For many families the spring is an exciting time. During spring, the weather gets warmer, the flowers bloom, the baseball season begins, and families plan for their summer vacations. For families whose children’s residential time is split between two unmarried parents, it is also often a time that the parenting plan requires parents to swap summer schedules. In many plans both parents submit their desired summer schedules and one parent has the prevailing preference for each year. Here are a few ideas that some families have found helpful when addressing notice for summer vacation schedules: Continue reading
As many parents of adult children know, most children do not stop needing support (financial, mental, and emotional) when they turn eighteen or graduate from high school. Providing continued emotional or mental support is usually not a point of contention between parents. Whether to provide financial support can be a different story. When the parents of adult children are still married at the time the child reaches the age of majority, the parents usually decide together how much longer they will offer housing, pay for college, and otherwise financially support the child. When the parents are not married at the time the child turns eighteen or graduates (and the current child support order ends), there are often questions about whether to provide support (and how much support) for the adult child. There is also the question of who should contribute to the support.
Sometimes, unmarried parents request that the court determine whether and how much postsecondary support should be provided to the child. A parent must request postsecondary education contribution from the other parent prior to the current child support order ending (usually eighteen or when the child graduates from high school). If a request is made through court action, the court may decide to award post-secondary support, but it is not mandatory.
In King County, Local Rule 13 requires parents of minor children (kids under 18) involved in many types of family law cases to attend a parenting seminar during the sixty days following the filing of a petition. As this is a part of many of the cases we handle at Blair & Kim, we hope to provide some information related to this seminar. Continue reading
Family law clients are often surprised to hear that family law attorneys actually prefer to litigate or negotiate with a represented other party as opposed to a pro se other party (a.k.a. unrepresented party). This article discusses some of the potential pitfalls of working with unrepresented parties. Most of the pitfalls contribute to these types of cases taking more client and attorney resources than cases where both parties are represented.
Most of the time, pro se parties do not know all of the rules and procedures for this type of case. It is difficult to work with someone who does not know the court rules, applicable laws, and strict timelines that are part of our daily work as family law attorneys. Sometimes, we deal with pro se opposing parties that do not turn things in on time or otherwise confuse court rules and are given a pass by the commissioner or judge because they are pro se. This is frustrating to clients and attorneys alike. Continue reading
While it might be surprising to to read a law firm telling you about circumstances when you may not need an attorney or want to seek court action to respond to a difficulty in your life, it actually serves both the clients’ interests and an attorneys’ interests to consider when court action may not be necessary. The overriding rule is that if a client is going to spend more (time, energy, resources) than they stand to gain, it’s only worth litigating an issue if the principle is important enough that spending additional money on attorneys’ fees and legal costs is justified. Any potential litigation requires an attorney to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the potential benefit of litigation outweighs the potential risk and resources expended.
January is a busy time for family law attorneys. The stress of the holidays seems to make an already unhappy marriage even unhappier, and in January, people vow to never spend another holiday with their soon-to-be-former spouse. While we understand that this issue can feel very urgent, and sometimes it is, we also hope people consider how best to prepare their children, finances, and themselves for what is to come. Below please find some issues to consider before rushing to the courthouse to file your petition. Continue reading
Parents sharing a child’s residential time under a court order (like a residential schedule or parenting plan) should be aware of the requirements of the relocation provisions of RCW 26.09. That chapter of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) requires that under certain circumstances a residential parent relocating the child must give notice prior to the relocation. Parents are sometimes confused about what circumstances require them to provide such notice. Continue reading
When people end their romantic relationship with their children’s other parent, they often feel as though they will never want to have a romantic relationship ever again. The reality is, after the emotional pain and adjustment period is over, most people do decide to date. Some choose to date seriously and look for another committed relationship, while other unmarried parents decide to date casually. No matter what your intentions are in your dating life, it is important that you consider if and when you will introduce your new significant other to your children. Here are some strategies that might help you decide if, when, and how to introduce your kids to a new love interest: Continue reading
Many things change for a person who gets divorced: marital status, financial situation, and relationships with children to name a few. Another thing that might change is the person’s last name. While in comparison to moving, having less time with kids, and having to divide most of your assets, changing a last name might not seem like a big deal, for many people actually faced with the situation, it is.
There are many reasons why people who are getting divorced decide to keep their married last name. It is important for people to know that whatever the reason you want to change or decide not to change your last name name, it is up to you. It is not mandatory for a person to change their married name upon dissolution of marriage. Here are a few of the reasons people choose not to change their married last names: Continue reading
Past blog posts have discussed tips for helping children of two-home families deal with the holiday season and spending holidays away from one of their parents. Today’s post discusses another group of people affected by a two-home family: the extended family. Oftentimes, divorced (or otherwise unmarried) parents hope that all their extended family will be able to attend the holiday get together the years they have their children. Unfortunately, when scheduling with the extended family there can be added confusion, hurt feelings, and headache for divorced parents. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help the holidays run more smoothly and help your kids get to see as many members of their extended family as possible. Continue reading