Seattle Divorce Lawyers Blog

Goldberg Jones Named as One of the 100 Best Companies to Work For


We are pleased to share that for the second year in a row, Goldberg Jones has made Seattle Business Magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.  Being recognized on this list is particularly meaningful for our firm because employee feedback plays an important role in how nominees are selected.

The 100 Best Companies to Work For list is compiled using survey responses from employees that cover everything from executive leadership to workplace environment. In 2014, thousands of employees from across Washington State were surveyed and the top 100 were compiled into this year’s list.

Our managing partner, Rick Jones, commented on the firm’s inclusion on the list saying, “ We are thrilled to make the list for the second year in a row. Being recognized on the Seattle Business Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For is particularly meaningful because the results are based on input from our team. Our attorneys and staff are the crux of our business and we work hard to provide creative solutions and foster an environment where employee satisfaction proliferates.”

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Do I Need a Legal Separation to Get a Divorce?


In Washington State a legal separation is not required to obtain a divorce. To further understand this answer, it is important to understand what a legal separation is and how it differs from a divorce.

A legal separation follows many of the same procedures as a divorce. Assets and debts are divided, custody and parenting time are determined, but upon finalization of the legal separation, the couple remains married. Most people who choose legal separation do so because of religious beliefs or to retain specific benefits that are the result of the marriage (e.g. health insurance).

There is a common misconception that a legal separation is a necessary step in the divorce process. In Washington State a divorce does not require a couple to first legally separate before divorcing. In fact, obtaining a legal separation prior to divorcing can prolong the divorce and increase the cost.

Couples that are considering divorce and want to explore all their options before filing for divorce (or legal separation) should consider a trial separation. A trial separation can give both parties time to evaluate their situation while protecting their rights.

Before either party moves out a separation contract should be created. This contract should cover the logistics of daily life such as the ongoing payment of bills, any temporary support payments, who will remain in the marital home, parenting time, and more.  It is important to give careful consideration to these arrangements in the event that the separation escalates to a divorce. A trial separation can set a precedent for issues like parenting time and support payments.

The first step in any divorce or separation should be to educate yourself on your rights. Meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options and clarify what is the best course of action for you.


Why We Support the Moyer Foundation

The Moyer Foundation

Goldberg Jones is proud to support the work of The Moyer Foundation. Our firm’s focus on family law makes us hyper-aware of the need to support children through challenging times.

According to their website: “The mission of The Moyer Foundation is to provide comfort, hope and healing to children affected by loss and family addiction.” This statement only vaguely alludes to the scope and depth of the work they do.

The Moyer Foundation helps to fund a plethora of resources and programs to serve children in distress. They have also established Camp Erin, for children coping with the loss of a loved one. Camp Erin is the largest network of free bereavement camps in the United States. Their programs teach children and teens skills for managing the difficult challenges that come with the significant loss of a loved one. The camps provide not only essential skills, but also the emotional support and community necessary to weather what is often a devastating situation.

Additionally, The Moyer Foundation has created Camp Mariposa as a resource for children and teens affected by addiction in their communities. Camp Mariposa recognizes the need to provide counseling, emotional support, and self-care strategies to help break the cycle of addiction.


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Life Coach: Divorce and Home Equity


In this episode of Life Coach, Rick and Danny tackle some tough questions. The first caller needed advice on her divorce situation. The caller divorced amicably several years ago. In the divorce decree, she was awarded the house and responsibility for paying the mortgage. Her ex-husband was assigned responsibility for repaying the home equity loan that was taken out against the property. Her ex-husband was unable to refinance the home equity loan and has subsequently stopped making payments. The caller has been making payments on the home equity loan to avoid adversely affecting her credit. What she wants to know is: does she have any recourse to recoup the money she has paid toward the home equity loan?

Rick answered the caller’s question by explaining the “Hold Harmless Provision” that should be in her divorce decree. A Hold Harmless Provision is an item that is included in divorce decree that states that if she ends up having to pay something that he was responsible to pay, she has recourse against him to collect on the debt.

The next caller wanted to know if it was possible to collect on the equity that was awarded to her in the divorce. The caller’s situation is something that isn’t uncommon. During her divorce her ex-husband was awarded the marital home. He refinanced the property in his name only, but the caller’s name remained on the deed.  The divorce decree stated that she would get fifty percent of the equity when the house was eventually sold. Because of the weak real-estate market, the ex-husband held off on selling the house. During that time the caller’s ex-husband met someone and decided to move in with her. The property then went into foreclosure and let the house go. The caller wants to know if she is entitled to any money.

Rick first confirmed that the house is gone, then informed the caller that she missed a window. He went on to explain that because she was only awarded a percentage of the equity, it is unlikely that she is entitle to receive any money. Because the house was repossessed it is doubtful that any equity existed. In this instance the caller is entitled to fifty percent of zero, which unfortunately is still zero.

Watch all of Rick and Danny’s advice in the clip below.  And if you have questions about divorce, custody, or any other family law issue, please give us a call. We are always happy to answer questions over the phone at no charge.

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Seattle Divorce Attorney Hillary Roberts Joins the Goldberg Jones Team

Hillary RobertsWe are excited to welcome Hillary Roberts to the Goldberg Jones team.  Hillary has the drive and passion that are the cornerstone of an outstanding attorney. Since her first family law classes in law school, she has been focused on honing her legal skills to be an effective and efficient advocate for husbands and fathers in the greater Seattle area.

Hillary’s experience encompasses the King County Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union and private practice in the Seattle area. Her breadth of experience has made her an efficacious communicator that treats all her clients with dignity and respect.

Her legal style is best described as tenacious and strategic. She believes in using the right tool for the job, and designs her tactics around her clients’ goals and needs. The pursuit of justice remains at the heart of Hillary’s practice and she is a fierce advocate.

Our managing attorney, Ken Alan, commented on the addition of Hillary saying, “She has a calm demeanor that is often underestimated.  She is a determined and stalwart attorney that knows how to fight to protect her clients’ rights and assets. We are thrilled to have her on the team.”

Hillary holds a Bachelor degree and a Master’s degree in 19th Century Literature Washington State University.  She earned her Juris Doctor from Seattle University.

In addition to being a dedicated attorney, Hillary is also a sports enthusiast and loves spending time outdoors. She enjoys being active and testing her limits with events like the Tough Mudder.

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