Approximately 70 percent of Washington state parents who divorced over the past two years ended up with shared custody arrangements. Yet the child support calculator in this state assumes that children of divorce live exclusively with one parent.
The 2011 child support legislative work group made a consensus recommendation that Washington state implement a "residential credit" to automatically adjust child support payments when parenting is shared -- something that is already the law in 35 states. Yet this residential credit is no where to be found in Washington state House Bill 1027, intended to implement the recommendations of the child support legislative work group.
Why? The state bar association has a stranglehold on the Legislature and lawyers do well by the current system whereby the only way to get credit for shared parenting is through an appeal to the discretion of a judge.
Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, the sponsor of HB 1027, has stated that it is an "embarrassment" that we don't have a child support residential credit.
Yet this embarrassment will continue if we don't demand that legislators serve the citizens of this state rather than their colleagues in the legal profession.