Ending a marriage is difficult. The emotional, financial and logistical challenges that come with the end of a relationship can be overwhelming. Add to that the legal complexities of asset division, spousal maintenance, and child custody, and you have a recipe for chaos. Understanding all your options and educating yourself on your rights can minimize the chaos.
Men are often surprised to learn that divorce mediation provides an alternative to litigation. Divorce mediation isn’t appropriate for every set of circumstances, but can be a successful option for some.
What is divorce mediation?
The neutral third party is called the mediator and they are responsible for keeping communication open and exploring alternative solutions that will meet the needs of your family. A trained mediator will guide you and your spouse through creating a legally binding and stipulated Judgment of Dissolution. For the mediation process to be effective, the divorce mediator must be well-versed in family and divorce law. Additionally, they must be impartial and not advocate for either party.
Divorce mediation can offer a confidential and cost effective option for ending a marriage, but it isn’t for everyone. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets or income or there is a history of domestic violence or drug/alcohol issues, then mediation isn’t the best choice for dissolving your marriage.
Mediation also presents some challenges that should be considered. Mediation is a negotiation. If those negotiations don’t produce results then you’ll wind up right back where you started. This can result in lost time and wasted money.
Furthermore, a poorly drafted or unbalanced agreement might be unenforceable. This means that after all the negotiating and expense of mediation you are no better off than when you began. For mediation to be effective the final agreement must be enforceable by the courts.
It is not uncommon for legal complications to arise during the mediation process. While divorce mediation seeks to create an agreement between the two parties, there may be issues that still need to be addressed by the courts.
If you want to learn more about if divorce mediation is right for you, or if you have questions about divorce, child custody, or any other family law issue, please call our managing attorney, Ken Alan. Ken can answer your questions over the phone at no charge and no obligation. If you prefer email, Ken can be reached at email@example.com
There was no shortage of divorce questions for Rick when he stopped by KZOK last week. And Danny and Rick didn’t waste any time getting straight to the callers' questions.
The first caller wanted to know how he could get his property back. The caller was still in the process of dissolving his marriage and had gone through arbitration to divide some of the marital assets. Unfortunately for the caller, he has been unable to procure the property awarded during the arbitration.
Rick informed the caller that because he has an arbitration award and the divorce isn’t final, the court still has a say in the situation—good news for the caller. Rick went on to outline the steps the caller will need to take to enforce the arbitration award and advised the caller to make sure the divorce is finalized.
The next caller needed advice on fixing the damage her ex had done to her credit. The caller discovered that her ex’s debts were on her credit report when she tried to get a line of credit. The caller disputed the debts with the credit bureau, but they refused to remove them from her report. The caller’s divorce papers assigned her ex liability for both personal and business debt. Her question for Rick: “How do I get my ex’s debt off my credit report?”
Rick explained to the caller that the time frame in which the debt was incurred will affect her ability to have the credit blemishes removed from her credit report. Because the caller was unsure if all the debt was incurred during the marriage or after the divorce, Rick provide two answers.
If the debt was created after the divorce, Rick recommended providing the creditors with a divorce decree. This will demonstrate that the marriage is dissolved and the couple is no longer a community. If the caller didn’t co-sign for any of the debt, then the creditors are more likely to work with her assuming the debt was indeed created after the divorce.
Unfortunately, if the debt was created while the couple was still married the caller will be burdened with the debt. Even if the divorce decree assigns the debt to her ex, that agreement won’t affect the creditors ability to seek repayment from her. Rick advised the caller that if the only way to clear up her credit is to pay off the balances, then she will have to bear that expense. After the debt has been paid off, the caller can take her ex to court to seek compensation for the expense of paying off his debt.
Listen to all of Rick’s advice in the clip below. If you have questions about divorce, custody, or any other family law issues, get answers by calling (206) 448-1010. Speaking with our managing attorney, Ken Alan, over the phone is always free and there is no obligation. Or if you prefer email, you can reach Ken directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldberg Jones attorney, Christy LaGrandeur, runs to raise money and awareness for cancer.
Christy LaGrandeur has been part of the Goldberg Jones team for more than 10 years and has earned a reputation for her big heart and competitive nature. So it came as no surprise to find out she participated in a 200-mile relay race to help raise money and awareness for leukemia and lymphoma.
The relay race spanned the coast from Huntington Beach to San Diego and the team was comprised of 12 runners—each responsible for multiple legs of the race. The course was 200 miles of California roadway and took the team approximately 31 hours to complete.
Christy’s affinity for doing good isn't limited to this single event. As part of her training for the 200-mile relay, she ran the Coaches vs. Cancer 5k the week prior. As an avid basketball fan, this race had extra significance for Christy.
Coaches vs. Cancer is an organization that empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, advocacy programs, and fundraising activities to help people with cancer today and to find cures to end the disease tomorrow.
This particular race was a fundraising event that partnered with the V foundation. If you are a basketball fan you are likely familiar with Coach Jimmy Valvano (aka Jimmy V). The V foundation was started after Jimmy V was diagnosed with cancer and Jim recognized the need to invest in young physician/scientists to help establish their careers—after all, someone had invested in him early in his career. (If you are unfamiliar with Jim Valvano we recommend watching his speech from the 1993 ESPY Awards.It is posted below)
Christy had a serendipitous moment after completing the Coaches vs. Cancer run. While waiting in line for some post-race Starbucks, she found herself standing in line behind Jimmy V’s widow, Pam Valvano. While fiercely competitive, Christy is equally as compassionate and the encounter with Jimmy V’s wife ended the day on a memorable note.
Congrats to Christy on her athletic achievements and her contributions to worthy charities. We are proud to have on our team!
Recent articles have proclaimed U.S. divorce rates are declining. Is the drop due to fewer people choosing to dissolve their marriages? Or perhaps, the decline has been caused by couples forgoing marriage altogether.
Passing on marriage will certainly prevent divorce, but it won’t prevent all family law issues. In this episode of Divorce for Men Radio, managing partner Rick Jones and managing attorney Ken Alan, discuss meretricious relationships.
Meretricious relationships are defined in Washington State as “a stable, marital-like relationship where both parties cohabit with knowledge that a lawful marriage between them does not exist.” Not all cohabitating relationships are meretricious. The Washington Supreme Court uses several factors to determine if a relationship is indeed meretricious. These include:
Duration of the relationship
Purpose of the relationship
Intent of the parties
The pooling of resources and services for joint projects.
In this episode of Divorce for Men Radio, managing partner, Rick Jones, and managing attorney, Ken Alan, discuss how meretricious relationships can affect custody and assets after the end of a relationship.
Listen to the episode, and if you have questions about meretricious relationships, common law marriages in Washington State, or any other family law issue, give us a call. Ken will personally answer your custody and family law questions over the phone at no charge and no obligation.
Call (206) 448-1010 for answers to your family law questions.
Louisville may have taken the NCAA Division I title, but Lincoln William emerged victorious in this year’s Goldberg Jones Bracket Challenge. William’s bracket picks bested the other 260 participants and earned him the reward of a $250 Amazon Gift Card.
William picked 43 of the 63 games correctly and his bracket earned 145 out of a possible 192 points. William beat last year’s winner by 29 points earning him the 2012 Goldberg Jones Bracket Challenge title.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s March Madness festivities. The NCAA Division I tournament is a fun event that we look forward to every year. It offers us an opportunity to engage with our communities around a shared passion—basketball. The interjection of friendly competition is always a welcome addition to our offices come March and we hope you enjoyed the tournament as much as we did.
With the NCAA tournament complete our blog will return to our regular programing. We will continue to bring you informative articles that focus on educating husbands and fathers on their rights and options for navigating the difficult situations of divorce, custody, and other family law related issues.