banner

Hope Help and Healing

 

Washington Divorce Recovery

divorce decreeWashington. Cool weather, great fruit, warm people and a unique geographical location. Oh, and divorce, like everywhere else. Feeling shell-shocked? Don't despair. We promise that it gets better. Really. Take a deep breath. If nothing else, we'll give you some answers and ease your anxiety. If you remember anything from this page, remember that if you are a parent you will have to have a Parenting Plan and Child Custody Schedule acceptable to the court to get divorced. You can personalize yours, or the court will impose a generic one. Choose wisely. It will have a major impact on your lives.

You will need to become familiar with certain aspects of Washington divorce law in order to successfully navigate the treacherous waters of becoming single again.

 

  • Child Custody
  • Annulment
  • Child Support
  • Separation
  • Settlement
  • Alimony
  • Visitation
  • Grounds
  • Residency
  • Mediation
  • Grandparents
  • Waiting Period

MomChild Custody

Washington State statutes instruct the court to award joint or sole child custody of minor children of the marriage based upon the best interests of the children. Courts require that each parent submit a proposed Parenting Plan or child visitation schedule. Depending on circumstances, you may be required to file such a plan within certain periods of time. See your lawyer to discuss when you are required to file your parenting plan. The objectives of the permanent parenting plan are to:

  • Provide for the child's physical care,
  • Maintain the child's emotional stability,
  • Provide for the child's changing needs as the child grows and matures,
  • custody strategies
  • Set forth the authority and responsibilities of each parent with respect to the child,
  • Minimize the child's exposure to harmful parental conflict,
  • Encourage the parents to meet their responsibilities to their minor children through agreements in the permanent parenting plan, rather than by relying on judicial means.

If the non-custodial parent fails to exercise residential time for an extended period of time (a year or more), the court, if petitioned, can make adjustments to the parenting plan in keeping with the best interests of the minor child. Simply put, if one parent routinely blows off his or her parenting time with a child, the custodial parent can request and receive a less generous visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. 

 

.

 

Download Washington State Divorce Forms

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.181, 26.09.220]

justiceMarriage Annulment - Marital Annulment

Washington calls a marriage annulment (sometimes called a marital annulment or simply an annulment) a 'Declaration Concerning Validity'. If the court finds good cause, it can declare a nullity, which is a legal declaration that no marriage had ever come into being. To quote directly from Washington divorce laws, one can petition for an annulment if:

Find a lawyer!
  1. The marriage or domestic partnership should not have been contracted because of age of one or both of the parties,
  2. A lack of required parental or court approval,
  3. A prior undissolved marriage of one or both of the parties,
  4. A prior domestic partnership of one or both parties that has not been terminated or dissolved,
  5. Reasons of consanguinity,
  6. Because a party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage or domestic partnership, either because of mental incapacity or because of the influence of alcohol or other incapacitating substances,
  7. Because a party was induced to enter into the marriage or domestic partnership by force or duress,
  8. By fraud involving the essentials of marriage or domestic partnership,
  9. The parties have not ratified their marriage or domestic partnership by voluntarily cohabiting after attaining the age of consent.

Signup for Online Parent Class

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.04.010, 26.04.020, 130; 26.09.040

child supportChild Support

Washington State child support laws allow the court to order one or both parents to pay child support in accordance with state guidelines. Some observers point out that Washington State, like many states, only takes into account basic information and doesn't consider what actual child-related expenses truly are. Washington State reviews how much you earn, how much your soon-to-be-ex earns, how many children from the marriage, and what percentage of time the children are under the care of each parent. That's it. The good news for the non-custodial parent? Washington State child support and family laws compute child support based on NET income rather than gross income. custody strategies

Washington laws allow the court to order one or both parents to make child support payments in accordance with state guidelines. Some observers point out that Washington State, like many states, only takes into account basic information and doesn't consider what are actual child-related expenses truly are. Washington reviews how much you earn, how much your soon-to-be-ex earns, how many children from the marriage, and what percentage of time the children are under the care of each parent. That's it.

State law requires that all income and resources be disclosed in the determination of the child support payment. Virtually every type of income and resource makes its way into the calculation. From this gross income, certain sources of income get excluded from monthly gross income to form a gross net income, from which the child support payment is derived. Most notably, Federal and State income taxes get deducted from gross income to arrive at the net amount.

 

good ideaWorried about a custody battle? Don't be blind sided by your ex. Learn the facts by owning a complete Child Custody Library on the best strategies for winning or keeping child custody.

 

For parents that are intentionally unemployed or underemployed, the family court will impute, or assign, the amount of income a parent should be earning, and compute child support payments with that estimate. Should one parent request a modification of child support payments at any time after the final decree, they must show cause why the modification is warranted, and can include the income of a new partner only if the request includes another significant change in that parents circumstances.

If you are looking for a child support calculator, you can get an approximate amount of child support payment due accessing the tables the state makes available, or you can visit AllLaw.com. WA State Child support will be paid in a manner specified by the court, which can include mailing payments, paying electronically on-line or through income withholding. The parent receiving the support can elect to receive it by check, or electronically via a direct deposit to a bank account, or to a debit card.

Washington State child support ends at age 18 or at graduation from high school if before 19.

 

scales of justiceConcerned about custody and visitation battles in the future? Will your spouse try to take advantage of you? Get an online parenting plan and set up the calendar before you get divorced, and adjust it to the court ordered visitation schedule. If your ex knows it's online and you are documenting things, it's less likely you'll be constantly challenged. Click on the demo link to view the program.

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.040, 26.09.050, 26.09.100, 26.09.120]

fightingLegal Separation - Marital Separation

Legal separation is usually pursued when the parties want to stay married for religious reasons, want the advantage of deductibility of spousal support payments for income tax reasons, want to maintain various insurance coverage's, wish to create a period of time to allow clearer thought, or are do not want to wait the state statutory waiting period for termination of marital status. It is not a prerequisite to divorce, although it does happen that way for many.

In this state a legal separation (sometimes referred to as a marriage separation) is a process, where divorce papers filed with the court. Parties are expected to submit a separation agreement providing for the maintenance of either of them, the disposition of any property owned by both or either of them, the parenting plan and support for their children and for the release of each other from all obligation except that expressed in the contract. Parties must publish a notice in a local newspaper providing notice to all. 

Signup for Online Parent Class

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.020]

marital assetsDivorce Settlement - Dividing marital assets

You and your spouse will arrive at a divorce settlement of your marital assets, or the court will determine a settlement for you. WA is one of nine states known as Community Property states. Washington courts define community property as the totality of property acquired during the marriage. Perhaps surprisingly, WA state courts do not take into account such issues as fault (marital misconduct such as adultery), financial need or ability to earn income when dividing community property.

Property that was brought into the marriage, in most cases, is returned to that party and not made a part of the divisible assets. Other non-marital property can be gifts or inheritances made to one spouse during the marriage, an asset purchased with separate funds acquired by the spouse before the marriage, any assets excluded by a pre-nuptial agreement or an asset that is the result of increased value and acquired before the marriage. As a general rule, commingled funds or assets become a part of the divisible pool of assets.

Signup for Online Parent Class

Lock up the assets

If you think your spouse might try to hide assets, or spend them, we suggest you file a petition for a financial temporary restraining order. This order prevents liquidating assets or spending money beyond the basic necessities of daily living. You might first consider allocating enough funds to see yourself through, because the restraining order will apply to you too. good idea

scales of justiceConcerned about custody and visitation battles in the future? Will your spouse try to take advantage of you? Get an online parenting plan and set up the calendar before you get divorced, and adjust it to the court ordered visitation schedule. If your ex knows it's online and you are documenting things, it's less likely you'll be constantly challenged. Click on the demo link to view the program.

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.080, 26.16.010, 26.16.020, 26.16.030, 26.16.220]

alimonyAlimony - Spousal Support - Maintenance

A hot topic: Washington divorce statutes and the much contested issue of alimony (or maintenance). Courts will examine the circumstances around the marriage in order to accurately and fairly assess the needs of each party. Judges have latitude in the amount of alimony as well as the duration. Sometimes called spousal support, alimony can be granted to either spouse. Factors that can influence the courts decision can include:

  • The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance,
  • The time needed to acquire education or training so that a party can become self-sufficient,
  • How long the marriage lasted,
  • How well the spouse being asked to pay the maintenance will be able to manage maintenance payments and their personal expenses,
  • The age and condition of the spouse seeking maintenance and,
  • The standard of living while the marriage was intact.

Signup for Online Parent Class

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.050, 26.09.090, 26.09.120]

.Visitation - Your kids travel between two homes

Washington divorce laws have discarded the terms visitation and custody, and replaced them with a Parenting Plan. The court will give the parents an opportunity to submit a parenting plan, or a child custody schedule, and if they are unable to agree, the court will fashion one using the principle of "best interests of the child". In that Plan the court will set out when the child will be with each parent, which parent will make what decisions regarding the child, how disputes between the parents will be resolved and any limits on parenting functions. The court can look at any or all of the following:

  • Any agreements the parents have made,
  • Each parent's ability to perform parenting functions,
  • The relative strength, nature and stability of the child's relationship with each parent, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child,
  • The emotional needs and developmental level of the child,
  • The child's relationship with siblings and other significant adults,
  • The child's involvement with his or her school or other activities,
  • The wishes of the parents,
  • The wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences.

 

parenting plan

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.181, 26.09.184]

cheatingGrounds for divorce

Washington State is a 'no-fault divorce' state, meaning that the only grounds for a dissolution is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Following the ninety-day requirement to proceed (since the date the petition was filed), the court will continue the action, dismiss it or grant a dissolution of marriage. No fault means that there is no burden on either part to prove marital misconduct (fault) has taken place. The court makes the assumption that the differences between the parties are irreconcilable and will proceed. Therefore grounds for divorce in Washington are simply irreconcilable differences. flushed

 

Divorce forms and papers

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.030]

residencyResidency - You must be a legal resident to file

In order for a petition of divorce to proceed, at least one of the parents must have been a resident of this state for at least ninety days prior to the commencement of the action. A member of the armed forces who is stationed elsewhere but was residing in Washington for at least ninety days prior to relocation is considered to have established residency. Courts can proceed once residency has been established, and can enter a decree of divorce, dismiss the petition or continue it.

 

custody x change parenting software

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.010, 26.09.030]

mediationMediation - Using a Mediator to resolve disputes

During the process the court may recognize that mediation may be required to resolve differences between the parties. The stated objective is to reduce acrimony which may exist between the parties and to develop an agreement assuring the child's close and continuing contact with both parents after the marriage is dissolved. Any agreement reached by the parties as a result of mediation gets reported to the court and to counsel for the parties by the mediator on the day set for mediation or any time thereafter designated by the court. 

 

Find a lawyer!

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.015]

grandmotherGrandparents Visitation

Federal law and Washington divorce laws allow grandparents to petition the court for visitation rights of grandchildren. Courts will rule on these petitions based on the best interests of the children. Courts want to find that there has been a significant relationship between grandparents and grandchildren before they will grant such a request.

However, there are no active statutes on the books for grandparents visitation. If you are the grandparent, you must show the court you qualify as a de facto parent. A de facto parent is one where:

  • The natural or legal parent consented to and fostered the parent-like relationship
  • The petitioner and the child lived together in the same household
  • The petitioner took on activities of parenthood without any expectation to be compensated
  • The petitioner performed parental obligations for long enough to have established a parental-like bond with the child

Washington is one of a handful of states that lend little hope to grandparents seeking visitation with a grandchild. Case law reflects a negative bias against grandparents visitation efforts, and the cost of legal representation and time it takes to completion make this effort prohibitive. Sorry Grandma, you are in the wrong state.

 

 

custody x change parenting plan software

 

[Revised Code of Washington - Title 26 - Chapters: 26.09.240]

tetheredWaiting Period

At least 90 days must have elapsed from the time a court is petitioned that the marriage is irretrievably broken before a court can enter a decree of dissolution, dismiss the petition, or in some cases, extend the petition.

There are no restrictions against remarriage following a final divorce decree.

 

 

custody x change parenting software

 


A Word On Your Journey Toward Healing And Recovery ...

At some point in the process, you may discover that you will not be able to manage the divorce recovery all by yourself. If you are a man, you are apt to bury the hurt and anguish and force yourself to Move On. However, unresolved feelings are just that- unresolved, and are likely to become issues later on. If you are a woman, you will feel the process more, and likely will experience a feeling of loss while feeling lost. We recommend you spend time discovering why things worked out as they did, so that you grow with the new knowledge. We offer a myriad of tools that can get you to the other side. The more you learn, the less you fear. Trust us on this. Spend some time and a few bucks and the return will be ten-fold.

Arm yourself with Child Custody Strategies, begin an on-line Parenting Plan and download Divorce Forms. Begin TODAY.