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Vancouver WA Family Law Blog

What is a Washington domestic violence protective order?

As discussed last week, domestic violence victims may find it incredibly difficult to leave the perpetrator of the abuse. However, once they do decide to break ties with the perpetrator, they often need to turn to the courts for a protective order, for their own safety.

Why do domestic violence victims stay in their relationships?

Domestic violence is a very real problem in Vancouver, Washington. One may wonder why victims of domestic violence simply do not leave the abuser and seek help. However, the reality is that there are numerous reasons why a person may feel forced stay in an abusive relationship, even if he or she wishes to leave.

The adoption process is available to help families

Families today are made up of many different types, sizes and structures. One way that families in Washington may decide to start or grow a family is through adoption and the adoption process. While adoption may be an a positive step in the lives of families endeavoring into the adoption process, it may also be somewhat intimidating if a family is unfamiliar with the process or does not know what to expect from it.

The adoption process can serve an important legal purpose for an already existing emotional relationship between an adoptive parent and child. There are a number of different types of adoption and adoption situations, including when a married couple seeks to adopt a newborn child or older child; when a stepparent seeks to adopt a step child or children; when a single parent seeks to adopt a child; as well as additional adoption situations such as adult adoption or the ratification of foreign adoptions.

Dedicated to helping you solve your family law conflict

Although most Washington residents would rather avoid having to involve the courts and legal system with their issues, sometimes life throws us curves, resulting in problems that require legal representation. We understand that these types of problems can be emotional in nature and you need compassionate representation. Whether you are going through a divorce, require a child support modification or need help with an adoption, we have the knowledge and experience to assist you with any family law conflict you may be facing.

We use law as a tool to help you resolve your family law issues. Whether you need your ex-spouse to pay child support or want to ensure you get a fair settlement in a divorce, the law can help. When you enlist our help in your legal case, you get a team of experienced lawyers who will fight for your legal rights.

What are some things I should consider regarding guardianship?

Family situations often change for Clark County, Washington, residents, and sometimes it becomes necessary for an adult to become a guardian for a minor child. It could be a niece, nephew, grandchild, younger sibling or other close relative. Guardianship is not something that should be taken lightly, as it comes with major responsibilities. Read on for some basic information on becoming a child's guardian.

As a guardian, you would play a major role in the daily care of the child, as you would have full child custody. You must provide shelter, clothing and food for the child, just as you would your own child. You must also provide medical care and arrange for education. All of this would come out of your own pocket, so you would have to have the time and money to properly care for the child.

Washington policeman on leave after domestic violence allegations

Washington residents typically call the police when their lives feel threatened. However, sometimes police officers are the ones committing crimes. This may be because they abuse their power or end up in conflicted relationships. Whatever the reason, police officers can be on the other side of the law, as witnessed in a recent domestic violence allegation involving a Washington state police officer.

The 25-year-old man faces domestic violence and burglary charges after allegedly kicking down the door of a home where his girlfriend was visiting. He then reportedly entered the home even after the woman who was at the door asked him to leave. The officer had a personal firearm in his possession at the time of the incident, according to investigators.

Reduce family law conflict with a parenting agreement

While some divorcing couples battle over custody of their children and how they should be raised, most Washington couples are able to keep conflict to a minimum thanks to amicable negotiation. The results of the negotiation are immortalized in what is known as a parenting agreement. This legal document contains a variety of elements related to how each parent should bring up the children, although the content may vary from couple to couple. Read on to learn more about this important family law tool and what it should include.

For the most part, parenting agreements should include issues related to custody and visitation. For example, where will the child live? Will both parents be involved in major decisions affecting the child's care? With whom will the child spend holidays and school vacations? How often will the noncustodial parent visit the child? These are some examples of what the agreement should contain.

How can I find my ex who owes thousands in child support?

When a Washington couple divorces or otherwise splits up, both parties have the legal responsibility to care for their children, if any. Typically, one parent will have custody of the child, while the other will be forced to pay child support. However, not all noncustodial parents dutifully pay child support. Many shirk their financial responsibility by refusing to work or leaving the state. So when the other parent has thousands of dollars in owed child support and can't be found, what happens next?

It's important to get the child support agency and local authorities involved so they can track down the deadbeat parent. Information such as previous employers, Social Security Number and the child's birth certificate are all helpful. In addition, providing authorities with information about the parent's friends and family members can help track him or her down more easily. The Federal Parent Locator Service also compiles information about parents and may have data that can help.

New movement supports shared child custody

Washington parents recently celebrated Father's Day, and to those who are divorced, the holiday has more meaning thanks to a new movement sweeping the nation. Traditionally, when parents divorce, the mother is awarded primary child custody. Fathers' roles are often downgraded to simply visiting. But that's starting to change, thanks in part to fathers who are demanding a greater role in child-raising. Courts and lawmakers are also beginning to understand the many advantages of shared parenting.

One recent study found that primary custody was awarded to the mother in approximately 83 percent of divorce cases. Fathers, on average, were allowed to see their children five times a month.

How pro se legal services can help lower the cost of divorce

A divorce can be messy, which is why many couples seek the services of lawyers. However, legal representation comes at a price. The average cost of a divorce in the United States is $15,000 - a costly endeavor for those who are unemployed or struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately, some law firms offer pro se legal services to help clients in Washington and other parts of the country affordably deal with a legal matter, but they're not for everyone.

There are some programs that offer free legal services for low-income households, but very few qualify. That's why many people are looking to pro se legal services. These services offer an a la carte approach for clients who may have a legal background. Clients represent themselves in court, but may call on a lawyer to assist with certain aspects, such as drafting documents or helping with evidence. The client chooses what services he needs assistance with and pays the lawyer accordingly.

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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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