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Vancouver WA Family Law Blog

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.

DNA test and blood test: 2 common types of paternity testing

When a married Washington woman is pregnant, it is assumed that her partner is the father. However, when she cheats on her partner and becomes pregnant, there may be some dispute over which man is the real father. Nonetheless, it is important to determine who the father is, so that matters regarding child support and custody can be resolved. Fortunately, paternity testing is accurate enough to resolve these issues. Read on to learn more about DNA and blood tests.

DNA testing is the most accurate paternity test available. People receive their unique DNA from their mother and father. During a DNA test, the first step is comparing the child's DNA to the mother's. The test then compares DNA patterns between the child and alleged father. The DNA probes between the alleged father, mother and child must all match for the likelihood of paternity to be 99.9 percent. Moreover, DNA testing can be performed at any age.

WA Family Law: how to resolve parenting time interference?

Unfortunately, not all marriages end amicably. Following a divorce, many Washington couples have disputes over parenting children. Child support -- or a lack thereof -- can be a source of anger for some custodial parents. When parents cannot resolve these issues on their own, they may get the children involved. One parent may prohibit the child from visiting or communicating with the other parent. This is called parenting time interference, and it is illegal in some cases. Read on to learn more about this family law issue and how to resolve it.

During a divorce, the parents typically create parenting plans that outline how often the noncustodial parent will see the child. These plans may include visitation schedules and other custody arrangements. These schedules must be strictly followed. When either parent attempts to interfere with the arrangements, then it may be considered direct or indirect interference.

Ever think about divorce? It's common, say experts

As many Vancouver residents can attest, marriage is no piece of cake. Having to spend day in and day out with the same person for eternity can be trying at times, to say the least. Personalities clash, emotions get out of control and stress gets in the way of a happy relationship. Many married couples get into arguments with each other and think about solutions, such as divorce. Is this common, and what does this mean?

Experts say it's normal to think about divorce at some point, but it's not necessarily healthy for a relationship. If a person is so upset with a significant other that every minor conflict leads to thoughts about divorce, something is definitely wrong. Divorce is a major decision that should only be considered when all other methods to repair the marriage have failed. So if divorce is constantly on someone's mind, then it's time to take the appropriate steps to fix the marriage.

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.

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