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Vancouver WA Family Law Blog

How we can help with different types of adoptions

Many Washington couples may prefer to experience parenthood as birth parents. However, infertility threatens many men and women who want to be parents. Many couples spend tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments. While they work sometimes, in many cases, the couple still ends up empty-handed in the end. After exhausting their time and energies, couples may move on to their next option: adoption. Adoption is similar in that it can also be a long process, but at the end it would be worth it, as the couple would have a child to call their own.

Adoption is an exciting process for families who have waited a long time for a new addition or who want to make a relationship with a child official. While the process can be difficult at times, it is ultimately rewarding. While most people who adopt are singles or couples who cannot have a child of their own, there are other types of adoption as well.

Agreeing on child support outside of court

When many Washington residents think of child support, they think of it as something ordered by the court. While this is true in many cases, some couples try to agree on child support on their own, outside of court. There are two ways to accomplish negotiating child support without a nasty court battle.

If the split is amicable, the parents can work on a solution together without any legal representation. They can agree on the monthly payment amount and how long the support should last. Once both sides agree on all the details, they create a written agreement, which serves as their settlement.

Why are divorce rates high among low-income families?

Washington residents dream of the perfect marriage, but what does this idea of perfection include? Studies show that women want men with steady jobs who share their ideas of raising children and sharing household responsibilities. Sadly, many women - especially those in low-income families - are finding that their dreams of an equal partnership aren't realized, leading to increasing divorce rates. Is the perfect marriage too much to ask?

Gone are the days when the woman would stay home with the kids and take care of the household while the men worked all day. Nowadays, many women are working full-time jobs and doing the majority of the childcare and household chores while the men work part-time in unsteady positions or maybe not at all. This causes a lot of stress in a relationship.

Impact of domestic violence on one's life

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a reality for many Washington residents who are in relationships. Regardless of whether the alleged abuser claims the incident is a "one-time thing," or the problem has been an ongoing occurrence, it's a serious matter. It can affect both the victim and the alleged offender in various aspects of their lives. Read on to learn more about the long-term impact of domestic violence.

A restraining order is nothing to mess with. It is a legal order that prevents the offender from initiating any physical contact with the victim. If this order is violated, the result could be fines or even jail time. Even though a violation is typically a misdemeanor, the result could be thousands of dollars in fines and up to a year in jail. A restraining order violation could affect one's employment opportunities, since many employers tend to shun applicants with violent criminal backgrounds. The person may also be banned from owning a firearm.

Is it mandatory that domestic violence be reported?

Relationships are supposed to be filled with love and affection, but unfortunately, many are abusive. Sometimes people use physical force to control the ones they supposedly love. Even when they are hurt by their abusers, many victims continue to stay in these relationships. They fear being seriously harmed or even killed if they report the abuser to authorities. Is it required that domestic violence be reported in Washington State?

Those in certain professions, particularly ones that work with children, must report known domestic violence. This includes teachers, daycare providers, social workers and foster care workers. Those in the medical field, such as doctors, dentists, emergency room technicians, hospital personnel and medical office staff, must also inform authorities of domestic violence. Police officers must also report abuse.

Modifying child support without going to court

To many Seattle parents, child support payment orders may seem unfair. Some may argue that that they are paying too much, while others may feel that they aren't receiving enough to pay for their children's living expenses. Many parents would love to request a modification, but after a messy divorce, who wants to step into a courtroom and argue in front of a judge again? What if there was a way to obtain an increase or decrease in child support without going to court? Fortunately, there is one way to accomplish this.

Some child support orders include a Cost of Living Adjustment clause (COLA.) This clause provides that monthly child support payments are automatically increased or decreased every year based on the cost of living. The cost of living is typically based on the consumer price index, which is calculated based on price changes that consumers experience when they purchase household goods and services. The cost of living typically rises from year to year, but in 2009, the consumer price index actually fell. The last time this happened prior to that year, was in 1955.

Using Facebook for divorce and other legal issues

Many people going through a divorce already use social media to investigate an ex-spouse, especially in child support cases. Now, Washington residents may be able to use Facebook to initiate a divorce and serve papers to an estranged spouse. A woman recently got permission from a judge to serve her husband divorce papers via Facebook because it was the only way she could reach him.

The 26-year-old woman, who had been married six years, was only able to reach her estranged husband through a private message on Facebook. She and her husband were no longer living together and he was living homeless on the streets with no address or job. How was she supposed to divorce him if she couldn't even find him?

Helping Washington residents with common family law issues

Divorce is a common family law issue, but for Washington couples who have never experienced it, the process can be foreign to them. There are so many details to iron out, such as alimony, property division, child support and custody. It can be stressful enough just to think about how to manage everything. That's why it's important to have someone on your side who has experience dealing with various types of family law cases.

It's important to have someone represent you who has experience helping others with problem like yours. A good reputation is also crucial. If the lawyer of your choice has more negative reviews than positive ones, there's a problem. Talk to your friends, family members and neighbors to see who they recommend.

Correlation between domestic violence and child support

Sometimes when a Washington spouse decides to get a divorce, the other spouse fights back with threats. If children are involved, a spouse may tell the other that he or she will never receive child support. A spouse may also threaten that if the other spouse asks for support, he or she will lose child custody. This is a form of domestic violence that thousands of Washington residents have experienced. Read on to learn more about the correlation between child support and domestic violence.

Even if a spouse never hits or assaults the other spouse, he or she can still be accused of domestic violence. Domestic violence is all about control and an abuser can use money to control the other spouse. By taking away a person's access to money, the victim is forced to stay in a controlling environment.

March - not January - is peak month for divorce

Research and news sources have led many Seattle residents to believe that January is the top month for divorce filings. However, it seems that while the number of divorces tend to increase dramatically in January, Internet searches for divorce actually peak two months later - in March. In fact, searches about divorce tend to increase right after Valentine's Day. Read on to learn more about the statistics surrounding divorce.

Legal sites Westlaw and FindLaw studied divorce filings during the three-year period of 2008-2011 and found that divorces increase around Valentine's Day and peak in March. In fact, legal website Avvo.com notes a 40 percent increase of divorce questions in the days surrounding Feb. 14. This is likely because spouses experience a letdown when their Valentine's Day doesn't go as planned and they would rather spend the next one alone.

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Morse Bratt Andrews & Foster, PLLC
108 E. Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98660
Phone: 877-818-7852
Fax: 360-213-2030
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