What Will Become of Your Minor Children Should You Die of COVID-19?

The ongoing pandemic and an increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant have shone a light on how important it is to name a guardian in your will, someone you can trust to care for your children should you die. No one wants to think about such a tragedy happening to their family. However, what the past year-and-a-half has taught all of us is that no one is beyond the reach of this virus.Just this month, two parents in San Bernardino County, California, died from COVID-19 two weeks apart, leaving behind five children, including a newborn. The child's mother, Davy Macias, age 37, was 34 weeks pregnant when she became sick. Doctors delivered the child while she was already intubated and dying, which… Read More

Divorcing an Addict in Washington State? What You Need To Know

divorcing an addict

The divorce process is painful enough, but divorcing a spouse in Washington State who's addicted to drugs or alcohol adds a whole new layer of challenges on top of an already tough situation. Your spouse's addiction may be something you've been dealing with for years, or it might be the main reason behind your split. Either way, divorcing your spouse while they're battling an addiction can be grueling for you and your children. As the spouse of an addict and the one who knows them best, you might end up dealing with much of their harmful behavior. So, to make divorcing an addict in Washington State as painless as possible, it's best to know as soon as you can what to expect during the divorce… Read More

5 Tips for Communicating With Your Partner To Strengthen Your Marriage or Relationship

While some marriages die in an apparent explosion, others seem to quietly devolve for years before one spouse finally calls it quits. These slow, painful deaths can result from various factors, including an inability to communicate effectively. According to a 2013 poll by YourTango, poor communication was cited as a contributing factor in 65 percent of divorces. For married couples or those getting married, this can be a frightening statistic. However, the good news is it's possible to improve communication skills simply by paying attention to certain behaviors. As a Seattle divorce and family lawyer who's also gone through my own divorce, then went on to remarry, I've come up with five simple tips for communicating with your partner or spouse. My tried and true… Read More

QDRO, dividing your retirement accounts as part of your divorce

If you're thinking about divorce in Washington State or in the throes of one, you're probably concerned about what will happen to your assets, including those accumulated by you and your spouse during your marriage. For most people, the assets that first come to mind are the marital home and family business should one exist.A category of assets that often goes overlooked is each spouse's retirement accounts. As you may or may not realize, some retirement accounts will be subject to division during divorce. This process requires couples to complete a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, also known as a QDRO.Aside from facilitating the distribution of your and your spouse's retirement plan(s), the QDRO can serve another more subtle function, and that's to bring to light… Read More

Reunited or Divorcing Amicably? Kim Kardashian Sports Wedding Gown at Kanye West’s Latest ‘Donda’ Listening Party

Are Kim Kardashian and Kanye West back together? Kanye's spreading the word they are, but, according to the NY Post, the Wests' marriage is still heading south. What onlookers are saying, and likely what's contributed to the buzz, is that the couple, who separated early this year, is getting along. More than getting along. Page Six reported Kim and Kanye were seen holding hands as they left a Chicago promotional party on August 26 to promote the upcoming release of Kanye's long-awaited "Donda" album. This was the third time Kim appeared in public at one of the listening parties to support her children's father. Speaking to PEOPLE, a source confirmed Kardashian has been flying their four children to see their dad, who's "in complete work… Read More

Will COVID-19 Affect the Family Dynamic Long-Term?

The Industrial Revolution changed the family dynamic by helping women break away from traditional gender roles and paved the way for women to enter the workforce. The overall result was that women became more independent and empowered. By 2020, 59.8 percent of married couples with children were both employed.However, the transition has not been seamless. Due to specific factors throughout history, which I discuss below, many working mothers ended up working outside the home while still having to assume most of the domestic and child-rearing responsibilities inside the home. As a Seattle-based divorce and family lawyer, I hear from women all the time about how a lack of shared parenting and division of household labor, despite working high-pressured jobs just like their husbands, is weighing… Read More

Three Estate Planning Documents Your Child Should Sign When They Turn 18

Back to school, especially when you have a child beginning their last year of high school, is an exciting time. Your child's senior year up until the day you drop them off at college will be a whirlwind, with standardized tests, college visits, college applications, prom, and, at some time during the year, their 18th birthday. The legal beginning of adulthood is an exciting time for older children because they're embarking on the next chapter of their life, which includes making decisions that will affect their own lives. Your child turning 18 also marks the time when you may no longer have access to certain information and may no longer have decision-making authority should your child become critically injured, incapacitated, or fall ill. Although to… Read More

Why Parents Need To ‘Lean In’ When It Comes To Paying Child Support in Washington State

In June 2021, 18-year-old Avery Sanford's mother walked out of her Glen Allen, V.A., home to ask what her ex-husband was dumping in her yard. "It's your final child support payment," he shouted as he dropped 80,000 pennies out of a trailer he had attached to his car. Sanford, her mother, and friends picked up the $800 worth of pennies and decided to turn the public display into a positive experience: they donated the money to Safe Harbor Shelter, a Richmond-based organization devoted to helping domestic violence victims.  The story, which made national headlines, underscores a long-standing and troubling trend among some divorced parents who, for various reasons, resent paying child support to their ex to care for their children's basic needs following divorce. The… Read More

I’m Young and Healthy. Should I Make Life Insurance a Part of My Estate Plan?

I was speaking recently with the daughter of a friend of our family. The wife, 27, was pregnant with her first child. She and her husband, 30, were each in the process of creating an estate plan. They were also both shopping for life insurance. The husband already had a small life insurance policy with his employer but recognized that once he became a parent, it wouldn't be enough to care for his wife and child if he died. The wife was self-employed and didn't have any life insurance in place yet. He and his wife had also heard how purchasing life insurance when you are young enables you to get lower rates, which creep up as you get older. Not to mention, if you… Read More

Your Ex Is An Asshole, So How Are You Supposed To Co-Parent With Them?

My guess is that when your children were born, you never envisioned you'd one day have to co-parent with your spouse after a divorce, let alone read an article about the best ways to co-parent with an asshole. Maybe you knew deep down they were an asshole, but they were never an asshole to you. Not yet. Or perhaps their assholeness revealed itself much later. It doesn't matter. This is where you are now, asshole, article, and all. Assholes are all over the place, so the skills you pick up from the experience will help you in other areas of your life because the approach will be the same. The reason why I say this to you is so you can take a step back… Read More