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Vancouver WA Family Law Blog

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.

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.

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108 E. Mill Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98660
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