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A child's best interests should guide custody during divorce

Divorce can be the result when two married people find that they are no longer able to live together or function as a cohesively united pair. Although divorce does not have to be a challenging, acrimonious process, it can be very difficult to settle some of the vitally important matters that arise when two Spokane residents choose to end their legal relationship. One matter that can pose significant trials for divorcing parties is how to responsibly manage the custody of the children they share. In Washington courts and courts throughout many American jurisdictions, child custody decisions should be made after considering the best interests of the children.

It is important that readers of this post understand that the best interests of children will vary and be subjective to the unique needs of the family affected by the divorce proceedings. As such, when a court evaluates a child's best interests it will consider a number of factors, only some of which will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Country singer files for divorce from actor husband

It may seem as though celebrity couples live charmed lives full of glamor and wealth. As Spokane residents read about them in newspapers and magazines, they may imagine how different their lives might be if they too were rich and famous. However, actors, singers and others who work in the entertainment industry are subject to the same heartaches and pain as regular people who must endure difficulties in their personal lives.

Just recently a popular country singer decided to end her long-term marriage from her actor husband. Natalie Maines, a member of the musical group the Dixie Chicks, decided to end her marriage to Adrian Pasdar, an actor who has starred on television programs for years. The famous couple share two sons who are still minors and as such their divorce may include negotiations regarding child support, child custody and visitation.

Special considerations for your military divorce

As a military member, you may be wondering how your divorce differs from a civilian divorce. In general, military divorces are very similar to those for civilians. However, there are a few difference and special circumstances you may need to consider before you even begin the process.

If you are a service member and considering divorce, it is important to find the right attorney to help you with the process. A lawyer in the Spokane area with military divorce experience can help you with the filing requirements and what to expect when it comes time to handle custody and property division issues.

Who pays what debts during a Washington divorce?

One of the most complicated aspects of getting divorced in Washington is often figuring out how to divide assets and debts. You may want to receive certain assets, or you may feel that you shouldn't have to help pay off debts accumulated by your former spouse. It can be frustrating, if you married a spendthrift, to have to accept a massive load of debt that you didn't accumulate during the marriage. Generally speaking, except in special or rare circumstances, you will be expected to pay half of the debt, regardless of who spent the money.

In cases of pre-existing debts, like student loans that originated before you married, you won't get stuck paying it off. Other debts, even student loans that got taken out during the marriage, could end up split evenly between you and your former spouse. Just like you will both share evenly in the assets you accrued during the marriage, the courts expect you both to pay a fair amount of the debts you built during the marriage as well. Regardless of who spent the money or whose name is on the account, debts from during your marriage will likely end up shared during a divorce.

Third parties may have custody, support rights and obligations

The concept of a family has undergone a beautiful evolution over time. While once a family only consisted of a mother, father, and any children that may have been born from their union, it now extends to single parent households, blended households, households where grandparents raise their grandchildren, households with two parents of the same sex and other combinations driven by affiliation and love.

In Washington and states throughout the nation, though, familial relationships tend to be created in one of two ways - through blood or through marriage. A blood relationship is formed when one person descends from another or from a common ancestor; a legal relationship is formed when two people marry each other or a person is adopted by one or more individuals.

Could mediation work for your divorce?

When Spokane residents think about divorce, they often picture the acrimonious images that movies and television portray of angry adults and upset children tearing their lives apart through a contentious legal process. It is an unfortunate truth that some divorces are difficult and may result in hostility between the divorcing parties. However, not every divorce must be subjected to the confrontational process of a litigated divorce that most Americans are familiar with.

In fact, for some couples, mediation and collaboration may be options for ending their marriages. Mediated divorces and collaborative divorces thrive on the cooperation of the divorcing parties to talk through their concerns and needs, their expectations and hopes and to come to party-driven outcomes regarding important divorce-related decisions, like custody, support and property division.

Why does one have to pay alimony to their ex-spouse?

Divorce is a delicate legal process that unties the many binds that connect two people who have been joined together by marital laws. In Washington, a couple may pursue a divorce for the partners to live their lives separately, pursue new relationships and gain their independence. Although, divorce generally allows former spouses to go their separate ways there are a number of factors that can force formerly married people to maintain contact, even after their divorce is finalized.

One major factor that may keep ex-spouses connected is the presence of shared children. But, this post will not address this factor in depth, obligations, such as child support and child custody can require individuals to maintain constant contact to ensure that their children are receiving adequate care.

An attorney can help with custody in a same-sex divorce

The state of Washington legalized same sex marriages before the issue was finally addressed at a federal level. Thanks to that forward-looking approach, the state received quite a few new citizens who were hoping to make their union legally binding.

Sadly, as is the case with any marriage, some of these unions won't last forever. Same sex marriages end, requiring divorce and everything that goes with it. In many respects, a divorce in a same-sex marriage is similar to a traditional divorce. Assets are still divided, and last names can be changed back to what they were before the marriage occurred.

Politics can stress marriages and lead to divorce

Martial partners may choose to divorce for a variety of reasons, but a current events topic is emerging as a point of contention that has driven some American couples to divorce. The occupant of the American presidency, Donald Trump, has proven to be an incredibly divisive figure. This is true not only in political circles, but also in relationships as well. Couples throughout Washington state and other parts of the nation have elected to end their marriages over conflicts they experience with their significant others about the President.

Politics is only one of many hot button issues that can drive an irreparable wedge between spouses. In addition to political affairs, themes, like finances, religion and professional aspirations, can all put stresses on the delicate balance that keeps a marriage stable.

Unmarried fathers have custody rights to their kids

Child custody cases are generally resolved when a court is able to determine how best to serve the needs and interests of the children impacted by the decisions. Whether a mother or father is granted primary physical custody of a child will depend on the circumstances of each case, though it is important for fathers to remember that a presumption does not exist in favor of granting this right to mothers. In Washington and jurisdictions throughout the nation, fathers can fight for the physical and legal custody of their children.

Unmarried fathers can face more child custody challenges than married or soon-to-be divorced fathers due, in part, to their need to establish paternity over their kids. Paternity is the biological bond that proves a child is related to their father. There are tests that a father and child can take to prove their genetic relationship.

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