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Spokane Family Law Blog

How does a legal separation work?

You and your spouse have been married for years and you care for each other -- but you're no longer happy together. Just the same, you don't want to get a divorce. Maybe your religious convictions prohibit it. Maybe your spouse is sick, and the only health insurance they have is under your name.

Legal separation may be the answer.

Could money destroy your relationship?

Maybe you're a free-wheeling sort and you roll your eyes when your partner insists on pinching pennies all the time. Or maybe you're the frugal one and it makes you crazy that your fiance's attitude toward debt is "live now, worry later." Perhaps you and your partner are pretty aligned regarding your views on spending and saving -- but you feel like your partner is a little stingy when it comes time to "share the wealth" from their greater income. Then again, there's always the possibility that one of you is hiding money or debts from the other.

All of these scenarios can set the stage for a relationship that will fail shortly out of the starting gate. When spouses have opposing views on money -- whether it's about saving, spending habits or sharing -- that can lead to a lot of unmet expectations and grief.

Why you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce

You and your spouse tried to make a go of your marriage -- but it just didn't work. Once the romance faded, you quickly realized that you weren't really compatible on many levels, and your goals are different. You haven't invested much time or resources in the marriage, and there's little to dispute, so you're willing to part as friends -- and want to do so as quickly as possible.

So, why bother with a lawyer when your divorce is uncontested? Here are some things to consider.

Virtual visitation can help you stay close in a miltiary divorce

Serving in the military often means that your personal life suffers because of the duty implicit in your job. Active duty service members often find that they just don't have enough time to spend with their spouses and children, no matter how much they try to prioritize their family. The alienation that can result from long periods of time without contact with your family can undermine your marriage and increase your chances of a divorce.

In the event that you do wind up ending your marriage while still serving in the military, you may find that you are not in a position to currently assume shared custody of your children. If you are currently or may soon in the future get deployed, you may not be able to actively parent your children until you return from your tour of service.

When will a court require a maintenance order during a divorce?

Going through a divorce means more than ending a personal relationship and coping with the emotional fallout of terminating a legal marriage. It also means dividing up property, settling debts and deciding how each former partner will support each other, if at all, when they return to their single lives. In Washington, courts can require certain divorcing parties to pay their exes maintenance if certain conditions exist.

When deciding if maintenance should be included in a divorce decree, a court will look at a number of factors related to the circumstances of the involved parties. It is important that readers recognize that different divorces will result from different sets of circumstance and may not all have the same outcomes. Independent legal advice should be pursued by those who have divorce and maintenance questions.

What to include in a parenting plan

The health and happiness of a couple's children are important factors that may influence the post-divorce lives of their parents. When Washington parents choose to end their marriages, they will enter into a parenting plan that establishes where their kids will live, when they will visit with their other parent and other important details about their care. Parenting plans can be created by the parents who will live according to their terms, but when parents cannot agree on how to divide their time with their kids the courts may intervene and set rules for them.

Of the utmost importance in creating a parenting plan is determining where the children will live. For some families it is possible for the kids to spend equal time in the homes of their parents. However, this arrangement may not work for everyone. It is often the case that children will live with the parent who is more equipped to provide for their daily needs and to have other time with their other parent when it is feasible.

Learning to parent together after divorce: Communication is key

You and your spouse divorced because you could no longer agree on anything from what to eat for dinner to how to raise your child. You were both tired of fighting and were done with the stress of living in such a negative situation.

The trouble is, even though you've separated and divorced, you still have the responsibility of raising your child. You can't ignore that you don't agree on how to do so. Fortunately, there are some tips that can help you.

Divorcing blues? Here's how to cope when you're feeling down

As someone who never saw your divorce coming, you may feel hurt and upset about the entire thing. You might have thought your marriage was fine. Maybe you even suggested that you could work things out in a bid to keep your marriage together.

Regardless, you've now found yourself with an estranged spouse who isn't interested in staying together. They want to move on, and that means that you're forced to move on, too.

Do grandparents have custody rights?

Washington state law recognizes that grandparents have some rights to see their grandchildren, but these rights are more limited than parental rights.

American courts have long recognized that the Constitution grants parents fundamental rights to make important decisions about the upraising of their children. This can mean that a parent has the right to decide their children should not spend time with their grandparents. However, Washington law recognizes that grandparents, and sometimes others, have rights as well, and courts can take these into account.

What is collaborative divorce?

When a married couple decides to end their marriage, the experience can be painful and emotional. Unfortunately, the legal process of divorce can sometimes make that worse, by encouraging an adversarial relationship. The traditional litigation model of divorce often pits one party against the other, with each side trying to get the better end of a deal. In many cases, this drags out the process longer, and leaves both sides unhappy. The result isn't great for anyone's mental health, but it is especially dangerous if the couple has children.

Most Washington divorces today are settled out of court through negotiation. This is typically faster and less expensive than going to court, and gives the parties greater control over their outcomes. However, negotiation doesn't always avoid the adversarial nature of a trial.

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