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Vancouver WA Family Law Blog

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.

How it's possible for one spouse to keep the house in a divorce

In a Seattle divorce, property division is often a huge issue. This is especially true when one spouse wants to keep the marital home. This can be complicated when both are listed on the title of the house. The most common solution is to refinance the home in one spouse's name, but this can be complicated when lenders require a debt-to-income ratio of under 43 percent. With proper planning, however, a divorcing party can make his or her dream of keeping the family home a reality post-divorce.

The best thing a person can do is seek assistance from a financial adviser. A financial expert can review a client's assets and liabilities and help the client understand his or her financial position after a divorce. By taking a closer look at finances, the person can get a reality check and determine if keeping the family home is really a wise choice. Emotions are involved in a divorce, and while there may be some attachment to the home, downsizing to a smaller home or choosing an apartment instead may be a better choice financially.

Focus on the big picture when arguing over child custody

Divorce is an emotional time for Washington couples. The stress and strain caused by the end of a marriage can affect a couple's relationship with friends, family and even their own children. This is especially true when the couple fights over child custody. In a custody dispute, it can be difficult to keep the best interests of the child in mind, but it is possible when one seeks guidance from a legal representative who can help you every step of the way.

In many divorce cases, the spouses are out to hurt each other. In the end, all this does is create unnecessary stress while also causing a lengthy and costly court battle. By acting with maturity, the couple can work toward negotiation and come up with a custody solution that is fair to all parties involved.

Are these the keys to avoiding divorce?

Married Washington couples want to know: What exactly are the keys to a successful marriage? Many may say communication, honesty, loyalty and compromise. While these are excellent traits to have, a scientific study says otherwise. Two researchers from Emory University surveyed 3,151 Americans in heterosexual marriages. The following are the key findings.

As the old saying goes, "money can't buy happiness," but according to the research, more money equates to a happier marriage. Those who make between $50,000 and $75,000 are 39 percent less likely to divorce, while those who earn more than $125,000 a year are 51 percent less likely to divorce. This makes sense, considering that many marriages end due to financial issues.

Common family law issue: Unmarried couples with children

Gone are the days when a typical Washington family consisted of a married couple with children. Today many unmarried couples are having children, which can cause future legal issues if the parents end their relationship. Read on to learn more about this common family law issue and what needs to be done to ensure everyone's rights are protected.

When couples are married and have children, paternity is presumed. But when the couple is unmarried, the law does not presume that the boyfriend is the father. Therefore, the man must acknowledge that he is the father of the child by signing a document. This will name both parents on the baby's birth certificate. This is important in the event of a split because the father will then be eligible to receive visitation rights as well as child support and custody.

What happens when a WA spouse dies before a divorce is finalized?

When Seattle couples divorce, death is typically not involved. But, considering that the divorce process can last longer than a year, there is a possibility that one spouse could die during this time. For example, what if a wife leaves her husband and files for divorce after finding out he has a terminal illness? The husband then dies before the divorce is finalized. What happens to the divorce action, and what does the wife receive, if anything?

When the spouse dies, the divorce action also dies. This means that the couple is still considered married at the time of death. The law says that a surviving spouse has the right to receive one-third of the deceased spouse's estate or $50,000, whichever is more. Even if the couple was estranged and the will says otherwise, the surviving spouse is still entitled to this amount. If the surviving spouse was listed as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or retirement account, he or she will receive that money as well.

How you may be affected by Washington's domestic violence laws

Unfortunately, relationships do not always go as smoothly as expected. A seemingly minor disagreement can suddenly erupt into a physical altercation that results in injuries to the other partner or even the children. It can be scary to be involved in this type of situation. Fortunately, Washington does not take domestic violence lightly and has strict laws in place for those who physically or emotionally abuse their partners or children.

Domestic violence cases can be tricky to navigate because they border on family law and criminal law. However, a competent attorney can help clients who are dealing with a variety of issues related to domestic violence, including restraining and no-contact orders and child custody and other divorce issues. By better understanding how domestic violence affects these various issues, those suffering from domestic violence can make informed decisions that support the best interests of themselves and their family.

How an uncontested divorce may or may not work for you

Divorce is never easy, but there are some ways to reduce the amount of stress involved. If both spouses agree that it's best to end the marriage, then an uncontested divorce may be a viable option. Uncontested divorce is available in some states, and it allows both parties to resolve any issues on their own and finalize the divorce quickly and easily. Because the process is streamlined, the couple may save money as well, which is always a good thing.

Couples who agree to uncontested divorce still need to file for divorce. If they have everything already worked out -- including child custody issues -- the uncontested divorce may be granted. However, it may be beneficial to have an attorney, because no divorce is without any sort of conflict.

I am filing for bankruptcy. Do I still need to pay child support?

Many Washington parents face financial challenges. The cost of living is constantly increasing, and many people struggle with medical bills and credit card debt. On top of that, they may be forced to pay child support. All of these financial obligations can ultimately result in bankruptcy. If a parent files for bankruptcy, does that make their child support obligations disappear?

Bankruptcy can eliminate various types of debt, but child support is an exception. The courts are very strict about parents fulfilling their obligations to their children. Adults make the decision to have children and because of this, they must be financially and legally responsible for their care. Even if a parent does file for bankruptcy, the court will not relieve him or her of the monthly payment.

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