In re Marriage of Schnurman: The case addresses the court’s approach in determining who the obligor parent is in a 50/50 residential schedule.
By Christina A. Meserve and Charles E. Szurszewski, family lawyers
Several cases have come out involving 50/50 residential schedules and the appropriate amount of child support. Two of those are unpublished, but this one was published and may be inconsistent with the others.
This case involves a 50/50 parenting plan of two children, ages 6 and 8. The trial court found the father to be the obligor parent and ordered him to pay a monthly transfer payment of $1,300 to the mother. The father argued that the standard calculation does not apply in shared residential situations. The trial court and the Court of Appeals disagreed. No deviation was allowed and the standard calculation controlled.
In re Marriage of Schnurman: Determining the Obligor Parent
The father’s argument, which he intends to pursue at the Supreme Court, is how the court determines who the obligor parent is in a 50/50 residential schedule. The statute provides no guidance. Here, the trial court found the father to be the obligor parent, but there is no analysis of how it arrived at that decision. The parenting plan that was entered named both parents as the custodian for purposes of state and federal statutes which require a designation or determination of custody. The Court of Appeals noted in a footnote that the statute only contemplates the designation of one parent. However, because the designation was not challenged on appeal, the Court of Appeals did not address it.
Christina A. Meserve and Charles E. Szurszewski practice family law in Olympia, Washington with the law firm of Connolly Tacon & Meserve.
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