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Are you facing Sexual Exploitation/ Patronizing Charges?

Last year, the Seattle Police Department’s Vice & High Risk Victims Unit set up a successful sting operation in a Seattle massage parlor. At least 204 men, from all walks of life, were arrested for seeking paid sexual services. Please reference the Seattle Times article from 2016 for more detailed information.

This sting operation was reported to be the first of its kind in Seattle. In prior stings led by the Vice & High Risk Victims Unit, men were arrested and released, receiving a summons in the mail later. The Seattle PD is now pushing mandatory jail bookings when men are arrested for sexual exploitation, and we are aware that SPD remains on high alert for these type of arrests.

We know that being arrested for sexual exploitation may elicit feelings of shame, fear, and uncertainty. If you are facing sexual exploitation charges and feel unsure about how to proceed, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions, help you fight the charges, and advocate your best interests.

“Sexual Exploitation” in Seattle is the same crime as “Patronizing a Prostitute”, as it remains called elsewhere in Washington State. There is no difference in the law behind sexual exploitation vs. patronizing a prostitute, just in the name. The choice to change the name, according to the City Attorney’s Office in 2015, had to do with removing the demeaning connotation of using “prostitute” as a noun. This change was another step in Seattle’s shift to re-focus prostitution efforts on targeting solicitors of sex work and businesses that promote the sex trade.

Sexual Exploitation is a misdemeanor in WA state (RCW 9A.88.110). A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute if:

  • Pursuant to prior understanding, he or she pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third person having engaged in sexual conduct with him or her; or
  • He or she pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her; or
  • He or she solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with him or her in return for a fee.
  • For purposes of this section, “sexual conduct” has the meaning given in RCW 9A.88.030

Patronizing or Sexual Exploitation charges can impact your job, family, criminal record, and even immigration status. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help. If you have any questions about the law or are facing charges of your own, please contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys for a Free Consultation.

What to know about Driving after a DUI Arrest

If you experience the often traumatizing and upsetting event of being charged with a DUI in Washington State, your focus will likely turn to concern about criminal penalties. You will find yourself thinking about jail time, fines, and other potential consequences.

Most people do not realize that there are actually two parts to your DUI case in Washington State: criminal and administrative.

It is common to get caught up with the criminal case and inadvertently neglect the administrative aspect, but if that happens – there are consequences.

Driving after a DUI arrest is in part tied to how you handle the administrative aspect of your DUI case. Please read carefully:

When you are arrested or a DUI in Washington State, the arrest triggers administrative action with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL).

Your license will automatically be suspended if you do not request an administrative hearing. License suspension will occur completely separately from any criminal charges you may face. It is an independent process, and you must request a DOL Hearing in order to challenge the suspension.

*Requesting a hearing:

Your driver’s license will be automatically administratively suspended 60 days from the date of arrest if you do not request a hearing in a timely manner. You will lose your right to a hearing if you do not mail your Washington DOL hearing request form within 20 days of the arrest, or make the request online, including the $375 fee.

Please visit the Washington State DOL website for more information about this process. The website also includes links to requesting the hearing online or downloading the request form.

If you request your administrative hearing within the required timeframe, the DOL will not suspend your license until your hearing is held and a decision is determined.

*Your DOL hearing:

The Department of Licensing website provides tips for how to prepare for your hearing, including information about what to expect and the issues that will be addressed.

Once your hearing is requested, the Washington DOL will inform you of the date and time of your hearing and assign your case to a hearing officer. These administrative hearings occur by telephone and any witness you or your attorney may choose to subpoena will also appear by telephone. The hearing officer will have the police report and will consider circumstances surrounding your arrest in making the determination about whether your driver’s license should be suspended.

The hearing examiner will review the evidence and make a decision about the suspension or revocation of your license. This review may take up to 6 weeks from the date of your hearing and notice of the decision will in writing and mailed to your address of record. If you disagree with the hearing decision and wish to appeal, you may appeal through the Superior Court in the county where you were arrested.

If you win your Washington State DOL hearing, your license suspension will be canceled. If you lose, your license will be suspended. Length of suspension is determined based on your specific case.

Remember that the administrative Department of Licensing action is completely independent and separate from what occurs in DUI court.

*DUI Conviction Penalties/Driving implications:           

In Washington State, license suspension penalties are dependent upon the severity of the DUI and the number of prior offenses. This is entirely separate from the administrative process described above. RCW 46.61.5055 describes the penalties in detail.

In short:

  • If it is your first DUI in 7 years, license suspension may be imposed for anywhere from 90 days to 2 years, dependent BAC test results. You may be ordered to use an ignition interlock device for 1 year.
  • If it is your second DUI offense in 7 years, license suspension may be imposed for anywhere from 2-3 years, depending upon BAC test results. You may be ordered to use an ignition interlock device for 1-5 years.

In addition, SR-22 insurance is required for 3 years from the time your license suspension is lifted. You must have this in place to be able to drive legally. SR-22 demonstrates financial responsibility and acts as proof that you have the minimum insurance coverage required in Washington State. Please see the Washington State Department of Licensing website for details.

*Legal Representation:

Dealing with a suspended driver’s license can be overwhelming and very frustrating. We understand this and want to do everything we can to help you protect your right to drive. Often, people are discouraged by their chances of winning these administrative hearings against the Department of Licensing and don’t put effort into the fight.

Your odds of winning exponentially increase with representation by a qualified DUI attorney.

We highly recommend that you contact an experienced DUI attorney to advise you around your best course of action. These hearings are not hopeless if you have the proper support and representation. We have helped clients win countless hearings with widely varying circumstances. Our DUI law firm does not charge our clients extra to handle these hearings. If we are representing you for your DUI criminal case, the DOL hearing is part of the service we provide.

Please contact us today to discuss your unique situation. We are available for a Free Consultation.

Some Seattle Businesses are Providing Second-Chance Employment for Former Prisoners

We believe in second chances. It is both refreshing and inspiring to see organizations committed to delivering second chances to people who are trying to change their lives.

The Seattle Times highlights a job fair that was held this week in Seattle, aimed at helping people who were formerly incarcerated find employment. MOD Pizza was among the dozen employers represented, as well as Uber, FareStart, and Tom Douglas Restaurants.

The article quotes one woman who was uneasy about her future when she was released from prison. She wasn’t sure if she would be employable and feared falling back into a life of drugs and crime. This is a fear of many people being released from prison who are re-entering society with a criminal record and a big gap in their resume. Companies like those represented at the job fair are essential to provide hope, opportunity, and second chances for people who are trying to make life changes. The woman in the Seattle Times article was quoted as saying her career opportunity at MOD Pizza “absolutely saved my life.”

This job fair was supported by the City of Seattle and Uber and hosted by Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, an organization committed to expanding employment opportunities for people with criminal backgrounds. The job fair was part of a two-day event and included a gathering of business and non-profit leaders interested in providing “second chance employment”. The news article describes the background and origin of Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, started by David Dahl. Dahl was welcomed back to his family bakery business (Dave’s Killer Bread) after serving 15 years in prison for drug, assault, and robbery charges. One third of the employees with Dave’s Killer Bread have a criminal background.

Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation seeks to educate about second chance employment and encourage employers to be part of the solution. Successful reentry of a person being released from prison relies on businesses being open to employing them.

There is a goal of reducing recidivism in Washington State. Currently about 1/3 of the number of people released from prison will return within three years, according to the Seattle Times article. However, reentry plans are lacking essential components and people are not being set up for success.

Real job opportunities, such as those presented at this job fair, could be a missing piece of the puzzle. Opening these doors for formerly incarcerated people could provide hope and opportunity for many, and can literally save lives.

 

Public Defender vs. Private Attorney: What are the differences?

When you are facing criminal charges, determining your legal representation becomes an essential next step. How do you determine whether you should hire a private attorney or use a public defender, if this option is available to you?

You have the right to speak with an attorney before talking to the police and you have the right to legal representation, regardless of ability to pay. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, you may ask the court to appoint a public defender to represent you. The determination of eligibility for a court-appointed public defender is dependent upon income and handled by the local court.

For many people, using a public defender is the only option. There are no viable resources to come up with the funds for a private attorney. For others, it may be challenging but possible to acquire the funds to hire a private attorney, even when eligibility for court-appointed legal representation are met.

Making an informed decision:  What are the differences between a Private Attorney and a Public Defender?

1) Workload and time: Unfortunately, public defenders are often burdened by extremely large caseloads. Facing the frustrations of a heavy workload, they may not have the time to put into your case to manage it the way they would like to. It may be difficult for them to take additional calls and questions and offer the attention and support you seek. This is an aspect of working with a public defender that results in many complaints.

Private attorneys have more autonomy to choose their cases and generally more time available for their clients. If you are looking for an attorney who can have more face time with you and be more available for meetings and calls outside of court and throughout your case, you would be better served by private counsel.

2) Experience: As with any group of professionals, there is a range of experience. Public defenders are licensed attorneys and many are quite skilled and experienced. It is often assumed that a private attorney is more knowledgeable and experienced. This is often the case, but certainly not as a rule. It is important to consider all factors in determining whether to hire a private attorney or opt for the public defender if the choice is available to you.

3) Selection: With private counsel, you can be selective and you should be. You can opt for a consultation and meet the attorney in person before making a decision to hire. You can ask the questions you want to ask and determine if it feels like a good fit for you. This is a major limitation of working with a public defender. You do not get to select your own attorney. A public defender is appointed for you by the court and you do not have a role in the selection process.

4) Restrictions: Public defenders are restricted to criminal matters only. If there is a non-criminal matter associated with your case, you will need to deal with it on your own or seek alternative counsel. For example, if you are using a public defender for a DUI, they cannot handle your DOL hearing. Public defenders are court-appointed and the court may have other rules or restrictions around their usage.

 5) Results: With more time and resources available for private attorneys to attend to their individual clients and their unique needs, it is generally thought that private counsel will achieve superior results. However, a public defender is a very good choice when it is not financially feasible to consider hiring a high-quality private attorney.

Dellino Law Group

If you are facing criminal charges and interested in consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please contact us as soon as possible. Our skilled attorneys are dedicated to obtaining the best possible results for our clients. We will leave no stone unturned from the time of arrest until the end of your case. We are equipped and available to handle any and all criminal matters. Please contact us today for a Free Legal Consultation.

 

JUNE IS LGBT PRIDE MONTH! LGBT FAMILY LAW FOCUS AT DELLINO LAW GROUP

Celebrate Pride!

LGBT Family Law

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, making it a great opportunity to highlight issues surrounding LGBT Family Law.

Dellino Law Group fervently supports marriage and relationship equality. Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, we believe in each family’s right to exceptional legal representation. LGBT family law continues to change rapidly, both federally and in Washington State. We are dedicated to remaining up-to-date and knowledgeable with the evolving nature of the law, and we are proud to serve the LGBT community throughout Seattle and Washington State. The following are just a few of our specialty areas:

Child Custody for Same-Sex Parents:

Same-sex marriage became legal in Washington State in December 2012 and there are no legal differences between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. Along the same vein, child custody considerations should be subject to the same laws for same-sex couples as for opposite-sex couples.

However, many same-sex couples with children have been together for many years prior to December 2012 and/or may not yet have chosen to legally marry. In cases where one partner is the legal parent of the child, custody issues may become challenging if a separation should arise. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the existing laws to potentially establish parental rights based on demonstrating the parent-child relationship and bond, despite legal or biological ties.

There are other child custody issues or disputes that may arise for same-sex parents as well. The family law attorneys at Dellino Law Group understand the unique considerations involved when creating parenting plans for same-sex parents and are skilled and experienced in advocating for the rights of parents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Divorce for Same-Sex Couples:

Once again, since same-sex marriage became legal in Washington State in December 2012there are no legal differences between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. This includes marriages entered into in Washington State as well as in any other state. The only way to dissolve a same-sex marriage in Washington State is through divorce proceedings, just the same as an opposite-sex marriage.

It is advised that you contact an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process of dissolving your marriage. At Dellino Law Group, we have worked with many same-sex couples in dissolving their marriages. We understand that even though the law and procedure may be the same as it is for opposite-sex couples, there could arise complex, unique issues, given that this is still fairly new territory in terms of case law. We are dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your individual case.

Domestic Partnerships:

In 2007, Washington State began allowing same-sex couples to register as domestic partners. Unless dissolved, all of the Washington State domestic partnerships were converted to marriages on June 30, 2014.

For questions or consult about dissolutions of domestic partnerships, conversion to marriage, or registration for domestic partnerships, please contact us for a Free Consultation.

Committed Intimate Relationships:

In Washington State, “common law marriage” does not exist. However, Washington courts do recognize “committed intimate relationships. These relationships were formerly known as “meretricious relationships” and exist when an unmarried couple lives together for a significant period of time. In Washington State, these relationships have property rights similar to those had by married couples. It is critical that you know and understand the implications of living with an intimate partner in Washington so you can plan accordingly. Cohabitation laws apply to all couples meeting legal requirements for committed intimate relationships, including both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Please see our prior blog post for detailed information about committed intimate relationships, your rights, and important factors to consider.

Adoptions:

Many gay and lesbian couples are uneasy about potentially facing discrimination when looking to adopt. Some states do have laws that are less welcoming and even outright discriminating, but Washington is not one of those states. In Washington, same-sex couples have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. Any person who is legally competent and who is at least 18 years old may become an adoptive parent (RCW 26.33.140). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are qualified to adopt, regardless of whether they are single or married. Same-sex couples can adopt jointly and can arrange second-parent adoptions as well. The NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights) defines second-parent adoption as a legal procedure that allows same-sex parents to adopt his or her partner’s biological or adoptive child without terminating the first parent’s legal status as a parent, regardless of whether they have a legally recognized relationship to the other parent. This is also known as a co-parent adoption.

Unfortunately, there is not yet an anti-discrimination law in place preventing birth parents from deciding against individuals or couples based on sexual or gender orientation. If you are a LGBT-identified individual or couple, finding the right adoption match may be challenging. It is especially advised that you work with an experienced attorney through this process. Our family law attorneys are very knowledgeable and experienced in the unique challenges LGBT individuals and couples face when seeking adoption. We are eager to work with you to achieve your goal of welcoming an adopted child into your family.

Legal Representation:

In addition to adoption, custody, and divorce expertise, we are equipped to manage the unique considerations for LGBT-identified individuals or couples who may be seeking:

  • Estate Planning
  • Wills, trusts, and powers of attorney
  • Premarital Agreements
  • Property Division

Please contact us for a Free Consultation to discuss any and all LGBT Family Law issues.

How to have a Safe & DUI-Free Memorial Day

Today we honor and give thanks to those who have served our country and who have died doing so. With gratitude, we remember all who have served.

Memorial Day weekend also symbolically kicks off summer festivities. You may be returning home from your celebration today or setting out for a day in the sun. Either way, it is important to take the necessary steps to keep yourself and those around you safe, especially with extra drivers on the road.

Heavy traffic and anxious drivers out in droves are inevitable, making this a worthy time to remind you of our simple tips for staying safe during holiday driving. Use these tips to maximize the safety of yourself and your passengers, and to decrease the stress of driving this Memorial Day weekend.

Dellino Law Group wishes you an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend and urges you to drive safely.

  • Don’t drink and driveMemorial Day weekend is notorious for BBQs and parties, where alcohol is a common part of the equation. As everyone is out celebrating this weekend, we encourage you to drink responsibly and choose a designated driver. Keep yourself and those around you safe.
  • Make sure the car is readyBe sure your vehicle is properly maintained, in good shape for travel.
  • Map your route out ahead of time when possible. Have a plan and be aware of alternate routes.
  • Buckle upEnsure you and your passengers are properly restrained in seat belts and car safety seats.
  • Have an emergency planHave a cell phone and charger with you so it can be used in case of an emergency. Keep the contact information for emergency roadside assistance handy.
  • Do NOT text while driving and minimize cell phone use in order to keep your full attention on the road. Utilize a hands-free device if you need to use your cell phone.
  • Keep a safe following distanceallowing for ample time to react to the traffic around you. If someone is tailgating you, allow them to pass. Don’t try to compete with impatient and aggressive drivers.
  • Watch your speedDrive to the conditions and don’t drive over the speed limit. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going so you are not in a rush.
  • Remain calm. If you feel stressed or irritable, take some deep breaths and stay calm. Don’t drive with road rage – This compromises the safety of yourself and the people around you.

If you are celebrating today and alcohol is part of the festivities, please review our essential *TIPS FOR AVOIDING A DUI:

  1. Designate a sober driver. If you are the designated driver, don’t drink.
  2. Plan ahead: Save the number of a taxi or rideshare company in your phone so you will always have a backup plan.
  3. Consider using smartphone apps like Lyft or Uber.
  4. If you have been drinking, don’t drive. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, use a rideshare company, or use public transportation to get home safely.
  5. If you know others who are about to drive under the influence, help them make other arrangements to get home safely.

Remember that a DUI is more than just a party foul. You could be looking at driver’s license suspension, large fines, jail time, the long term impacts of a criminal record, and much worse. You do not want your celebration to be overshadowed by tragedy. Driving under the influence of alcohol puts at risk your own life and the lives of others.

*If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI – CALL US.

  • Contact our DUI Law Firm immediately for a FREE CONSULTATION. We are available by phone 24/7. Keep our number in your phone or wallet and insist on calling us. We will advocate for you through this confusing and emotional process and help you reach the best possible outcome.

 

Patrols will be on the lookout for intoxicated boaters starting this weekend! Be aware of BUI law & penalties

It’s that time of year again! The weather is heating up and Washingtonians are ready to get out on the water. This week, the Seattle Times reminds us that police patrols are ready to be on the look-out for intoxicated boaters.

The article describes an increased, targeted effort by law enforcement agencies to crack down on boaters under the influence of drugs or alcohol throughout Washington State. City and county marine patrol units are joined by the state Parks Boating Program and state Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Police to create emphasis patrols, set to begin this weekend.

The special patrols will begin this Memorial Day weekend and run several weekends through August. The article provides more information about locations and dates statewide.

Boaters are encouraged to designate a sober captain, refrain from boating the influence, and keep the waters safe!

What is BUI?

BUI refers to “Boating under the Influence” (RCW 79A.60.040), which is a gross misdemeanor and a significant criminal offense in Washington State. It is important to be aware of the law and potential consequences involved with a BUI conviction.

BUI is similar to DUI in theory, but it is its own charge and is governed by a separate statute (RCW 79A.60.040):

  1. It is unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in a reckless manner.
  2. It is unlawful for a person to operate a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug. A person is considered to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if, within two hours of operating a vessel:
    • The person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
    • The person has a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
    • The person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
    • The person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.

A breath test machine and sobriety tests are generally used in trying to determine the accused’s level of intoxication. A person who operates a vessel in Washington State is deemed to have given consent for testing.

Under state law, boaters suspected of being intoxicated who refuse to comply with taking a breath or blood test face a civil penalty of $2,050.

RCW 79A.60.040 provides more information about how the law incorporates testing and consent.

Penalties:

If convicted of BUI, penalties may include up to 364 days in jail and a maximum $5,000 fine. In addition, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution for any damages or injuries resulting from the offense.

This law applies to all boats, including kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and inflatable fishing rafts.

Legal Representation:

BUI is a significant offense and consequences may include potential jail time and fines. In addition, a conviction results in a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record. If you are charged with BUI, is essential to work with an experienced defense attorney to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Our DUI attorneys at Dellino Law Group are extremely knowledgeable in BUI and DUI law and are committed to each and every unique case. Our attorneys will exhaust all angles and work toward reducing charges to a simple infraction or even complete dismissal when possible. If you are facing BUI or DUI charges, please contact our office as soon as possible for a Free Consultation.

Where are Seattle’s traffic-stop hot spots?

Like most major cities, Seattle has certain areas that see the most traffic tickets.

Seattle PI does us all a favor by highlighting these police “beats” where the most traffic stops appear to occur. Statistics in this article are pulled from Seattle Police Department reports and include traffic violations only.

Some of the areas where SPD made the most traffic stops in recent months include:

  • Admiral area of West Seattle
  • Green Lake
  • The International District
  • Rainier Beach
  • Eastlake
  • Lake City
  • Lower Queen Anne
  • Freelard
  • South Beacon Hill
  • Central District’s south end
  • Downtown core
  • Industrial Area and Georgetown
  • First Hill
  • Sodo
  • Hillman City and Brighton neighborhood
  • North Seattle College area
  • South Park
  • Northwestern West Seattle
  • Pike-Pine area on Capitol Hill
  • Mount Baker area

The article notes how many traffic stops each of these areas have seen in recent months, with Mount Baker by far seeing the most stops. It also provides more detail about the locations where significant traffic stops occur. Be aware of these heavily monitored areas and be safe!

Our Traffic Ticket Services:

If you do receive a traffic ticket, be wise and consult our experienced traffic attorneys before paying it. Our traffic attorneys work aggressively, efficiently, and creatively to defend each unique ticket. It is almost always worth it to fight your ticket and to do whatever you can to keep it off your record. Even ONE traffic ticket on your driving record can potentially increase insurance premiums for 3 years! Whether you receive a speeding ticket, reckless driving, or another moving violation, we are prepared to fight your case. It is our goal to protect your driving record, insurance rates, privilege to drive, and in some cases even your job.

The first step in beating your traffic ticket is to contact our practice. Please contact our traffic attorneys at Dellino Law Group today for a Free Consultation.

Did you get caught up in the May Day protests?

Once again, the Northwest reels in the aftermath of May Day, with a peaceful day of protest erupting in chaos and violence.

What is May Day?

May Day (May 1st) was originally an ancient pagan holiday, a celebration of Spring and the transition to Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Different cultural groups have designed May Day celebrations or rituals in line with their cultures or beliefs (e.g. maypole dancing, daisy crowns).

May 1st is also a labor holiday in many regions worldwide. It was declared “International Workers Day” in 1886 by the International Socialist Conference after violent protests in Haymarket Square in Chicago, during a time when laborers were fighting for fair working conditions internationally. The U.S. celebrates Labor Day in September, but May 1st is a workers’ holiday globally. It is a day that many people around the world, including in the U.S., protest and riot in the name of labor movements and better working conditions.

What happened in Seattle?

Seattle has been known for eruptive and disorderly May Days in recent years. Seattle’s May Day saw less turmoil this year than past years, but there were still arrests and conflict.

Komo and other news sources report at least 5 arrests after May Day protesters and pro-Trump demonstrators faced off at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle. Officers intervened and ordered crowds to disperse in their efforts to control the ensuing fights. Arrests that have been made public include obstruction charges, attempted assault, unlawful possession, misdemeanor theft.

Nearby Olympia, WA and Portland, OR saw heightened chaos and violence with broken storefront windows, street fires set, and police attacked. There were dozens of arrests in Portland and rowdy protests in Olympia saw quite a few arrests as well.

Legal Representation

If you or someone you care about was charged with a crime during May Day or in the aftermath, please consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you are charged with a property crime, trespassing, assault, or obstruction, it is essential that you have skilled legal counsel to advocate for the best possible outcome in your case. Please contact us today for a Free Consultation.

I don’t think I am getting enough child support – what can I do?

If you are concerned that you are not receiving the appropriate amount of child support, we encourage you to:

  • Understand the basics about child support modification law
  • Assess whether anything has changed since the original order. This may include            your child’s needs or the financial status of one or both parents
  • Consult with an experienced family law attorney

 

Child Support Modifications

In Washington State, the law allows parents to petition for a child support modification to accommodate changes in circumstances. The primary Washington State child support modification statute is RCW 26.09.170.

A Washington State child support modification is the legal process by which an Order of Support is adjusted to reflect the current finances of both parents. It is very common that child support orders should require adjustments in order to keep up with the growing needs of the children and to accurately account for the changing circumstances of the parents.

Either parent may petition for a modification as long as the requirements of RCW 26.09.170 are met.

Child support orders that have been in place for less than a year may not be modified unless there is proof of a substantial change in circumstances that can be provided by the petitioner.

Examples of factors that may serve as the basis for a petition to modify a child support obligation include:

  • The age of the child(ren)
  • Changes in income of one or both parents
  • A child wishing to attend college after high school
  • Changes in residential schedule
  • Work-related daycare costs
  • Medical insurance costs
  • Extraordinary medical expenses
  • The number of children in the household

The statute provides for a review and potential adjustment of child support every two years. If 24 months have passed from the date of the entry of the child support order or since the last modification (whichever is latest), the order may be adjusted without a showing of substantially changed circumstances. The adjustment is based upon:

  • Changes in the income of the parents; or
  • Changes in the economic table or standards listed in RCW 26.19

 

Legal Representation

Our Family Law Attorneys are skilled and experienced in representing parents who are petitioning for child support modifications. We recognize that these cases can be complex and emotional for everyone involved and we urge you to call us to consult about your unique case. We will advise you about whether or not you have the substantial change of circumstances required to seek a child support modification. We will help obtain the outcome that is in the best interest of you and your children. Contact us today for a Free Consultation .

Contact Dellino Law Group

High caliber legal representation for DUI, Criminal Defense, Divorce, Family Law, Traffic Violations, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, Redmond, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Lynnwood, Everett, Marysville, Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Brier, Sammamish, Renton, Burien, Monroe, Issaquah, Lakewood, Puyallup, Port Orchard, and all of King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, and Thurston County.