Appeal from Superior Court of Whatcom County. Docket No: 94-3-00230-9. Date filed: 01/13/95. Judge signing: Hon. David S. Nichols.
PER CURIAM. Douglas D. Jones appeals from an order of child support entered in January, 1995. A commissioner of this court referred the matter for accelerated review following respondent Diana Jones's failure to file a responsive brief. Jones contends the trial court erred in deviating from the standard calculation of his support obligation. We find no error and affirm.
The parties were married in August 1990, and their children were born in April 1991 and April 1993. They separated in March 1994 and the dissolution decree was entered in November 1994.
At the time of dissolution, the court ordered $300 per month in maintenance to Diana, emphasizing her relatively bleak economic prospects:
Maintenance should be ordered because: although this is a marriage of short duration, it produced two young children for which each party will be assuming equal residential time and responsibility.
The Wife lacks a high school education, and the Court does not contemplate the "luxury" of financially providing for the Wife's education from the Husband's income. The Husband has a stable and well-paying position with a family-owned business, thereby providing him with the ability to pay spousal maintenance. The Wife is unemployed, and has no earning capability beyond minimum wage. The child support worksheet states the father's gross monthly income as $3,600 and his monthly net income $2,547, with the mother's gross and monthly net income as $1,672 (imputed, because she was unemployed). The court then calculated the parents' respective net support obligations to be $535.78 and $404.72. This would result, ordinarily, in a net transfer payment from father to mother of $131.06. The court deviated from this standard calculation to order Jones to pay $500 monthly, stating the following reasons:
A significant disparity in the living costs of the parents due to conditions beyond their control;
The child spends a significant amount of time with the parent who is obligated to make a support transfer payment. . . .
The factual basis for these reasons is as follows:
See the PARENTING PLAN regarding residential schedule [both children spend half time with each parent]. The Father was awarded the family home, and he has paid the equalizing payment to the Mother, however, the Mother must establish a suitable residence for the children on her limited earning capability and the Court's award of spousal maintenance.
After the court's decision, Jones moved for reconsideration, arguing that because the parties shared custody equally, there was no basis in law for establishing the father's obligation in excess of $131.
Douglas Jones first argues the court failed to calculate his ex-wife's share of the obligation. This contention is without merit. It is clear from the record that the court adopted the appropriate child support schedule worksheet and determined both parties' standard, ...