Are there advantages to filing a divorce or custody action first?

There certainly can be advantages to filing your divorce or custody action first.  There can also be tactical advantages to waiting until your spouse or partner files. Discuss with your attorney whether there are any advantages to you filing first. Your attorney may advise you to file first or to wait until your spouse files, depending upon the overall strategy for your case and your specific circumstances.  Each client’s case is very unique.

Some Examples…

Since this is a frequently asked question, some examples are in order.  For example, hypothetically assume that your spouse is an orthodontist. He or she has moved out of the house and is transferring $10,000.00 per month to you voluntarily. Your attorney may advise you that if this matter went to court, you would get less money. It would then be advantageous to wait to file and let your spouse set a favorable precedent for you. The court may likely follow this favorable precedent if it has been in place long enough. [Read more…]

Three Ways to Financially Protect Yourself During a Divorce

There are three ways to protect yourself financially during a divorce. The first is ensuring that child support is paid.  The second is requesting spousal maintenance if appropriate.  The third is conducting proper discovery to ensure that all assets are known and are fairly divided.

Child Support

Whether you will be receiving, or paying, child support is often the subject of much worry.  How will you make ends meet?  The mechanisms for both payment and receipt of child support are rather simple, and help is available for collecting support if it is not paid both from the courts and the Division of Child Support (DCS).  The custodial parent receives child support. The non-custodial parent will not receive child support regardless of his or her financial circumstances.  Child support may also be available when there is a joint custody and one parent earns less than the other.

A judge has the authority to enter a temporary order for custody and child support. This order ordinarily remains in place until a final decree establishing custody is entered. In most cases, a hearing for temporary custody and support can be held shortly after the filing of the petition for dissolution.  All that is required is a motion for temporary support with supporting documents.  The amount that you receive will be based on the Washington State Child Support Guidelines and are based on the incomes of both parents. [Read more…]

Modern Divorce Trends

While you might not think of divorce as something that happens in trends or phases, the statistics on divorce are always changing. As Washington State divorce lawyers, we consider it part of our job to stay up-to-date on all modern divorce trends. This can help us understand our clients’ point of view better, and even give us insight that can help us protect your assets and get you the settlement you deserve.

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Divorce for a Military Family

Divorce is difficult and complicated. However, because there are some different rules and specifics to consider, going through a military divorce can feel like even more complicated.

Why is a military divorce different from a civilian divorce?

Under the law, there is technically no such thing as a military divorce. Civilian and military divorces are legally the same. However, different rules apply to some aspects of the process. When one or both partners serve as active duty military members, there are both state and federal laws that stipulate when the military member can receive a divorce summons, how the court handles the division of a military pension plan, and how parenting plans should be handled by the court when a member is deployed outside the region. There may be different rules as to which state has jurisdiction.

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How to Decide Your Settlement

In most cases, divorcing couples will strive to stay out of court and instead work together to reach a settlement based on their own priorities and the statutes in place to ensure children receive the care they need. To reach a settlement agreement, you and your spouse must decide:

  • A parenting plan and visitation
  • Support payments, including child support and alimony
  • The division of all marital assets and property

With the emotional toll that comes with a separation and divorce, however, this is often more complicated than it seems. These are decisions that affect your financial future, as well as the psychological health of every member of your family.

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Pregnancy and Divorce

A Washington State divorce case made headlines in 2005 when a Spokane judge refused to grant a pregnant woman a divorce despite not having a relationship with her abusive husband for a number of years. This case, and the high-profile media coverage it got, changed a lot of minds about the relationship between pregnancy and divorce. It also played a key role in changing the state’s laws.

If you need to file for divorce but are pregnant — or if your spouse is pregnant with someone else’s child — Washington State has laws in place to ensure you can end your marriage before the baby is born. These cases are complex, however, and you need a knowledgeable and skilled attorney on your side. Call David J. Crouse & Associates, PLLC today at 509-624-1380 to reach the legal team you want on your side. [Read more…]

Married Parents vs. Divorced Parents: The Impact on Children

As parents, it is only natural to worry about the impact your choices have on your children. When those choices create significant changes in their everyday life and alter the look of their family forever, the stress and worry can seem unbearable. The effect of divorce on children can range from a minor disruption while they adjust to a new routine to major problems with behavior and acting out.

Some children grieve for a short period and seem to bounce back quickly. Others mourn for a longer period and may hold out hope you and the other parent will reconcile. It is, however, important to remember that you do have some control over how your divorce affects your children, and there are options that can help them cope.

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David J. Crouse & Associates