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Vancouver WA Family Law Blog

What a child support order does and how to create one

Washington parents are obligated to financially support their children until the children turn 18, without regard to the marital status of the mother and father. When the parents split or when one parent fails to pay child support, the court can create an order that instructs the non-custodial parent to make monthly payments or face penalties.

A child support order identifies the parent who pays the support and the parent who receives the support. It also outlines the amount and frequency of the payments and shows how the payments are to be made, such as through direct deposit or payroll deductions. The order will also state what will happen if the payments are not made, such as fines, license revocation or wage garnishment.

How do domestic partnerships end?

The dissolution of a domestic partnership is similar to a divorce except that there may not be the same legal protections in place. This is because not every state recognizes domestic partnerships, so couples who register as a domestic partnership in Washington may not be able to split once they move to another state.

Those who register their domestic partnership in Washington are allowed to end it there based on the agreement filed there. The courts generally decide on property distribution based on when the property was acquired and how long the partnership lasted. Anything acquired before the partnership is considered non-marital property and is not subject to division. The property may also be split 50-50 or partitioned.

Stuck in a stagnant marriage? Divorce should be a consideration

Every marriage has its ups and downs. Many couples are able to resolve any issues and improve their marriage as a result. However, there are some instances in which one person will continue working harder and harder to make the marriage work, while the other person puts no effort into salvaging the relationship. When this happens, instead of living in constant unhappiness, it may be time to end the marriage and move on.

Constant conflict in a marriage can take its toll on a couple in various ways. It can cause mental stress as well as illness. The stress in a marriage can lead to unhealthy habits such as poor eating, lack of sleep and memory issues. The negative feelings can turn into anxiety and depression. By divorcing, a person's well-being can improve.

How does the divorce process work in Washington State?

Unfortunately, not all marriages have a happy ending. For whatever reason, Washington couples may choose to end their marriages. This must be done through the divorce process, which varies from state to state. There are no requirements for divorce in Washington, other than you must be a resident at the time of the filing. Read on to learn about the stages of divorce, from beginning to end.

To begin the process, one of the parties must file a petition with the court. Both spouses may file jointly if they both agree to divorce. Otherwise, the petition is served to the other spouse and he or she has anywhere from 20-60 days to respond. The petition includes information about alimony, property division and child custody, if applicable. The recipient may agree with the terms outlined in the petition or counter them.

Make timely child support payments with this handy checklist

Parenthood is a huge responsibility. Washington mothers and fathers are obligated to ensure that their children are taken care of until they reach adulthood. Even when the parents split or divorce, both parents must provide financial care for their children. The court will use child support guidelines to ensure that the custodial parent receives the money necessary to feed and clothe the child as well as provide necessary medical care. When the noncustodial parent refuses to pay, he or she can face serious consequences. Parents can use this handy checklist to ensure timely payments.

The first step is to determine the monthly payment. This may be decided by the parents, but if they cannot agree, the court will make a decision and issue an order. The next step is to set up a withholding schedule with the state. This allows the State of Washington to automatically withhold payments from each paycheck to avoid any late payments.

What are my responsibilities if I pursue guardianship of a child?

When a Seattle mother and father are unable to care for their child, a family member may step in and petition for legal guardianship of the child. This is so the child is not taken away by the state and put into a foster agency. While family members may mean well, guardianship comes with a lot of responsibilities. It's similar to being the child's parent, which means that the guardian must be able to provide both emotional and financial support for the child.

Caring for one's own biological child is demanding enough, and it can be even more challenging when the child is not your own. The child in question may be your grandchild, niece, nephew or even your own sibling. If the parents are still alive and have legal rights to the child, then you may be able to seek financial support from them. If not, then you may be able to receive money from Social Security. Any money you receive must go directly to the child's care and you may have to provide regular reports as proof.

Couple suffer injuries in possible domestic violence case

Police in the state of Washington recently responded to a possible case of domestic violence at an apartment complex in Bothell. A man and woman both had cuts to their neck and police believe that a box cutter, which was found in the apartment, was the weapon used.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of Dec. 4. The sheriff's office responded to a call at Willow Tree Grove Apartments and found a man and a woman, both in their 40s, with neck lacerations. Both are in critical condition and are being treated at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.

I'm divorced with child custody. How does that affect my taxes?

When you and your spouse make the decision to get a divorce, there are likely a million things running through your mind. Where will I live? What will happen to my assets? How much will I have to pay in alimony? Will I get custody of the children? Probably the last thing on your mind is taxes, but when April 15 approaches, you'll want to know how you're affected, especially if you have child custody. Here are some things divorced Vancouver, Washington, parents will want to know about the tax implications.

Raising a child comes with many tax benefits. You can claim head of household, an exemption, child tax credit and earned income credit. If the child attends daycare while the parent works, the parent can also claim daycare expenses on his or her tax form. But when the parents divorce, only one parent can claim all these benefits. They cannot be split between the mother and father; it's an all or nothing situation.

How paternity is established besides paternity testing

It is important for children to know who their parents are. It's also important for parents - particularly fathers - to take responsibility for the children they produce. This means paying child support and being involved in their children's lives. Paternity testing is a common way for the courts to determine if a man is the father of a child. For those who do want to assume paternity of a child, there are ways to do so through the state of Washington without having to submit to a genetic test.

When a couple is married at the time their child is born, the man is considered to be the father unless either parent or another party challenges that assumption. No special paperwork is required to validate this claim. The same applies when a couple is in a registered domestic partnership - which is recognized in Washington - throughout the pregnancy. The man is presumed to be the father unless there is any disagreement.

Is a spouse controlling money a form of domestic abuse?

When most Washington residents think of domestic violence, they imagine one partner physically abusing or perhaps using a weapon on the other partner. They only think about the physical aspect, but the truth is that domestic violence encompasses much more than physical harm. Emotional and sexual abuse are also forms of domestic violence. What many don't know is that financial abuse can also constitute domestic violence.

Financial abuse involves one person's control over the other's money. Many couples pool their money into a joint account and appoint one person to be in charge of the bills, so financial abuse may not be immediately obvious in a relationship. The husband might, for example, constantly check an account balance and question every purchase the wife makes, even if she contributes toward the household income. He might take possession of her checks and credit cards and prohibit her from buying anything. In some cases, he might even forbid her from obtaining an education or job.

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108 E. Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98660
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