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Spokane Family Law Blog

Support considerations for a Washington divorce

While it can be easy to focus one's attention on the emotional aspects of a divorce there are a number of financial issues that must be handled as well. For example, if and how the parties will manage an alimony agreement or order must be managed. The parties must also address how they will ensure that their children are financially provided for.

Alimony is money that one spouse pays to the other so that the recipient spouse can get back on their feet once their marriage is over. It is not applicable in all divorce cases because in some situations the parties may both emerge with the capacities to provide for themselves. In marriages where one partner gave up employment opportunities or work to support the other and their shared family alimony is commonly awarded to give the recipient a chance to get back on their feet.

How child custody is addressed during a divorce

Ending a marriage is challenging no matter what situation the partners to the couple find themselves in at the termination of their relationship. Even if they are both gainfully employed and amicable in their interactions they still must work through the gritty details of dividing their marital property and, if relevant, managing the important task of providing stability for their kids. When a pair of Washington parents pursues divorce they must prioritize the custodial well-being of their children.

As divorce divides a single household into two separate ones, child custody pursuant to a divorce works to provide children with a plan to balance their lives between those two new worlds. As readers may know, child custody relates to two separate but distinct aspects of caring for a child: legal custody and physical custody. While physical custody concerns where a child will live, legal custody concerns which of their parents has the right to make decisions about how they are raised.

Tips for bringing a new person into your life after divorce

Going through a divorce is scary. Getting into a new relationship after the divorce is done might be an even more frightening experience, especially if you have children. Trying to date and then getting into a serious relationship requires mindfulness when you have children.

There are some ways that you can children adjust to the fact that someone new may be entering your family dynamic. Here are a few to get you started:

Divorced military parents: Find ways to connect with your child

Military life isn't for everyone. In some cases, the demands of this lifestyle can tear families apart. For military members who are going through a divorce, there are many things to consider. Those who have children will have some difficult decisions to make regarding child custody.

It isn't easy to think about having to go long periods of time without being able to hug your children or see them. Unfortunately, this is one of the aspects of military life that is very difficult. With some planning, you might be able to make the time that you are away from your children at least a little easier.

Celebrity divorce drama plays out in Washington State

When one reads about celebrity divorce shenanigans in the popular press, one could reasonably expect to see a byline of New York, Los Angeles or, perhaps, Miami. However, a recent divorce settlement with distinctively Washington roots has made a splash in the national media. In May, Francis Bean Cobain - the daughter of late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain and musician and actress Courtney Love - announced that her split from Isaiah Silva had been finalized.

What really got folks' attention, however, was that Silva ended up with the iconic guitar that Cobain's father famously played in Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged" session. Vanity Fair reported that Silva claimed that Cobain gave him the guitar as a gift during the marriage. In spite of her attempts to reclaim the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic guitar, the final settlement awarded the instrument - reportedly worth millions of dollars - to Silva.

Study names Spokane divorce capital of U.S.

Clearly, divorce is much more common than it once was in the United States, with a large percentage of marriages ultimately being dissolved. On the other hand, since the 1970s, divorce rates on a nationwide basis have actually been declining. Even so, one out of every 10 people in the country is a divorced person who has not remarried. According to a recent study, more than 30 percent of divorced men and over 50 percent of divorced women are not interested in being married again.

Using divorce data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2016 American Community Survey results, researchers looked at the 200 hundred largest cities in the United States to determine which had the highest percentage of these divorced adults who had not remarried. Based on the results, Spokane was at the top of the list as the top-ranked "Divorce Capital" in the country.

Mediation could help you plan for an uncontested divorce

Securing a divorce is often a protracted and expensive process. Chances are good that you and your spouse may not agree on the terms of your separation and divorce. Issues like the division of assets and debts, as well as the custody arrangements and parenting plan for any minor children, can result in a protracted court battle between spouses. However, if you and your spouse could potentially come to terms without a judge making those decisions for you, mediation could be an option.

Mediation in a divorce involves working with your own attorney, your spouse, his or her attorney and a neutral third party to set the terms for the major issues in your divorce. While the Washington courts will still need to review and approve the terms of your divorce, mediation can give you more control over the final outcome and may help you turn a contentious divorce into a faster, more affordable uncontested divorce.

Remaining amicable will ease the divorce process in Washington

While Washington does allow for contested dissolution proceedings, it is one of the states that understand that sometimes marriages or partnerships just come to an end. Most dissolved marriages occurring in the state are "no fault" divorces. In this type of proceeding, the petitioning party alleges that the martial bond is "irretrievably broken," and if the other party does not dispute the allegation, the judge will order the divorce after a 90-day waiting period.

In cases of no-fault divorce, remaining amicable with the other party can make the process easier and emotionally less difficult. Whenever possible, it is important for parties to communicate with one another about information that will be crucial to the divorce process. For example, knowing what the collective assets and individual sources of income are will be necessary for a court to order property division. Better yet, if the spouses can work out a property division on their own, it will help to make the divorce process smoother.

Grounds for divorce in Washington State

In many states, couples who are getting divorced must allege - and if contested, prove - that a divorce is necessary based on a ground laid out by statute. Examples include such things as adultery, bigamy, abuse, incarceration, etc. Other jurisdictions recognize a "no-fault" divorce. In these types of dissolution proceedings, the couples basically just agree that they want to get divorced and file the necessary petitions.

Washington residents do not have to allege any specific grounds for dissolution other than that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." This breakdown must be alleged in the petition for dissolution that is filed with the court. If the non-filing spouse agrees, or joins in the petition, with the other spouse, the court will make a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken and enter a decree of dissolution.

Will divorce mean splitting your military pension with your ex?

Getting divorced is often a difficult process. There are strong emotions involved, as well as the need to start developing a new plan for the rest of your life. That process may include reviewing your financial circumstances and adapting plans for the future, such as your retirement. One consideration that people may overlook in the initial stages of a divorce is the potential impact of the end of their marriage on their retirement, including their pensions.

For those in the military, there are special considerations that may differ from those in the private sector. One such difference is that active duty and deployment could delay your ability to finalize a divorce for some time. Another is that unusual visitation arrangements, such as virtual visitation, may be your only option while you're abroad for military work. It also means that there are special rules in place regarding how to handle a pension.

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