Seattle and Tacoma Child Support Modification

Working for the best results for you and your child

Upon a divorce involving children or a finding of paternity, the Washington family courts will issue a custody and parenting plan order. This parenting plan will set out specific guidelines for many parenting issues, including the residential schedules of the child. You must return to court if you wish to modify this plan in the future, and you must follow certain procedures and meet certain requirements to do so.

If you wish to seek a modification of a parenting plan or child custodial decree, it is always important to have the assistance of a child custody attorney who has experience in this type of case. If you are in the Seattle or Tacoma areas, please do not hesitate to call the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess at (206) 621-1110 or (253) 572-1000 for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your case.

Substantial change in circumstances

In order for a court to approve a child custody modification, Washington law requires a finding by the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrants the modified order. Examples of substantial changes in circumstances may include:

  • The parents’ agreement that a modification is warranted.
  • A sudden detriment to the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health or well-being in the present environment
  • The custodial parent has allowed the child to reside mostly with the non-custodial parent
  • The court has held the nonmoving parent in contempt of court at least two times in the past three years for refusal to comply with the original custodial order or parenting plan

Best interests of the child

In addition to finding there has been a substantial change in circumstances, state law requires a court to find that the custody modification will be in the best interests of the child. The court may consider numerous factors in determining the best interests of the child, including:

  • The age of the child
  • The wishes of the child
  • Any history of domestic abuse from either parent
  • The relationships with each parent
  • The importance of the child’s current community, school, and residence
  • Any special needs of the child and the ability of each parent to meet them

These are only a few factors the court may consider. As you can see, modifying a child custody order or parenting plan is not a simple undertaking. In order to ensure you receive the results that are best for your and your child, you should call the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess for assistance at (206) 621-1110 or (253) 572-1000 today.

Attorney Robert Dickson

Attorney Robert DicksonThe core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners. His is a practical approach to law, which strives to balance the need for a successful legal outcome with a client’s financial goals (or constraints). Outside of his private practice, Rob serves as an adjunct professor at the Seattle University School of Law where he teaches real estate litigation. [ Attorney Bio ]

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    Attorney Thomas L. Dickson

    Thomas L. Dickson

    Tom is an experienced litigator and the founding partner of the firm. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients prevail in their real estate, construction, and business law matters.

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    Attorney Heather Burgess

    Heather Burgess

    Heather represents property owners and developers in all phases of real estate development, from pre-acquisition due diligence through local permitting and appeals.

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    Attorney Robert P. Dickson

    Robert P. Dickson

    The core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners.

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    Attorney Daniel J. Frohlich

    Daniel J. Frohlich

    Dan’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and probate law. He has more than 10 years of experience as an attorney serving clients throughout Western Washington.

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    Attorney Mark S. Johnson

    Mark S. Johnson

    Mark’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and family law. He works tirelessly to help his clients achieve the outcome they are looking for.

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    Attorney Trevor A. Zandell

    Trevor A. Zandell

    Since graduating with honors from law school in 2005, Trevor has been serving the legal needs of businesses, individuals, and families across Southwest Washington.

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    Attorney Daniel E. Pizarro

    Daniel E. Pizarro

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Daniel is active in the firm’s civil litigation department. His practice is mainly centered around real estate law, landlord-tenant law, construction law, and probate law.

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    Attorney Alexander J. Wisbey

    Alexander J. Wisbey

    Alexander Wisbey comes to the firm with 5 years of experience as a litigator and trial attorney. He has first chaired several jury trials and has extensive experience handling arbitrations, mediations, depositions, and settlements.

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    Attorney Andrew Hata

    Andrew Hata

    Andrew is the head of our Transactional Department and focuses his practice on corporate governance, real estate transactions, commercial contracts, and corporate finance.

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    Attorney Kelley Duggan

    Kelley Duggan

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kelley practices in a wide range of areas, including estate planning, probate, civil litigation, and intellectual property law.

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    Attorney Cambria A. Queen

    Cambria A. Queen

    Cambria is an Associate with Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess in the civil litigation department, where she practices primarily real estate and probate law.

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    Attorney George Knight

    George Knight

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, George is active in the firm’s civil litigation and transactional departments. His practice is mainly centered around business law, real estate law, construction law, employment law, and probate law.

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    Attorney Chris Pierce-Wright

    Chris Pierce-Wright

    Chris comes to Phillips Burgess Tacoma from Seattle, where he served as an associate attorney focused on insurance litigation with Wilson Smith Cochran Dickerson.

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    Attorney Lacey L. Hatch

    Lacey L. Hatch

    Lacey has developed an in-depth knowledge and has successfully advised clients in an array of land use matters, including project review, code drafting and interpretation, as well as a variety of litigation pertinent to land use issues.

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    Attorney Jennifer Yoo

    Jennifer Yoo

    Jennifer is an associate attorney at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess where her current practice focuses on real estate law, contract and commercial disputes, and business law.

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    Attorney Katherine E. Baals

    Katherine E. Baals

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Katherine practices in a range of areas, including real estate, construction, business, and civil litigation.

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    Attorney Kenneth Chan

    Kenneth Chan

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, PLLC, Kenny is active in the firm’s civil litigation and transactional departments. Prior to working at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kenny was an in-house attorney for a Fortune 100 company.

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    Attorney Brian Buske

    Brian Buske

    Following his graduation from Lewis & Clark Law School, Brian garnered valuable client experience working on international compliance and intellectual property issues.

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    I highly recommend Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess and if I ever need a lawyer again they will be my first call.

    - Jeremy H.

    I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate this firm! These guys helped me through one of the most challenging legal situations I’ve faced in my life. Their skill and expertise literally saved my business. I’ve dealt with other counsel in the past but the Dickson firm was by far the most competent and tactful counsel I’ve ever received. I would recommend this group to anyone!

    - Keith D.

    It’s a pleasure to work with the guys at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess. One of the first things that stood out to me was how down to earth and friendly everyone at the firm is. I would definitely recommend them.

    - Den L.