Divorce

Finding Resolution with Divorce So You Can Move Forward

Divorce is a turning point in many people's lives. Everyone wants to move forward, yet there is a strong tendency for many people to cling to past difficulties and disagreements. This makes the divorce process more difficult and can undermine your future by creating ongoing hard feelings.

For this very reason, the lawyer you choose to help with your divorce can make a big difference in the outcome of your case-for better or for worse. As an attorney, I work to protect both immediate and long-term interests for my clients by helping them stay focused on a positive future. Contact my law office for effective divorce representation for reasonable people.

Divorce in Washington State

Washington is a no-fault divorce state. That means that the courts will not spend time determining who caused the marriage to fail and there is seldom a good reason to raise those issues. My goal is to ensure that my clients move into the future with the resources they need to successfully begin a new life-be that property division, alimony, or child custody and child support.

Spousal maintenance (commonly called "alimony") is based on the need of the spouse requesting it and the ability of the other spouse to pay it. The court considers a number of factors, including length of the marriage, education and employment experience, and respective incomes.

The ability of a lower-earning spouse to start over can also affect decisions about dividing marital property and marital debt. That's why alimony and property division are usually considered together. I help my clients identify and properly value all marital assets (including pension plans and stock options) to ensure there is an accurate basis for reaching agreement.

Although I am skilled in negotiation, I also help my clients access the services of divorce mediators when I think that will be helpful. Divorce mediation can often get results in less time and at less cost, which are attractive outcomes to many people.

Child Custody and Child Support

Many couples can reach an agreement between themselves about how custody and visitation will be handled. When couples cannot resolve custody and visitation issues, superior court requires them to participate in mediation before the trial date.

An attorney still plays an important role in the areas of child custody of child support. There are many situations to consider when drafting a child custody agreement or resolving the issue of child support.

  • Who will pay for summer camp?
  • Will both parents pay for college?
  • What will you do if you disagree about your kids' education? Religion? Medical care?
  • Who will get tax deductions for the kids? What about when they turn 18?

Issues that you can anticipate but which are not resolved at the time of your divorce can be more difficult to resolve later and lead to additional costs and hassle for you. I've been practicing family law since 1979. I understand the full range of issues that can arise later to create difficulties for parents and children. I work hard to ensure my clients' have child custody agreements that provide guidance and minimize difficulty.

Child support is determined by the Washington State Child Support Schedule. An initial child support order is entered at the time of divorce (or the establishment of paternity). It is common for custodial parents to request adjustment or modification of child support orders at a later date, as children's needs and parents' ability to pay change.

If you are considering divorce, I invite you to Contact my Bellevue law office for a free half-hour consultation. Together we can discuss the issues involved, clarify your immediate and long-term goals, and develop a strategy toward resolution that will work for your family.