have many concerns. First and foremost, they may be concerned about the well-being of their child. They will want to see that their child gets through the divorce or break-up as well as is possible. They may be concerned with how much parenting time they will have with their child. Finally, they may be concerned about child support, wanting to see that a fair amount is set.

Washington courts may impute income in child support cases

Even when a child's parents are no longer in a relationship with one another, they still must contribute financially to raising the child. This is why, in general, the noncustodial parent will be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. Some noncustodial parents may not like this obligation, and some may even try to shirk this duty by purposely being unemployed or underemployed. However, doing so will not get them out of their child support obligation.

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