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In re Marriage of Schnurman

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1

December 30, 2013

In the Matter of the MARRIAGE of Lalida SCHNURMAN, Respondent, and Seth Schnurman, Appellant.

Page 515

H. Michael Finesilver, Attorney at Law, Seattle, WA, for Appellants.

Dennis John McGlothin, Robert Joseph Cadranell II, Olympic Law Group PLLP, Seattle, WA, for Respondents.

APPELWICK, J.

[178 Wn.App. 636] ¶ 1 Lalida Schnurman and Seth Schnurman dissolved their marriage and share substantially equal residential time with their two children. In calculating the parties' child support obligations, the trial court used the child support schedule and standard calculation in chapter 26.19 RCW. The trial court found Seth to be the obligor parent and ordered him to pay a monthly transfer payment of $1,300 to Lalida. Seth argues that the standard calculation does not apply in shared residential situations. We affirm.

Page 516

FACTS

¶ 2 Lalida Schnurman and Seth Schnurman [1] married on June 22, 2001 and separated on July 22, 2011. They have two children, who were six and eight years old at the time of dissolution.

¶ 3 The trial court awarded Lalida $2,000 a month in spousal maintenance for three years. The court imputed this maintenance income to Lalida at Seth's request for purposes of calculating child support.

[178 Wn.App. 637] ¶ 4 After a contested proceeding, the trial court entered a final parenting plan in which Lalida and Seth share equal residential time with the children throughout the year.[2] The order stated, " The children named in this parenting plan are scheduled to reside substantially equal time with both parents. Both parents are designated the custodian of the children solely for purposes of all other state and federal statutes which require a designation or determination of custody." [3]

¶ 5 In calculating the parties' child support obligations, the trial court found Seth's monthly net income to be $6,338 and Lalida's to be $3,380. The trial court determined Seth to be the obligor parent. Using the standard calculation for child support obligations, the court ordered Seth to pay Lalida a monthly transfer payment of $1,300 ($650 for each child).

¶ 6 Seth requested a downward deviation from the standard calculation for child support.[4] The trial court denied Seth's request, finding:

While the Husband will be spending substantial time with the children, there is no evidence this will significantly increase his costs to support the children or significantly reduce Wife's expenses to support the children. Allowing a downward deviation from the standard child support calculation will also result in insufficient funds for the Wife's household. Seth appeals from the order of child support and amended decree of dissolution.

DISCUSSION

[178 Wn.App. 638] ¶ 7 We review a trial court's order of child support for abuse of discretion. In re Marriage of Booth,114 Wash.2d 772, 776, 791 P.2d 519 (1990). A trial court abuses its discretion if its decision rests on unreasonable or untenable grounds. Dix v. ICT Grp., Inc., 160 Wash.2d 826, 833, 161 P.3d 1016 (2007). A trial court necessarily abuses its discretion ...


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