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.
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.
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.
Washington state law recognizes that grandparents have some rights to see their grandchildren, but these rights are more limited than parental rights.
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.
Substance abuse is all too common across our country, including here in Washington. While drug issues can wreak havoc on an individual's life, substance abuse can also have a ripple effect that touches nearly every aspect of an abuser's life. This includes their children, which is why substance abuse issues often come up in the context of child custody disputes.
When we hear that a couple is separated, we may just assume that they are no longer married for all practical purposes. Legally speaking, however, separation is different from divorce. In the state of Washington, under RCW 26.09, you and your spouse may legally separate instead of dissolving your marriage, but you are not required to file for separation before you file for divorce.
Divorcing couples with children often find it difficult to agree when it comes to the care and well-being of the children post-divorce. We've all heard the stories of parents arguing over which parent is best suited to meet a child's needs and how much time a child should spend with each parent. Even when a child custody agreement is reached, in or out of court, there can still be a lot of tension between the parents, which in turn affects the children.
Before you tie the knot, you and your spouse may consider signing a prenuptial agreement. While no one likes to think about the end of a marriage before it begins, a prenup can protect you and your spouse if the unthinkable happens.
Divorcing from a long-term spouse can be extremely difficult, particularly if you have been in the public eye for many years. Former Alaskan governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is now facing divorce from her husband of 31 years, Todd Palin. The couple has been married since 1988 and have five children together, including an 11-year-old son with Down Syndrome.