The rate of divorce has increased over the years, and much of it has to do with social acceptance of it. Social acceptance, however, does not make the dissolution of a marriage in Washington any easier. When a marriage ends, you have decisions you need to make that will affect your future and the future of any children you may share with your ex-spouse. Getting the right information can help you make informed decisions.
At the Law Office of Amy Rimov, our divorce lawyers know you have questions. We help you understand your rights and responsibilities during this particularly difficult time. You do not have to endure a divorce alone. Get answers to your questions today and contact us online or at (509) 835-5377 to schedule a consultation.
Uncontested and Contested Washington Divorces
The divorce process is dependent in part on whether it's contested or not. Uncontested divorces can move along rather quickly when the divorcing couple agrees on property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. When one spouse challenges any of these matters, the divorce becomes contested.
The process will proceed to trial unless the soon-to-be ex-spouses can come to an agreement. Sometimes mediation or another alternative dispute resolution process may be used to help them come to that agreement.
Grounds for Divorce
When a marriage is deemed irretrievably broken or the spouses claim there are irreconcilable differences, a no-fault divorce may be sought. An irretrievably broken marriage simply means the couple is unable or refuses to cohabit, and no prospects for reconciliation exist.
Washington requires separated couples to wait 91 days before they can finalize their divorce.
Fault-based divorces are seldomly required today, but some people may still wish to pursue a fault-based divorce for a number of reasons.
Property division is a key part of any divorce and involves marital property. Marital property is property acquired or obtained during the marriage as opposed to separate property that the spouse had prior to the marriage.
Types of marital property include:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Investment property
- Vehicles, boats
- Retirement accounts
Because Washington is a community property state, community property assets are generally split 50-50.
Spousal Support in Washington
Spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony, is not awarded as often as it was in the past. Its purpose is to make sure the divorce does not result in an unfair economic situation for the dependent spouse. The couple can agree to alimony or the court can order it. Decisions about alimony are made based on many factors, but the more common factors include:
- Health (physical, mental, emotional)
- Potential to earn
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Difference between earning capacities
Child Custody in Washington
Child custody is one of the most contentious areas of a divorce. It's highly emotional and can cause serious bitterness. Courts prefer both parents partaking in a child's life and, as such, accommodate joint custody, which includes physical and legal custody. In some situations, one parent may have sole custody while the other may have visitation rights. Courts determine child custody based on what is in the child's best interest.
Child Support in Washington
Both parents are required to provide financial support for their children. When a parent has primary custody and the financial circumstances require it, the court may order child support. Most courts will use a child support calculator to help determine the amount.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Spokane, Washington Today
There's a lot to consider when you are going through a divorce. The decisions made during this time will impact you and your family's life for quite a while. It's important to get guidance from a family law attorney who will advocate for you and your family. Contact us online or call us directly at 509-835-5377 to schedule a consultation.