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Auburn Family Law Blog

3 tips to help you talk to your kids about divorce

Making the decision to divorce is often very difficult. You probably agonized over it for months or even years, but now that you made your choice, you know that it is time to start the process. You will have to file a petition for divorce, make certain decisions regarding the division of your Auburn property and organize your finances so that you can make the right choices during the divorce settlement. However, one of the tasks you must do is to tell your children.

Divorce often has a lifelong impact on children and they will probably remember the moment you tell them about it for the rest of their lives. This means that you should take the time to prepare how and when you will deliver then news. The following tips can help you when it comes time to talk to your children about divorce.

Accurate property value estimates are essential in a divorce

Perhaps you bought a piece of antique furniture or a piece of modern art 20 years ago and you haven't a clue what it's worth today. Perhaps the beach cottage you and your husband enjoyed as a weekend retreat increased in value tremendously since purchasing it 10 years ago. If you and your spouse own a lot of different high-value assets together, it's essential that you obtain accurate property estimates to ensure that you receive fair treatment during the asset division process of your divorce.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about various assets during your property division process:

How to communicate that you want to get a divorce

You may have arrived at your decision to divorce in secret. Perhaps you know that your spouse feels differently, and that he or she would prefer to stay with you until the end of time, but you know your marriage has to end. How do you break the news? How do you tell your spouse you want to be alone the right way?

The truth is, there is no "right way" to communicate that you want to have a divorce, but you may be able to help the discussion be more balanced, respectful and compassionate by following the advice below:

My ex is behind on child support: What are my options?

When your ex fails to pay the full amount of child support due, it's important to report the issue to the court as soon as possible. You can also turn to your local district attorney's office for help with enforcing your child support orders.

The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 empowers district attorneys to assist parents who are owed child support. The district attorney will serve the delinquent parent with legal papers to arrange a payment plan.

Custody and unmarried parents: Your rights

When two people are not married at the time of a child's birth, only the mother is legally recognized. A father must sign a birth certificate and acknowledge being the parent of the child before he obtains rights.

Once a father establishes his legal right to have responsibility for a child, he may seek custody. Until a court states otherwise, a mother of a child obtains and retains sole physical custody of her child until the father takes action to obtain custody. It is nearly impossible for an unwed father to obtain custody of his child if the child's mother is a fit parent, but he can still seek fair custody rights.

Advice for child custody modifications

If you have a change in circumstances that makes your current child visitation schedule difficult or impossible, you might need to request a child custody modification. In the best of circumstances the other parent will agree to whatever modifications you require. In the worst of circumstances, you may need to go to court.

To receive a court-ordered child custody modification, you'll need to submit a petition to change your current court orders. You'll then go to a hearing before a judge, who will decide whether to grant your petition or not.

In Washington, there's a low-cost alternative to hiring (or becoming) a lawyer

I just read The Seattle Times' article, "In Washington, there's a low-cost alternative to hiring (or becoming) a lawyer", and I think you might enjoy it, too. You can read the full article here:

Child custody: What is reasonable visitation?

Imagine you're the noncustodial parent of a child, meaning that your child lives with the other parent full time and you want to receive visitation rights. After going through all the court procedures necessary to seek visitation rights, the judge awards you "reasonable visitation."

What does reasonable visitation mean, and how much time will you get to spend with your child?

Tips to make co-parenting easy

If you have children and you are thinking of divorce, you may be wondering how they will cope with a shared custody situation. Part of helping your kids deal with shared custody is creating and maintaining a strong co-parenting plan. Fortunately, there are various resources available to help you stay organized. For instance, there are online programs that you and your soon-to-be ex-husband can access to use for scheduling visitations, after-school activities and various other events.

In addition to cloud-based applications, there are few other tips that can help you co-parent successfully. The following list contains valuable information as you navigate the challenge of a shared custody arrangement.

Could a Limited Licensed Legal Technician help with your divorce?

Many divorces or child custody cases end up becoming protracted and expensive legal battles. For some people, this can make the prospect of divorce even more frightening. After all, the chances of a fair outcome decrease if your ex can afford an attorney but you cannot. Going through a divorce or custody dispute without legal advice and counsel could lead to an unfavorable outcome.

Thankfully, Washington courts have systems in place to help support those who can't afford traditional attorney services and fees. After finding that a large percentage of people try to go through the courts without critical legal advice because of financial concerns, the Washington Supreme Court took steps to address this issue. If you believe a divorce or custody battle is imminent, but you can't pay for an attorney, there is another option available to you.

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Fiori Law Office, Inc.
731 West Main Street
Auburn, WA 98001

Phone: 253-218-3728
Fax: 253-735-3436
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