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Everett Divorce Law Blog

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.

What are your rights as grandparents?

Sometimes grandparents seek to take over the care of children because the kids' parents are not able to care for them properly due to drug or alcohol abuse, medical or emotional problems, incarceration or any number of issues. By taking custody of their grandchildren, grandparents can keep these kids out of the foster system or other government programs and provide them with a stable, loving home.

If you are caring for your grandchildren because their parents aren't able to, it's important to ensure that legal guardianship is established. This can help prevent other family members from trying to take the kids from you or parents who aren't fit to care for them from taking them.

Why do people draw up postnuptial agreements?

Postnuptial agreements haven't been around for as long as prenuptial agreements. In fact, only in the 20th century did women gain the right to enter into contracts with their husbands. However, family law attorneys report that they are increasingly being asked to draft postnups.

Postnups are legal contracts similar to prenups, and they address many of the same issues. The most common subjects covered in postnups (in order) are:

Prenuptial agreements can protect your children when you remarry

While prenuptial agreements among couples of all ages and income levels are becoming more common, some couples going into a second or subsequent marriage still balk at signing one.

However, for people with children from previous marriages or relationships, it's important to delineate each person's separate assets you are bringing into the marriage and to keep those assets separate. Otherwise, your children and/or other heirs could be left out in the cold, even if you and your new spouse never divorce.

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