From the initial conversation with us to the end of your case, you will see that we make a difference. Whether you need a divorce lawyer or are struggling with another family law matter, we care about your situation and are willing to take the time to listen to you. We have experience in all facets of family law and divorce in Washington. We provide legal advice on the difficult and emotional issues of:
We know the importance of learning about the situation so we can provide you with only the advice you truly need, in order to meet the goals you’ve set. That means the first thing we do is listen to you. This is your case and your life, not ours. By understanding your concerns, questions and fears, only then can we provide you with the information and options that best fit your situation. Ultimately, you make the decisions after listening to our advice regarding possible outcomes.
As accomplished trial attorneys, we’re dedicated to seeing that the best solution becomes a reality for you. We will fight for the results that you deserve, and while we are often able to reach a reasonable settlement, we will take your case to trial if we’re unable to reach that a satisfactory resolution. Whether you need a divorce in the Puget Sound Area or legal assistance in another area of family law, an experienced attorney can help achieve your desired results.
The initial document is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. There are anywhere from five to twenty other documents that may be required throughout the filing process, such as: Petition For Dissolution, Parenting Plan, Child Support Order, Child Support Worksheets, and Decree of Dissolution. A non-contested divorce can be handled without court appearances in 90 – 120 days.
Washington courts will do everything possible to help lessen the emotional trauma the children of divorce encounter. The courts prime concern is the best interests of the child. Depending on the age of the children, a parenting plan may be general or detailed. A general parenting plan may include a general outline of how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be shared. A detailed parenting plan may include provisions relating to: residential schedule; holiday, birthday and vacation planning; weekends, including holidays, and school in-service days preceding or following weekends; decision-making and responsibility; relocation of parents; telephone access; transportation; and methods for resolving disputes.
Washington child support guidelines are based on the Child Support Worksheets for calculating child support. The monthly support amount determined by applying the guidelines is divided proportionally according to each parent’s income. The terms of child support and visitation are designed for the child’s benefit and not the parents’ benefit. You must pay support even if you are not receiving visitation. You must comply with visitation orders even if you are not receiving child support. Violation of child support orders and visitation orders is punishable by fine, imprisonment or other penalties.
Even the most thoughtful and well-crafted divorce settlement agreement may need to be changed if the circumstances of the parties involved change significantly. Have you lost your job and are unable to pay the court-ordered child support or spousal support? Do you plan to move away and need to rearrange your child custody and parenting time agreement? Is your custody or parenting time plan just not working? Then you may qualify to have the Judgment modified. There are numerous factors the court will consider and its important to have an experienced family law attorney assist you in evaluation your options.
Washington is an “equitable distribution” state, so the marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is fair. The court shall not consider the fault, if any, of either of the parties in the cause of the dissolution.
Not all cases involve support from one spouse to the other. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court’s discretion. There are three types of spousal support:
Many wonderful families are created through adoptions. Our attorneys can assist you in securing those families. The most common types of adoptions are adoptions by step-parents and adoptions by partners. In step-parent adoptions, where the non-custodial biological parent consents to the adoption, it can be an inexpensive and streamlined process. More complicated situations require careful evaluation before proceeding. It is important to consider the practical, legal, and emotional aspects of a step-parent adoption before proceeding. We can help you decide if its right to proceed with a step-parent adoption and initiate contact with the non-custodial parent on your behalf. Uncontested step-parent adoptions can often be completed in three to four months. Non-step-parent adoptions can be more complicated, and we would be happy to consult with you on a case-by-case basis.