Divorce and Child Custody Frequently Asked Questions
The Law Offices of Goldberg Jones charge $95 for an initial consultation and $295 per hour once we are hired. We also require a deposit up front and the amount of the deposit is determined at your initial consultation.
In addition we’ve written a great blog post on how you can save money while going through your divorce.How much does divorce cost?
Washington is a Community Property state and generally the rule is that if you earned it during marriage it is owned as an undivided whole by the parties. However, the courts are given significant discretion in dividing property in a “fair and equitable” manner. It is critical that this division of assets and liabilities be done thoughtfully as to take advantage of any financial planning strategies and in conjunction with the remaining issues in the case. For example, it may be advantageous to take an unequal division of assets in exchange for a lower support payment.
The answer is NO, unless ordered by the court or determined as a sound strategy after consulting an attorney. More often than not, moving out is a bad plan. Please call us and schedule a consultation before making this decision or any other crucial choice that will affect the outcome of your case and life for years to come. Read more about it in our blog post below:
Washington has a mandatory waiting period of 90 days before a filed Petition can be finalized as a Divorce. However, it can take much longer if the matter is contentious. We know this process is very difficult on you and, therefore, we make it our goal to continue to strive for prompt, fair and final resolution of your case.
It is possible to move outside the county or even the state with the children if permission is granted from the other spouse or a court Order is obtained. This area of law has seen significant changes in recent years and it is becoming apparent to all involved that relocating children is rarely, if ever, in the best interests of the children. If you find yourself on either side of this issue, the experienced attorneys at Goldberg Jones can help you assess your options and implement your best strategy.
Child support in Washington is calculated by using the Washington State Support Schedule created by the legislature. In general, it is a table based on the number and ages of the children in comparison to the total net income of the parties. However, there are many factors to consider and relying on simply a base calculation often ignores very relevant and fair information that should be considered when establishing a child support obligation. The attorneys at Goldberg Jones are adept at calculation and exploring all possible sources of discount in your best interest.
Our consultations are only $95 and entitle you to a full hour in our office with an experienced family law attorney. This does not require you to hire us and in the event you do retain our services, we will apply the $95 payment as a credit to our services.
This is allowed, but not recommended. Unless you have absolutely nothing to lose, make sure to consult an attorney and assess for yourself if going it alone is a prudent choice.
What can I do after the final Judgment/Decree to improve my situation, reduce support my support or increase time with my children?
There are often many opportunities to improve your situation during your case or after Settlement and or Judgment. With “Modifications,” motions for reconsideration, “Appeals,” and other methods you may be able to significantly improve your outcome.
The simple answer is that at the end of a Legal Separation, you are still married. On the other hand, your marital status is terminated and you are “single” at the end of a divorce. Other than this very important difference, the process, laws, and legal system that you must navigate are identical. It is also important to note that a Legal Separation is not a mandatory step in the process of Divorce.
Mediation can be a very effective tool in a divorce or custody case. However, you still should never come to a full settlement or sign an agreement without consulting your own attorney. In fact, you should consult an attorney before making the important decision to mediate, negotiate, or litigate your case. If you start your case with the right game plan, not only do you give yourself the best opportunity to achieve your goals, but you will likely reduce costs of litigation and over all stress on yourself and the children.
Simply put, the court uses its discretion to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Usually it is in the best interests of the children to have continuing and frequent contact with both parents. Also, the court likes to establish a parenting plan that promotes stability for the children. Depending on your facts, this could lead to sharing the children equally or could lead to a lopsided result in which one parent has up to 99% of the time with the children. There are many tools used to settle a custody dispute or aid the Judge in making his or her decision. You may have use of a custody evaluation by a specialist, you may mediate this issue privately or through the courts, and there are several other factors that may go into the decision. It is crucial that the evidence in support of your case is gathered and the presented in a way calculated to achieve your best possible results.
You should spend time with your kids. The more time you are actively parenting your children, the better your chances are to maintain that role during and after a divorce. This is one reason you likely should not move out of your home at the time of separation. If your spouse is limiting your time with the children, you must act immediately. Do not let yourself be removed from the children’s life simply to avoid conflict. This will only set you up for failure and a steep child support obligation.