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Spokane Family Law Blog

Your options for creating a parenting plan in Washington

When you chose to have children with your spouse, you probably didn't think about what would happen if you eventually ended your marriage. Most couples conceive their children when they still foresee spending the rest of their life with their spouse. Unfortunately, circumstances and people can change, leaving you worried about how divorce is going to affect your relationship with your children.

The good news for people in Washington considering divorce is that the state typically wants to protect the relationship between the children and both parents when they create the parenting plan. Your parenting plan can come from the courts through litigation or from you and your spouse via mediation or an uncontested divorce filing.

Wendy Williams' ex seeking spousal and child support

Talk show host Wendy Williams has been in the news lately after filing for divorce from her husband, Kevin Hunter, after 22 years of marriage. According to multiple reports, Hudson apparently was seeing another woman and the two of them had a child born in 2019. Hunter recently responded to Williams' divorce petition, reportedly requesting spousal support to help him get back on his feet after the divorce, as well as child support to cover college expenses for the couple's 18-year-old son.

When one spouse is a higher-earner than the other, the lesser-earning spouse may seek spousal support or maintenance to provide them with financial assistance following the divorce. In the state of Washington, the court will determine how much to award in spousal maintenance based on various factors including the age, financial obligations, and health of the spouse seeking support, and the standard of living established during the parties' marriage.

Adele's impending divorce may cost her millions

During the wedding planning process, soon-to-be married couples may be reluctant to consider the very real possibility that their marriage will not work out. As a result, many people refuse to enter into a prenuptial agreement with their fiancé, thereby putting themselves at risk financially if the marriage goes south. Despite this risk, statistics show that only 5% of married couples have a prenup in place. The lack of a prenuptial agreement can be a costly mistake, particularly for high-earning spouses like pop superstar Adele.

It was recently revealed that Adele and husband Simon Konecki would be getting a divorce, but that the couple had reportedly not signed a prenuptial agreement when they married in 2011. If the couple chooses to file for divorce in California, they may have to split their assets evenly, meaning that Simon could get half of Adele's earnings. California, like Washington, is a community property state, meaning that both spouses get an even share of the marital assets upon divorce.

Will military service impact your child custody case?

Serving as a member of the United States military requires dedication. After all, not only do you have to complete training, but you have to abide by the orders and commands you receive from those higher up in the military. You must have a willingness to place your own desires below the demands of protecting and serving the country.

Unfortunately, many people in the service also find that the unpredictable nature of that work can impact their marriage and later the relationship with their children. If you currently serve in the military, it is only natural to wonder what impact your service will have on the custody proceedings in your divorce.

Collaborative divorce can be alternative to traditional divorce

When many people think of divorce, they picture an angry, emotional couple fighting over assets and arguing about where their kids should live. However, many couples do not fit this mold. While they may not be able to agree on everything, they are generally able to get along and are willing to work together to avoid a lengthy, tumultuous court battle.

For couples willing to negotiate, collaborative divorce is often a better option than traditional divorce. Generally, the process starts with each spouse hiring their own attorney to represent their interests throughout the divorce process. Each spouse should meet with their attorney before negotiations begin to discuss their individual goals and priorities. The attorney should be aware of the minimum the spouse is willing to accept as well as what they would ideally want.

Divorcing parents in Washington will need a parenting plan

Getting a divorce when you have children is no easy task. In addition to the division of property and marital debts, divorcing couples with kids also have to determine who will have custody of the children. In Washington, child custody arrangements are referred to as a parenting plan. Ideally, parents going through a divorce will work out the details of their own parenting plan. According to Washington Rev. Code Sec. 26.09.181, the plan must specify where the children will primarily stay, how decisions will be made with regards to the child, and how to deal with future issues relating to the children.

The parenting plan should be focused on the best interests of the child or children in question. All children have basic needs, such as shelter, food, and clothing, but they need much more than that to succeed in life. Children require a healthy, stable environment and proper financial and educational support from their parents.

Get organized before your divorce

Once you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways, it is important that you make sure you do everything in your power to protect yourself financially and ensure that you are prepared for the future. Experts suggest that getting organized can help you get what you want out of the divorce.

First, experts say you should make a list of your assets and accounts, including bank statements, insurance policy information, investment account information, real estate deeds, credit card information, and loan documents. You should also make sure you collect non-financial documents, such as your will and premarital agreements. Once you have all the documents you need, you will need to find a way to organize them so that you can retrieve them quickly when needed. For example, you can put all real estate documents in the same file (e.g. mortgage information, deed, valuation), so that you can easily give them to your divorce attorney or financial advisor when the time comes.

Don't make these expensive divorce mistakes

Is your divorce going to cost you? Some divorce mistakes can have a massive financial impact.

After all, divorce will change your financial picture. You and your ex still have a lot of the same expenses -- housing, utilities, retirement savings, etc. -- but you both have to cover the costs on your own. You also get cut back to one income with which to do it. Even the very wealthy feel the financial impact.

If your spouse is a divorcee, your divorce odds increase

When you married your spouse, you knew that they had gotten married and divorced before. It was no secret when you met. They were very upfront about it and told you about their past.

In fact, they even said that it would make their marriage to you stronger because they had learned from the mistakes they made the first time around. Think of it like practicing for that second marriage, they said. Now they were good at it, and practice makes perfect. You felt confident that it made your marriage even more secure.

Gray divorce brings unique challenges

Statistics show that gray divorce, or divorce among adults 50 years of age and older, is on the rise for multiple reasons. According to Pew Research, gray divorce has increased 109 percent over the past 25 years. If in the later stages of life and considering divorce, there are unique challenges.

While younger couples have plenty of opportunities to earn additional income and assets in the future, couples in their 50's and 60's are typically close to retirement or have already retired. With no new assets coming in, it can be difficult for soon-to-be exes to divide up the assets they have already accumulated. Fortunately, in community property states like Washington, this process can be straightforward as all marital property will be divided evenly between the spouses.

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