Advice & Planning
BEGINNING THE PROCESS
If you decide that you want to proceed with a divorce, you will meet with our staff and we will decide what services you need and will file your divorce with the Superior Court Clerk's Office of the county in which you reside. You will have to wait for ninety days after filing the papers to finalize your divorce, even if both of you agree on everything. See our checklist.
PARENTING PLAN OR CUSTODY
Making decisions about your children is one of the most emotional aspects of going through a divorce and we will be there to help guide you through the process and will fight for you. Many factors are involved in deciding what the residential schedule will be, but one of the most important factors is which parent has historically provided the most care for the children. Whether you agree with your spouse on the arrangements for the children or not, we can provide expertise on how to best accomplish your goals.
The standard for the State of Washington for the division of property is that it should be "fair and equitable" but that can be interpreted in many different ways and it is best to have an experienced attorney to represent your interest. It may mean a 50/50 split is fair or that a 60/40 split is fair or other variations may be appropriate as well. The court will look at such factors as whether one party may have substantial separate property and the length of the marriage as variables for what they will determine is "fair and equitable". With our expertise we can work for you to maximize the amount you will receive. This is your one chance to make this property division the best possible outcome for you and it is always best to have a tough advocate on your side.
Child support is determined by a formula that is based on both parties net income which is derived after deductions for taxes and pension plan payments and other such items. The determination of "net income" is based on established law but is surprisingly often subject to argument and interpretation.
MAINTENANCE OR ALIMONY
You or your spouse may be eligible for alimony or maintenance as it is known in the State of Washington. If one of you has not worked for a period of time and would have difficulty obtaining immediate employment there are standards for how much money the non-working spouse should recieve and for what period of time.
CAN I STAY IN MY HOME
No one can force you to leave your home without a Court Order and we will fight for your right to stay in your home. The parent who is the primary residential parent, or custodial parent, will generally be given preference by the courts.
When you hire our firm we are bound by the Code of Professional Responsibility. When you hire us, we are your advocate and our duty is to represent you zealously with complete professionalism.