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Auburn Family Law Blog

Dividing custody: When is split custody a good option?

You have two children, and you want them both to be happy following your divorce. You and your spouse have been talking about the challenges of coming up with a custody plan as well as how hard it is to be apart from your kids.

Having two children, one who is 4 and the other 12, has always been a challenge. The older child sometimes needs a break from their younger sibling, and your youngest child often needs more attention. You've both discussed keeping the kids together, but would it be better to separate them, at least some of the time?

Unwed? You may need to establish your rights as a father

When a father is not married to his child's mother, it can cause some issues when seeking custody. To begin with, he will need to prove paternity. Once he does that, he can ask for custody rights, but it will be up to the court to determine the amount of custody or visitation that is acceptable. Men who go through this may end up having to pay support, which is an obligation and responsibility to the child.

As an unwed father, you may have many questions about this process and how to make sure you get enough time with your child. Here's more on what you need to know.

Dividing retirement assets in divorces requires strategy

When you and your spouse decide to divorce, it's understandable that one or both of you may want the process to be over as quickly as possible. But, sometimes that may not be the best way to handle these delicate matters.

It's irrefutable that couples with wealth and resources have much more to lose in a divorce than those who have amassed very little community property during their marriages. That's why it's especially important to strategize your approach when working through the divorce process. Below are some suggestions for achieving the best deal possible in your divorce.

Diagnosed with mental illness? It can affect custody rights

Auburn parents who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses may rightly be concerned that the custody of their children could be in jeopardy. Statistics indicate that in the United States, parents with mental illnesses have rates of losing custody of their children as high as 80%.

It is for this reason alone that many parents struggling with emotional and mental challenges forgo seeking the very treatment that could allow them to stabilize and retain custody of their children. They dread being labeled as a mentally unfit parent if they get diagnosed as psychologically or emotionally unsound.

Tips to cheer yourself up during divorce

Divorce has a way of taking the starch out of even the strongest women's sails. It doesn't even matter if you were the party who wanted and initiated the process. Divorce has a way of bringing long-forgotten emotions bubbling to the surface of our psyches.

It is perfectly normal to take a little while to bounce back to your former sunny self after such a split. If you are finding it a bit difficult, the following tips may be helpful.

The benefits of divorce mediation are worth your consideration

Many divorcing couples are under the impression that litigation is the only way to work through their issues and legally put their marriage in the past. While it's an option, divorce mediation is also something to strongly consider.

There are various benefits of mediation, including but not limited to:

  • Ability to create a mutually beneficial divorce agreement
  • Minimize hostility, which helps with co-parenting
  • Minimize the expense associated with litigation
  • Typically more time efficient than litigation
  • Both individuals maintain more control over the process

Community property laws in Washington and your retirement plans

During your marriage, you and your spouse probably had to start thinking about your retirement and the end of your lives. You probably engaged in both retirement planning and estate planning as a married couple. In other words, your savings and retirement income were created with the understanding that it would be two people living in a single household benefiting from these assets.

That could mean that when you divorce, you won't have as much to go around as you might have hoped. What is enough to maintain one household comfortably may leave both spouses scrambling for financial stability if they must each maintain their own residence.

Have your kids outgrown the custody agreement in place?

Now that the Auburn schools are back in swing for another year, you may have noticed that there, indeed, are some growing pains related to the custody agreement that is in place after your divorce.

The arrangements that worked so well when the kids were in preschool and the primary grades now chafes on their freedom to participate in sports, cheerleading and other extracurricular activities. And your tweens may now have such rousing social lives that it seems you need a cadre of personal assistants just to accommodate everyone's schedules. It's apparent that something has to give.

Divorce creates need for changes in estate plans

If you are divorcing your spouse, there will be a lot of changes on your horizon. Many may be thrust upon you unwillingly, but others will come about because of actions that you initiate.

One change that you may need to make is to alter your estate plan documents when you divorce. If you are like most people, your estate planning documents may name your spouse as beneficiary on your pension and other important documents.

Don't let contentious custody battles intimidate you

Auburn parents who are going through a divorce typically struggle the most with coming up with workable custody arrangements that satisfy both parties. But getting to that point can involve a lot of contentious bickering.

The situation can sometimes even escalate into physical battles or vengeful tactics that benefit no one — least of all the minor children. There is a better way, and the following tips may bring you closer to solving your custody dilemmas.

Contact

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

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