If you are involved in a family law matter, we understand you are going to have a lot of questions. This is not only an emotional and stressful time, but also a time marked by a lot of confusion. Any legal matter can be confusing, especially if you are unaware of the laws in your state. Are you aware of Washington family law practices? The best thing you can do if you find yourself in this situation is to hire a good lawyer that will help you through these difficult times. At the Law Office of Kalkadora Thangkhiew, we specialize in family law and can help you achieve the best result for you and your family.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding Washington family law.
Do I have to provide a reason when filing for divorce?
No you do not. In fact, Washington state is a no-fault state, meaning there is no opportunity for assigning blame in the filing process. Whoever files for divorce files as a result of the marriage being “irretrievably broken.”
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. While there is always the potential to take things to court if you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement through mediation, there is not a requirement to do so. In many cases spouses can come to an agreement outside of court. At our law offices we will help you during mediation, but are also prepared to go to court if it is necessary.
Do I need to be legally separated from my spouse before I can get a divorce?
You do not. Some couples may decide to be legally separated before getting a divorce, but this is not mandatory. The process for filing for legal separation is largely the same as filing for divorce, with the main difference being at the end of the proceedings you are still married in the case of a legal separation, whereas in the case of a divorce you are not. If you are unsure how to proceed, please consult with us and we can help you decide what is the best path and can provide more details on the difference between legal separation and divorce.
Is mediation an option?
Absolutely. If you are on good terms with your spouse and it is at all possible, mediation will be a great option for you. In this situation you can come to an agreement with your spouse (along with the help of your lawyers) without involving the stress of the courts. This allows you to stay in control of what happens instead of having a judge make the final decision.
How is child custody determined in Washington state?
Child custody is always based on what is in the best interest of the child or children. In many situations what is best will involve both parents being actively involved in the child’s life. Under Washington family law, child custody is determined through the creation of a parenting plan. Based on numerous factors a plan will be created that details where the child will live, who will make decisions on behalf of the child, and how future conflicts will be handled.
How is alimony or child support determined?
Determining who will pay alimony or child support will vary from case to case. In the best case scenario both parties will come to an agreement regarding the amount and length of these payments during mediation, but if a decision cannot be made, a judge will decide what is necessary. Child support in particular will be based on a set of statutory guidelines that include the income of both parents and the expenses involved with any children involved.
Do I need an attorney, or can I represent myself?
While it is technically an option to represent yourself, we highly advise against doing so. Without an attorney you are at risk of losing a lot of time and money in the process of finalizing your divorce.
If you are currently dealing with a divorce or any other family law matter, it is in your best interest to seek legal help. Please contact us for a free consultation and we will assist you to reach a cost-effective resolution as quickly as possible.