Archive For: Divorce & Family Law

Broken Engagement—Do I Have To Give My Ring Back?

By: BeresfordBooth

When an engaged couple breaks off the engagement, does the recipient of the ring have to give the ring back? The answer is—depends on the circumstances of the broken engagement. If the recipient (unjustifiably) breaks off the engagement, the ring must be returned to the donor. If the donor unjustifiably breaks off the engagement, the ring may be retained by the recipient. The outcome of any case depends on the circumstances of each case. Should the donor unjustifiably break off the engagement, then, in that instance, the recipient may retain the engagement ring. The analysis is not just who broke...Read More

Can Washington State Courts Order The Use Of A Vehicle In A Domestic Violence Charge?

By: BeresfordBooth

Dick and Jane have been living with each other for six months. Dick works at a production plant across town and Jane is a student at a community college located close to the couple’s residence. Dick and Jane are not married. Dick drives Jane’s car to work. Dick and Jane got into a fight on Friday. Dick left the shared residence and went to stay with a friend. The following morning, Jane went to the Court and petitioned the Court for a domestic violence protection order. At the hearing, the Court Commissioner ordered no contact between Dick and Jane. The...Read More

Criminal Assault And Civil Protection Order—The Burden Of Proof in Washington State

By: BeresfordBooth

It’s a Friday night, husband and wife get into a physical altercation and the police are called. Husband is arrested and taken to the police station where he is charged. After reviewing the charge, the prosecutor determines Husband has committed the crime of Assault in the Fourth Degree, a gross misdemeanor. RCW 9A.36.041. A condition of release pending trial often involves a criminal no-contact order between husband and wife. At trial, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt, the crime occurred. Thus, the prosecutor has the burden of demonstrating proven facts by their probative force, establish guilt. Aside from...Read More

Facebook, Marriage, And Divorce: What You Post Could End Up In Court

By: BeresfordBooth

What’s on your Facebook profile? Or even your child’s Facebook profile? The answer may end up playing a role in your divorce or child custody matter. Using Facebook as a source of evidence is a growing trend and Washington State is no different. A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook.” This was up from 20% the year prior, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. These references to Facebook and other social media may be used to show infidelity or may be used to suggest bad parenting. It can even be used after a...Read More

The Relationship Between Property Division And Spousal Maintenance In Washington State

By: BeresfordBooth

Often times in divorce proceedings, the division of the marital estate and spousal maintenance intertwine. The length of the marriage is an important factor when considering a disproportionate property division in favor of one spouse or the other. So too is the length of the marriage a factor when considering the amount and extent (i.e., how long) of the spousal maintenance obligation. How the two, property division and spousal maintenance, intertwine becomes more apparent in long term marriages where there is disparate income between spouses. In such a case, it is common to either grant a higher percentage of the...Read More

Federal Income Taxes: Waiving the Tax Exemption for Children in Divorce

By: BeresfordBooth

The primary or custodial parent, defined as the parent who has the child the majority of overnights in a calendar year, can waive the federal income tax exemption to permit the other, noncustodial parent to claim the exemption for the child.  Determining who should actually claim the child or children is typically memorialized in a court order such as an order of child support. IRS Form 8332 (“Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption by Custodial Parent”) allows the custodial parent to waive the exemption.  The waiver is signed by the custodial parent and attached to the tax return of...Read More

Staying On Top of Child Support Payments In Washington State

By: BeresfordBooth

Managing child support payments can be an ongoing result of a divorce when children are involved. Unfortunately, it’s an obligation many parents struggle with. According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ website: “Currently, only about one-half of the custodial parents due child support receive full payment. About twenty-five percent receive partial payment and twenty-five percent receive nothing.” The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 14.4 million custodial parents in the United States owed money for child support. This amounted to $37.9 billion owed in child support as of 2011. Parents must keep on top of...Read More

Will The Court In Washington State Consider Income Of A Spouse, Partner, Or Housemate When Determining Child Support?

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Dimitra Scott

The short answer:  Maybe. The criteria for calculation of the parents’ basic support obligation arises under RCW 26.19.071(1), which states "[o]nly the income of the parents of the children whose support is at issue shall be calculated." After determination of the standard calculation, the Court is authorized to deviate from this calculation under certain circumstances.  There is no formula to calculate an appropriate deviation in each case.  Deviations from support are discretionary.  The Court must look at the total circumstances of both households, which, among other factors, additional household income. RCW 26.19.075 expressly prohibits using additional household income as a sole basis for deviation. ...Read More

Is It Illegal To Record My Ex-Wife’s Telephone Call Without Her Consent In Washington State?

By: BeresfordBooth

Yes.  Washington Law prohibits the recording of a private conversation without the consent of all persons engaged in the conversation.  RCW 9.73.030.  A violation of RCW 9.73.030 is a gross misdemeanor.  Consent shall be considered obtained “whenever one party has announced to all other parties engaged in the communication or conversation, in any reasonably effective manner, that such communication or conversation is about to be recorded or transmitted: PROVIDED, That if the conversation is to be recorded that said announcement shall also be recorded.”  RCW 9.73.030(3). Beresford Booth PLLC (425.776.4100), BERESFORD BOOTH PLLC has made this content available to...Read More

Do I Have To Pay Child Support In Washington State If I Have The Children 50% Of The Time?

By: BeresfordBooth

Divorce and family law clients in Washington state often ask whether they will have to pay their spouse child support if they have the children equal time or 50% of the time under a parenting plan or residential schedule.  Like many other family law questions, the answer is, “maybe.” In a recent, December 2013, Court of Appeals case for the state of Washington, In re the Marriage of Schnurman, the Court affirmed the trial Court’s decision requiring the father to pay the mother child support where the father and mother shared substantially equal residential time with their children.  The father...Read More