Seattle Divorce Lawyers Blog

When to File for Divorce


Coming to terms with the end of a marriage can be challenging, and it can be difficult to know when to file for divorce. The emotional and logistical considerations of dividing two households can raise a plethora of questions like, “What about the kids? The house? Who is going to make the first move? What is the first step?” It is common to be flooded with all these questions, and finding answers can be difficult.

There is a sense of urgency once the initial move has been taken; but knowing what the next step is is often unclear. In a recent episode of Life Coach, a caller needed recommendations for taking the next step. The caller’s husband left the state and has pulled all monetary support for the caller and their children; he even cut off the cell phones. He has made it clear he wants a divorce. In this scenario, managing partner Rick Jones recommended that the caller be proactive. Rick told the caller, “regardless of whether she wanted this to happen or not, she needs to file to protect herself.”

Being the initial one to file, the caller may be able to leverage the advantage of time. She would have access to the courts within two weeks and from there a Temporary Parenting Plan could be filed which would grant custody. Because a disparity in income exists, the caller has the right to ask for the child support as well as attorney fee’s.

You can hear all of Rick’s advice in the clip below.

If you are overwhelmed with the idea of divorce, or if you suspect your spouse wants a divorce, do not wait! Speak with an attorney for advice and educate yourself on your rights, and your options.

Filed under: Uncategorized 1 Comment

Goldberg Jones Named to ‘100 Best Companies to Work For” List


Goldberg Jones is excited to announce Seattle Business Magazine has recognized us as one of Seattle’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Seattle Business Magazine highlights businesses which exhibit leadership and entrepreneurial spirit both within their industry and the region.

Goldberg Jones was included due to the company’s excellence in leadership, training and education, company culture, and benefits, among other categories. This is Goldberg Jones’s third year being recognized in the small business category by the magazine.

Seattle Business Magazine’s annual list is a prestigious collection of companies setting the standard for exceptional work environments. Goldberg Jones was specifically noted for its strong leadership, flexible work options, employees’ participation in continuing education, work-life benefits, and open communication that fosters a rich and rewarding workplace.

“We are honored to be recognized alongside so many other outstanding companies.” said managing partner Rick Jones. “We know a great team starts with great people—and a work environment where autonomy, creativity, achievement, and mutual respect are rewarded is essential for retaining talented employees. Making the ‘Seattle’s 100 Best Companies to Work For’ list is an honor.”

The 100 Best Companies to Work For list was created using the results from an anonymous survey of employees and an evaluation by a panel of judges which thoroughly study each nominees corporate culture, employee communications and benefit programs, among other criteria.

Filed under: Uncategorized No Comments

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce Mediation

With the countless issues that arise in divorce/legal separation the divorcees are left to find the most suitable conflict resolution. Cases that involve division of assets or children would normally be forced to go into mediation if the parties cannot come to an agreement.

Mediation is the process of negotiating with the assistance of a third-party mediator to reach an agreed upon settlement and move forward with the separation. Mediators are trained professionals that should remain impartial to each of the parties desires; however, this does not exclude them from investigating into the issues of the separation. By understanding any existing conflicts, the mediator can more efficiently facilitate reaching and agreed upon settlement.

Who benefits from mediation?

The couples that derive the most benefit from mediation have a functional relationship and are willing to reach an agreement on how assets and debts are divided. Support, custody, and parenting time will also be addressed during mediation. If these topics are contentious it can make the negotiation process more challenging or possibly ineffective.

Parties are not required to agree on the settlement the mediator presents. If the result of the mediation is still contested then a trial may be required to finalize the divorce.

Deliberating during a divorce/separation can unveil more issues than expected. It is essential to understand the various options available when beginning the divorce process. Divorce can be disorienting and frustration, confusion, and denial are all common when navigating the process.
Through the mediation and divorce process, your attorney’s goal is singular: to protect your rights and best interests. Your attorney should demonstrate guidance and confidence—and use all the appropriate tools to advocate for your rights, advise you of your options and discuss the potential outcomes that accompany those choices.

Filed under: Uncategorized 1 Comment

How Do I Get Divorced If I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?


How do I divorce my spouse if they are MIA?

Collaborative divorce, mediation, do-it-yourself divorce, and high conflict divorce can all be complicated and stressful. But what if you want a divorce and you have no idea where your spouse is living? Is a divorce possible if you can’t find your wife?

Fortunately there are options for those seeking to divorce an unlocatable spouse. To divorce your unlocatable spouse in Washington State, you will first need to initiate a case with the courts. Once the case has been filed, you will need to do due diligence in attempting to locate your spouse. This may mean hiring a private investigator or documenting evidence that establishes your good faith attempt to contact your spouse.

When sufficient evidence has been collected and the spouse has still not been located,  you will be able to return to the court and file a “Motion to Serve by Publication”.  A Motion to Serve by Publication must be approved by the courts for the service to be valid.

Once the Motion to Serve by Publication has been granted, public notice of the case will need to be published in an acceptable outlet—local newspapers often have a section dedicated to legal notices.

After the service has been published, and still received no response, the divorce can be moved forward by filing a “Motion for Default.” A Motion for Default in Washington State often means that the filing party will be granted everything they have requested in the original divorce petition.

Working with an attorney can be invaluable if you are trying to divorce your spouse, but are unable to find them. An experienced family law attorney will ensure the case is handled thoroughly, accurately, and efficiently.

For more information about divorcing your unlocatable spouse, watch the video below. If you have questions about Motions for Default or Service by Publication, please give us a call. Our managing attorney, Ken Alan, is always happy to provide answers over the phone at no charge.

flag photo credit: Mike Gonzales CC BY-SA 3.0


Filed under: Uncategorized No Comments

Child Support in Arrears in Washington

child-support-arrearsIf you owe more than $2,500 in back child support, you are ineligible to receive a US passport. This requirement can cause a tricky predicament for fathers that are required to travel internationally for their jobs.

During a recent appearance on Life Coach with Danny Bonaduce, a caller from Olympia wondered if he needed to pay all back child support before he could obtain a passport for work. His job requires international travel and he needed advice about what his options might be.

Rick informed the caller that the first step is to contact the Support Enforcement and explain that his income and future ability to pay the child support is dependent on having a passport.  Additionally, having a statement or declaration from his employer that outlines the necessity of a passport as a requirement of his job would be helpful.

Rick goes on to explain that the support enforcement office may ask to have the caller sign a waiver of the statute of limitations.  Signing a waiver of the statute of limitations allows the support enforcement office to continue to collect back child support indefinitely.

Check out the video below to hear all of Rick’s advice. If you have questions about back child support or any other family law issue, please give us a call. Our managing attorney, Ken Alan,  is always happy to answer your questions at no charge and no obligation.

Filed under: Uncategorized No Comments