When parents in Washington decide to divorce, child custody can be one of the most emotionally painful and logistically difficult issues. Both mothers and fathers often lament that they receive unfair treatment in family court on child custody issues. That's why the process often leads to a great deal of bitterness. This can be especially troubling when both parents will need to work together for years in the future for parenting issues related to the children.
It can be difficult for parents to deal with the responsibilities of full-time work and child-raising, and these pressures can also come to the forefront in child custody cases. It can be particularly drawn-out when the two sides are unable to reach an agreement about key principles about how custody will be handled, leaving the court to make a decision. Decisions about child custody and support can be particularly problematic when parents go through significant life changes after the initial order was established.
For example, a parent who had a high income but loses his or her job may be unable to pay child support obligations. If these parents do not take action and file for a modification, they could find themselves facing serious penalties for violating a court order and going deep into debt for child support they can no longer pay. When such situations seem possible, it can be helpful to pay at least part of the existing child support obligation.
A family law attorney can work with a divorcing parent to reach a fair resolution on issues like child custody and support. Even years after the divorce, a lawyer can help a parent to seek a child support modification to reflect changed circumstances and avoid significant penalties.