Dissolving Marriage With Dignity
The law looks at marriage and divorce within a general framework. But individuals going through a divorce are operating under their own unique facts and circumstances, often struggling to determine the best decisions for themselves and their families. As family law and divorce lawyers in Everett, Washington, we help our clients bridge the gap between the law and their family lives to make sure they divorce in the best way for their family.
We cultivate a client-focused atmosphere in which the individuals we represent can contact us directly for legal advice at any stage. We inform our clients of opportunities they have for favorable outcomes, and which factors and decisions might create more obstacles.
Comprehensive Solutions From Your Attorney
At Akiona Law, PLLC, we handle a range of amicable divorce issues, which can involve collaborative divorce, negotiation, mediation or agreed/uncontested divorce. We have found that these methods of alternative dispute resolution are beneficial for everyone involved. You will experience less stress and acrimony, pay less than you would for a trial and keep the details of your divorce private.
Our team handles uncontested divorce and family law concerns, including:
- Property division: We assist in establishing property and asset division agreements, and we will faithfully pursue the equitable distribution of complex marital assets.
- Children’s issues: We skillfully handle all family law matters involving children, including parental rights, parental fitness, parenting time, child support, and the best interests of the children involved in a legal separation or divorce.
- Postsecondary or college-aged child financial support: Standard divorce proceedings rarely plan for support beyond the age of 18. We can help establish support (for example, college) when necessary. Or argue against this type of support when it is not appropriate.
- Spousal support: We understand how to effectively negotiate and argue the terms (for example, amount and length) of spousal support (alimony or spousal maintenance).
- Modifications: A change in circumstances may require modification of final orders, such as, a final parenting plan (child custody) or a final child support order.
- Mediation: We offer mediation services to help parties reach an agreement using alternative dispute resolution tactics. Mediation is less expensive and less stressful for resolving divorce or family law issues versus going to court.
- Collaborative law: You can have more control at less the cost of a typical divorce through collaboration. We can explain clearly why you may prefer this path.
The methods we use to resolve your divorce issues may involve settlement offers, mediation, or collaborative law. It all depends on your relationship with your spouse and how willing you both are to work amicably or collaboratively through the process.
The Answers You Need To Move Forward
Every couple, every family and each person is unique. This is why we do not offer boilerplate divorce services. Instead, we tailor our approach to you, your family dynamics, and your individual needs. Here are three of the more common questions we get. Know that when you are our client, we are here to provide more detailed answers to your unique set of circumstances.
What is the divorce process in Washington?
It takes at least three months for a divorce to finalize, no matter what. Washington State recognizes marriage and divorce are emotional events. This is why the 90-day “cooling off” period, or waiting period, is mandatory. The process starts when the petition for divorce is filed and when the other party is served the petition. The other party can also agree to accept of service the petition by signing a “Service Accepted.”
The steps for divorce typically look like this: You file a petition. These papers are served to your spouse. The petition is filed with the court in your county. Your spouse signs the papers.
The path forward can differ depending on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce can be finalized without going to court and having a hearing. Contested divorces will require settlement outside of court or trial. We can provide you with answers tailored to your individual set of circumstances in your meeting with us.
Will I need to go to court to complete my divorce?
Not necessarily. Some divorces are best served by going to court, but many other divorces are settled with the help of attorneys or by using an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation. Mediation is when a neutral third party helps with discussions and agreements so couples can work out their issues privately, outside of a courtroom. There are many benefits to mediation when both parties participate willingly and with case resolution as their end goal. If mediation fails, the next step is trial.
Is Washington a 50-50 state when it comes to divorce?
Technically, yes. However, most judges work toward dividing the marital property so it is fair and reasonable for both parties. This means that usually, all of what you own is not simply split down the middle. The court will consider your particular circumstances, such as, length of the marriage, the property acquired during the marriage, and each party’s needs to achieve a fair and equitable division of property, assets, and debts.
Because we are a 50-50 state, all community property is subject to division. The court can also look at a person’s separate property if there isn’t enough community property to achieve a fair and equitable division of assets. If your divorce goes through mediation, you have a stronger voice about how the assets are divided. You and your spouse also have the opportunity to agree on how to split assets. If there is a prenuptial agreement, this may affect how the assets are divided. Debts accumulated during the marriage are also divided.