Ending It Like a Boss
End It Like a Boss
Your Truth and Your Separation Story
We will go to Court FOR YOU! Most people hire a lawyer for their divorce because they have something important to say and it's not being heard. Divorce and custody disputes are personal and unique and emotional. Giving a strong voice to the truth and the stories of our clients is where we start. At Divorce Litigation Partners, our family law attorneys go to court . We are detail oriented and we never lose sight of the big picture. We are the experienced and effective lawyer you want standing beside you when it is time to tell your side of the story.
If you and your spouse can agree on how to separate the assets of your marriage, how to divide the future care and decision making for your children, and whether spousal maintenance or alimony is appropriate, then you don’t need to hire a lawyer. You may consider filing for divorce on your own or using a paralegal or an on-line service. King County has a family law facilitator who can assist people without lawyers who are trying to navigate all the necessary forms and papers required for a divorce.
But if there is not an agreement, then hire an attorney. Getting it done right is important and so too is effectively providing for your future, perhaps a new home, family changes, and a new lifestyle.
And let us help you get a fair result that reflects and protects those things most important to you.
PROPERTY DIVISION DIVORCE CHILD CUSTODY ALIMONY
Washington State uses the term “Dissolution” to describe ending a marriage. Either partner can end the marriage without cause by declaring that the marriage is irretrievably broken. There is no defense to a divorce. If one spouse wants to stop being married then the marriage is over. It takes 90 days, from the date of filing to get divorced assuming there are no contested issues. But a contested divorce in King County will be set for trial one year from the filing date and it is not unusual to see contested dissolution cases take over one year.
Getting divorced is about separating all the things that a couple has built during the marriage. It is possible to become legally separated without being divorced and some couples prefer to not divorce but to separate and establish their legal rights and responsibilities during the period of separation. Washington State is a community property state, meaning that the things acquired during the marriage are the only things that are divided. Property is divided equitably, not 50/50. Property acquired before the marriage is usually, but not always, excluded from equitable distribution.
Our Child Custody page has extensive information, but generally speaking divorcing parents are required to propose a detailed parenting plan that provides for all the needs of the child and the responsibilities of the parents. Dividing custody with children is difficult for everyone.
Our Alimony and Maintenance page will guide you on what to expect financial responsibilities to your spouse, but generally spousal maintenance is limited in time and limited to situations where one spouse will need assistance to regain lost momentum or obtain educational or professional goals put off during the marriage. In case of late divorcing couples, spousal maintenance may be permanent.
Our Property Division page offers more specific information, but the general rule is that assets and debts acquired during the marriage will be equitably distributed. For example, a spouse with more earning capability may received considerably less that 50% of the marital assets. Washington State Courts try not to become too involved in punishing a spouse who acted badly by having affairs, shirking responsibilities unless those behaviors negatively impacted the assets of the marriage.
The Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts has published a terrific handbook on Divorce. You can download a copy of the handbook here: Family Law Handbook.
For those looking to dig into “the law,” check out RCW 26.09 which sets out all the important rules and regulations that a court must following when considering the issues in a case for dissolution.