Resources

Essential resources to help you

 

 

Through our many years of combined practice, we have come across a number of resources you may find helpful in your matter. Nothing below should be considered legal advice. For advice specific to your situation please contact us for a consultation.

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A prenup can take many of the “what ifs” off the table in the event of divorce. What is separate property, who might have to maintain life insurance, and who will keep the heirloom piano that’s been passed down for…

Many people find it challenging to get started with estate planning. From confusion about the process to denying that estate planning is necessary, there are various reasons why people do not want to create an estate plan. That said, estate…

After divorce, it is common to experience feelings of shame. That shame could arise from multiple sources, including feeling that you let your spouse or children down or because you are worried about what others may think of you. Regardless…

Estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it is necessary to ensure your assets are in order and your loved ones are taken care of. Establishing an estate plan can also make certain issues easier for you and your family during…

In Washington state, alimony is referred to as maintenance. Maintenance is court-ordered spousal support payments that one spouse makes to assist with the living expenses of the other spouse for a period of time and for a particular purpose.  Maintenance…

The homes. The boat. The investment accounts. During a high-net-worth divorce, the disposition of these and other assets (and debts) may be one of the most significant reasons underlying the contention between you and your soon-to-be-ex, making these types of…

This is part three of our three-part series, “Expecting the Unexpected.” You can read part one on catastrophic illness here and part two on chronic illness here. Estate planning may initially bring to mind the process of outlining the manner…

It seemed like it was going to be just another day. Get the kids off to school, do household chores, go to work. But then your spouse let you know it was over between you, that they want a divorce.…

This is part two of three in our series “Expecting the Unexpected. You can read part one on catastrophic illness here. For many, estate planning immediately brings to mind ways you can protect your assets and retirement funds for your…

When considering divorce, you may toy with the idea of representing yourself. For example, you may think your divorce will be relatively straightforward. Or maybe you consider yourself a savvy negotiator and highly intelligent. Or the idea of saving yourself…

Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Legal matters are complicated, we are at the ready to help you. Here are some commonly asked questions we have answered with general information not intended to replace legal advice. For advice tailored to your specific needs please contact us for a consultation.

In collaborative law, both parties sign an agreement to resolve the matter together. Each spouse hires an attorney trained in this process, and as part of the agreement, the parties affirm their mutual resolution not to use the court or threaten court action. If either party violates the terms of the agreement, then both attorneys must withdraw. This system also has pros and cons. If the parties are dedicated to resolving their issues, this method may be very effective as it takes the court process entirely off the table. Attorneys are free to aid in coming up with solutions, rather than out-performing or out-strategizing the opponent. On the other hand, should a party withdraw, the cost can be high to secure new counsel and get them up to speed on the case.

Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties engage in voluntary decision-making facilitated by an impartial third party, which aids in communication and negotiation. The mediator supports the parties’ own decision-making process. Mediators assist in this capacity through communication training, utilizing active listening, reframing, coaching, summarizing, and clarifying. The mediator facilitates communication but has no legal power to compel or enforce a decision.

No. In fact, most cases settle before going to trial. Before moving to the courtroom, the parties may first attempt to resolve the conflict themselves, either alone or with the aid of legal counsel. If they are unable to resolve the dispute, they often seek additional support from a mediator. Very often, after the parties attend mediation, the parties are able to resolve their issues. In the event the parties do not reach an agreement, they proceed to trial.

Divorce impacts children differently. Some of the more common behaviors exhibited by children during their parents’ divorce include acting out, withdrawal, depression, or assuming a parental role. Many children are furious at their parents (or one of their parents) about the divorce and could benefit from a safe place to voice that anger.

Generally, both parties may make day-to-day decisions during their residential time. For larger decisions, such as non-emergency medical care, allowing the child to get a tattoo, or what school or extracurricular activities they shall attend, the court may split decision-making authority or allow one party sole ability to make decisions in a particular area. The family law court considers several factors in granting decision-making authority. They are:

Yes. In addition to calculating child support and establishing a parenting plan, you will also need to attend the required Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course at the court where you have filed for divorce. You do not have to attend the same class your spouse does, and your children should not be present. To sign up for the class, you may find information on the court’s website in your area.

HELPFUL LINKS

Recommended Reading & Helpful Links

 

Providing education is a passion for us. Over our many years in practice and working with dozens of great professionals, we have compiled a robust resource of recommended reading that can help you through life’s challenges.

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Sharing our Point of View with Others

 

We are often asked for our point of view on divorce, parenting, estate planning, business, leadership, and more. Being featured is an honor, and we are happy to share our experiences with you here.

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RESOURCES

Free or Reduced Cost Legal Assistance

 

Columbia Legal Services

Columbia Legal Services (CLR) is a nonprofit law firm that protects and defends the legal and human rights of low-income people.

 

Divorce in Washington Guide

Offered the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the King County Law Library, which is located on the 6th Floor of the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. The class is FREE. No pre-registration is needed.

 

Family Law Mentor Program

The Family Law Mentor Program provides direct representation when the children are at risk because of domestic violence, child abuse/neglect, or alcohol/drug abuse.

 

Eastside Legal Assistance Program

East and north King County residents only. Free 30-minute consultation with a volunteer attorney for legal advice.

 

Family Law Support Division – King County Prosecuting Attorney

Assistance with paternity actions for people who do not have an affidavit/acknowledgement of paternity, and reviewing child support orders for those who have received, or are receiving, public assistance.

 

Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return.

 

King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Clinics

Free, 30-minute consultation with a volunteer attorney. Legal advice only (no legal representation).

 

King County Bar Association: Self-Help Program

Workshops on divorce, child support modification, and parenting plan modification for a sliding scale fee, depending on income. Class includes preparation of pleadings, class instruction, and consultation with an attorney manager. King County residents only.

 

King County Family Law Facilitators
The Family Law Facilitator Program at King County Superior Court provides information and referrals to family law litigants who are not represented by attorneys.

 

Legal Voice

Legal information, referrals, and self-help legal materials.

 

Northwest Justice Project

Provides free civil (non-criminal) legal services to low-income residents of King County. Interpreters are provided to those who do not speak English or who are hearing impaired. Help is available in the following areas: family law (for domestic violence survivors), housing law, consumer law, education, public benefits, and in some limited circumstances, immigration. Please note that case acceptance is dependent on office priorities, staff availability, and the merit of each case. Services, especially representation by an attorney, may not be available even if all case criteria are met. The following organizations provide free or reduced cost legal assistance.

 

Washington DSHS – Division of Child Support

Information on administrative child support orders and court orders of child support.

 

Washington LawHelp

Hundreds of free legal education materials available for viewing and downloading.