By: McKinley Irvin
Depending upon a child's age, an order of child support can be in place for fifteen to eighteen years. If you think about how things can change over that many years, it seems that modifying the Order of Child Support is likely to happen. A Seattle divorce attorney can bring an action for modification of a Washington State child support order under a variety of circumstances. Often, a child support order is explicit about when the order can be modified. However, without such language, an order may be modified when a substantial change of circumstances has occurred with one of the parties. The phrase "substantial change of circumstances" is a term of legal art, and should be explained by your Seattle Divorce Attorney . If your order does not contain language regarding modification, consult a Seattle divorce attorney to see if modification can be petitioned for otherwise. In setting the standards for child support modification, Washington State family law must consider a child's interest in consistent, substantial support with a parent's ability to pay. Washington child support orders are just like any other court order: the obligor (paying parent) must abide by the order's terms until it has been modified or dismissed by competent court. But, cases of unemployment, layoffs, and injuries are some of the circumstances in which a Seattle Divorce Attorney may help a paying parent with a modification action. Child support modifications may occur without a substantial change of circumstances every twenty-four months. Again, the public policy of family law is that children should receive consistent and predictable support from their parents. It is unfortunate that some parents do not abide by support orders, forcing Seattle divorce attorneys to spend a lot of time in court getting their client's orders enforced. However, the truth is that when circumstances become drastic through layoffs, disabilities, dismissals, or incarceration, it may be impossible for a parent to provide support. In such cases, it is better to modify an order rather than let a person who cannot pay accumulate a back support debt. If you have questions about a child support order because of a change in income or circumstances, contact a Seattle Divorce Attorney at McKinley Irvin today. Our Seattle divorce attorneys have represented hundreds of clients in modification cases, and can answer some questions for you on your case.
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