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Everett Divorce Law Blog

New custody trend has many rethinking traditional arrangements

The divorce has been hard on you, and you can only imagine the difficulties your children are having. They may not be able to put into words their emotions and confusion over the drastic changes taking place, and you know there may be many years of confusion ahead if you and your soon-to-be former spouse don't find a fair way to resolve the custody question.

You and your co-parent may be trying to overcome your own emotions to work out a custody arrangement that will be as stress-free as possible for the little ones. However, the best you can do is to divide time between one parent and the other, between one house and the other, packing the children up every week and sending them off to their other parent's home. It may interest you to know that some families have come up with another alternative.

Surprising study shows benefits of baby sleepovers with Dad

Children don't often get much say in the aftermath of a divorce. Parents make decisions, and courts make rulings, all seemingly with the best interests of the child in mind. Until recent generations, courts assumed that it was dangerous to separate a child from its mother - especially overnight - until the child was old enough to attend school. For this reason, both fathers and children may have missed important opportunities to bond.

Researchers are beginning to realize the error in this thinking. More often, child advocates are encouraging family law courts to even out the amount of time each parent spends with the children.

Considering collaborative divorce? Here's what you need to know

As the decades have past, the stigma surrounding divorce has disappeared. In fact, it would be a challenge for any Washington resident not to know someone, or know someone who knows someone, who is divorced. Because of its prevalence, those within the family law field have provided alternatives for those who do not want to go through the traditional courtroom drama formerly required of divorcing couples.

Mediation became more popular, and then, in the 1990s, a new method of divorce came onto the scene that is now finding its place among the alternatives to going to court: collaborative divorce. If you and your spouse are looking for a less contentious, time-consuming and expensive way to resolve your divorce issues, this method may be right for you.

The controversial rise of #divorceselfies

Perhaps you can thank the maturity and generous nature of some celebrities who completed their divorce proceedings with dignity and moved forward gracefully, maintaining a profound friendship, at least in the public eye. The press publishes photos of the recently divorced couples sharing holidays and vacations with their children and seeming to enjoy each other's company like they never did when married.

This may seem like an ideal situation, and some analysts believe it indicates a departure from traditional marriage values to a new definition of family. Whether you agree with this or not, you may find the new trend compelling.

What does it take to make co-parenting work?

You divided your assets and debts, talked about and resolved issues of support, and now you only have one task left, which may be characterized as the most important one -- your parenting plan and child custody agreement. The decisions you make now will affect how you deal not only with your children in the future, but also with your former spouse.

In the midst of a divorce, it's often easy to focus on your feelings for your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and you might even find it tempting to say disparaging things about him or her to or in front of the children. This doesn't serve anyone in the family now or in the future.

Changing child support when your financial circumstances change

When parents choose to end their relationship through divorce or legal separation, the two most common sources of disputes involve finances and child custody. The agreements reached may be workable and suitable for your circumstances at the time, but over the months and years, things can change and, thereby, affect your financial capabilities.

If you find that your child support order no longer reflects the needs of your children or your ability to pay the full amount on a regular basis, you have options. The state of Washington allows parents to seek a modification as long as the applicant seeks these changes by following the required legal process.

How do I navigate a child support-related dispute?

During a divorce proceeding in Washington, one of the biggest points of contention is usually child support, if children are involved. The non-custodial parent -- the parent who does not live with the child -- may naturally worry about an order to pay an unreasonably large percentage of his or her earnings. Meanwhile, the parent who has custody might worry about not receiving the payments he or she is legally supposed to get.

No matter the circumstances surrounding a divorce involving a child support-related dispute, it can be helpful to view the child as the one who legally possesses the right to receive child support. After all, this support is necessary for the child's proper upbringing and care. This may make it easier to make support-related decisions with a future ex, as you are focusing on the child's best interest over everything else.

Child custody orders: I need a change

Child custody is often one of the biggest points of contention during a divorce proceeding in Washington. Once you finally have your divorce decree, spelling out all of the details of your family's child custody arrangements, you may understandably breathe a sigh of relief. However, just because one has finalized a divorce does not mean child custody issues will no longer be a concern.

How can you avoid splitting your business in a divorce?

Prenuptial agreements are advisable for just about every couple when they marry. However, if you own a business, a prenup in which you designate your business as separate property is especially important. It can help prevent your spouse from getting a significant share of a business that you built yourself if the two of you divorce.

A prenup is just the first step in protecting your business, however. People too often do things throughout their marriage that essentially invalidate any protections related to their business that they've codified in the prenup. For example, don't put marital assets into the business or let your spouse contribute to or work for the business if you aren't prepared to share it if you break up.

The importance of pets to children of divorce

Parents who are going through a divorce often determine that it's best for the parent who has primary physical custody of the children to keep the pets. In most cases, unless there is serious animosity between the parents, they agree that this is best for everyone.

Even if the spouse who doesn't have primary custody of the kids feels strongly about keeping the pet, it's important to understand just how important our four-legged family members -- particularly dogs -- are to children during times of stress. Obviously, their parents' divorce is one of the most stressful, and probably the most stressful, event that children will experience.

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Akiona Law, PLLC
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Everett, WA 98201

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