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Washington divorce: Not signing a prenup might be a big mistake

If you are contemplating marriage, the topic of signing a prenuptial agreement may have already arisen between you and your intended spouse. You might be one of many people in Washington who are put off by the idea. If so, you might want to review numerous celebrity cases where stars say they opted not to sign prenups and later regretted their decisions.

Washington is a community property state in divorce. When you get married, you no doubt expect your relationship to last a lifetime. The problem is that many soon-to-be spouses think that if they sign a prenuptial contract, it means they think their marriage will be doomed. Not only is this not necessarily true, but taking time to sign a prenuptial agreement may even make you feel more closely bonded to your beloved.

Don't forget to update your co-parent agreement for holidays

Your Washington neighborhood might be full of holiday decorations. Though, if you are going through a divorce process, stringing up lights probably isn't a priority right now. Your mind might be elsewhere, and you may not feel as festive as you have in previous years.

With co-parenting as your goal, hopefully you and your ex can reach favorable settlement terms and minimize conflict in court. This holiday season, you might want to reflect on the special family gatherings you hold dear as you work toward developing a child custody agreement.

Larry King takes sons' advice and files for divorce

If you have adult children, you may discuss personal matters with them from time to time, such as issues regarding business, politics or marriage. In fact, you might be one of many Washington parents who considers his or her adult children viable sources of advice. Hollywood star Larry King apparently takes his own sons' advice to heart. They are ages 19 and 20 and reportedly recently influenced their father's decision to file for divorce from their mother. 

King has had some health problems and was recently hospitalized for a while. During his stay, his wife allegedly brought legal documents to the hospital for him to sign. His sons were reportedly upset, telling their father that their mother was trying to gain certain property rights and rob them of their inheritance. In light of this, they purportedly urged their dad to file for divorce.

Issues that warrant investigation regarding infidelity

Perhaps you and your spouse got married in a Washington church or courthouse more than 10 or 20 years ago. Then again, maybe you're among the newlyweds of the state. Either way, it's not impossible that your relationship has withstood numerous challenges as it is common for most married couples to hit some rough spots in their journeys. However, if your relationship is teetering on the brink of divorce and you suspect infidelity is a causal factor, you're definitely not alone in your struggle.

Signs often exist that a spouse is being unfaithful. Your marriage is unique, however, so even though you have issues in common with other couples, it doesn't necessarily mean you have the same problems. If you have evidence that your spouse is cheating on you, it's always a good idea to learn more about resources that are available in your area to provide support.

Should you follow the lead of these celebrities when you divorce?

You may not have planned on being one of hundreds of Washington parents who divorce in 2019; however, you and your spouse seem to be headed that way, and what you are most concerned about is how a divorce will affect your children. You have always known what's best for your kids, but this is new territory. It's understandable that you may feel a bit apprehensive.

It's helpful to confide in a trusted friend or family member, especially one who has gone through a similar experience. There's no shortage of divorce stories in Hollywood either. You might be surprised (and thankful) for the sage advice some of your favorite stars have to offer regarding post-divorce parenting. Most parents, celebrity or non-celebrity, agree that it's important to build a strong support system so you can tap into resources as needed to help your children adapt to a new lifestyle.

A prenup scrawled on a napkin may not hold up in court

If you are planning to wed the love your life, you have likely discussed various issues, such as finances, future family size, career, religion and other topics. In fact, like most Washington couples, you have probably spent hours sharing your thoughts and hopes and dreams with your intended spouse. You and your significant other may agree that signing a prenuptial agreement is in both of your best interests; however, it is always a good idea to research the legal aspects involved with such contracts before signing anything.

When people fail to clarify the laws of their state and choose instead to take matters into their own hands, things don't always turn out the way they hoped they would. For instance, in the late 1980s, film production icon Steven Spielberg and his then wife, Amy Irving, decided to divorce. Problems arose when they expected the judge overseeing their case to enforce a prenuptial agreement they had previously scrawled on a napkin. The judge refused, and Irving walked away with $100 million after four years of marriage.

After-affair guilt could impact divorce negotiations

After finding out that your spouse cheated, your emotions may have run wild. You certainly felt betrayed and angry, but you may also have felt as if it was somehow your fault. You may even have given substantial thought as to whether you and your spouse could overcome this affair and continue the marriage.

In the end, you decided that divorce best suited the situation. Maybe your spouse wants to move forward in life with his or her new romantic interest, or perhaps you simply could not overcome the emotional turmoil and breaking of trust the affair caused. Still, you could potentially use the affair as leverage during your divorce proceedings.

Divorce changes things, including summer time with the kids

When you decided to file for divorce in a Washington court, you likely had a million thoughts swirling in your mind regarding how your children might take the news and what you'd be able to do to help them come to terms with the situation. Divorce often creates many parenting challenges, such as basic logistics of going to school or sports practices and social gatherings (i.e., which of you is picking them up or attending a special event?) as well as emotional issues that may arise.  

A time when changes in family dynamics are felt the most is during summer. The kids are out of school and your usual customs or traditions as a family may change because one parent is no longer there. The good news is that your divorce doesn't necessarily have to mean the end to your summer time fun. If you know where to seek support if a co-parenting problem arises and have ideas on hand to help your kids move on in life, you may wind up having your best summer yet.  

Don't let the end of marriage be the end of financial stability

If you were to survey residents in Washington who are divorced regarding causal factors that led to their marital splits, it is likely that no two responses would be exactly the same. That's because no two marriages are the same. Some people may have shared common experiences leading up to divorce, but the overall unfolding of each situation is typically unique. Divorce can be quite challenging, and you may worry about various future issues, such as financial stability, as you navigate the process.

You can be proactive toward the outcome of your financial situation in divorce. In fact, there are several things you can keep in mind that can help steer your divorce proceedings in a positive direction. It's also good to remember that you have rights, and there are support networks available to help you protect them.

Divorcing? Know the ins and outs of child custody in Washington

You did your best for more than two decades to build a successful lifestyle with your family in Washington. As it grew more evident that your marriage was heading for divorce, however, your focus immediately shifted to protecting the best interests of your children. You've read recent news stories that have highlighted what can happen when parents disagree on child custody issues. Celebrity fans have been following various ongoing court battles regarding custody fights that have been raging for more than a year now.

The last thing you want is to be entangled in a long, drawn out courtroom battle over your children. Your greatest hope is to negotiate a fair and agreeable plan that provides for your children's needs and helps them move toward a new, happy future. By the tone your spouse takes when you try to discuss custody issues, you aren't so sure an amicable settlement will be possible without the court's intervention.

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