Archive For: Divorce & Family Law

Attorneys’ Fees, Alimony, And The New Tax Law In Washington State

Posted: Feb 28, 2019

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Anne B. Bennette

Last month, I wrote an article discussing how The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affected spousal support.  The article briefly outlines how the tax status of alimony changed to tax-neutral. Therefore, under the new tax law, alimony is no longer a tax-deductible expenditure, nor can it be considered income for recipients. This alteration not only affects the tax status of alimony, but also the tax status of legal fees.

Under the old tax code, legal fees regarding alimony proceedings were also considered tax deductible.  A recipient spouse who sought Court intervention to ensure he or she...Read More

Support Through College, University, Or Vocational School In Washington State

Posted: Jan 30, 2019

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Dimitra S. Scott

Around this time every year, high school students begin preparing and sending out applications for admission to colleges, universities, or vocational schools.  For individuals with a Child Support Order, this is a critical time to review the order.

When your Order was entered, the Court may have assigned responsibility for payment of your child’s post-secondary educational expenses—tuition, room & board, books, health insurance, auto insurance, a student allowance, and other similar expenses.

However, in many cases, allocation of these college, university, and vocational school expenses are “reserved” for future determination.  If the issue was “reserved”, you must...Read More

How The New Tax Law Affects Spousal Support In Washington State

Posted: Jan 21, 2019

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Anne B. Bennette

In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law. Now, in 2019, one aspect of the new tax law takes effect by altering taxation of spousal support (‘alimony’). Under the old tax code, spousal support was considered tax deductible for the payer and counted as income for the receiver. With the inception of the new legislation comes a change making spousal support tax neutral. For individuals paying spousal support, such payments are no longer considered tax-deductible expenditures.  For the recipient, such payments are no longer considered income.  The deductibility of spousal support in divorce and separation proceedings was...Read More

Amicable Divorce? You Still Need to Update Your Estate Plan!

Posted: Feb 20, 2018

By: BeresfordBooth

Getting a divorce is never easy --- but it certainly is less stressful when it is done amicably. In fact, many couples decide that they don’t need the advice of counsel because they are able to agree on the division of assets and liabilities --- and thus they proceed with filing pro se. Further, many couples remain friendly – and sometimes even more so – after the divorce, finding they actually get along better and like each other more outside of the confines of the marital relationship.

In these situations, it is often the case that the spouses do not...Read More

Tax Bill Impact On Divorce And Separation Settlements: Paying Spousal Maintenance Lost Its Tax Advantage

Posted: Dec 28, 2017

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Dimitra S. Scott

For the past 75 years, a party who pays Spousal Maintenance/Alimony received the benefit of a tax deductible expense, and the party receiving spousal maintenance/alimony had the burden of paying income tax on the maintenance received. The tax consequences will change dramatically effective January 1, 2019.

Under the new Tax Plan, for all divorce decrees and separation agreements executed after December 31, 2018, spousal maintenance/alimony payments are NOT a tax deductible expense. Such maintenance/alimony payments are treated as tax neutral, like child support is today (e.g., neither a deductible expense to the parent who pays, nor income...Read More

An Update To The Relocation Statute

Posted: Nov 20, 2017

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Anne B. Bennette

A Washington Court of Appeals recently differentiated 50/50 shared parenting plans from plans in which there is a named primary residential parent with respect to the intent to move with the child.

“A proposed relocation that would modify a joint parenting plan’s equal residential time to something less than equal residential time is in effect a change in residential placement. Such a change in residential placement requires an adequate cause finding under the modification statute. We therefore conclude that the CRA does not apply to a proposed relocation that would modify the joint parenting plan’s joint...Read More

Addressing Support For College Tuition And Expenses

Posted: Jan 5, 2017

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Dimitra S. Scott

Many high school seniors are looking ahead to college, university, or technical school later this year. Faced with rising tuition costs, most of their parents wonder how they will help pay tuition in the Fall. If you have an Order of Child Support, post-secondary support can be ordered to contribute to the cost of tuition, books, housing, and other related expenses. However, you must be careful to ensure the issue is addressed timely or risk waiving the opportunity to seek ongoing support after high school graduation.

In most cases, the issue of post-secondary support is reserved in the Order of...Read More

Avoid Bad Behavior When You’re Not Getting Along With Your Co-Parent

Posted: Jan 5, 2017

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Anne B. Bennette

When you and a partner have a child (or children) together and then terminate your romantic relationship, it can be extremely difficult to maintain some semblance of amicability while co-parenting. It is certainly commendable for those who are able to do so throughout, but seldom will this be the case for the duration of your child’s life or children’s lives. Differences in opinions on child rearing, one party’s inability to conform to a schedule, and disagreements regarding extracurricular activities are just some of the issues that may frustrate you to the point you want to take action.

WHAT NOT TO...Read More

New Mandatory Forms For Family Law Litigants In Washington State

Posted: Jun 22, 2016

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Anne B. Bennette

As a result of a major six-year overhaul by the Access to Justice Board, new “Plain Language” Family Law Forms are currently available on and mandatory to be used in all family law cases as of July 1, 2016.

The purpose for the overhaul was to make the court forms more comprehensible for Pro Se litigants, the benefit being that some of the legalistic and archaic language has been removed and most forms provide check boxes for further simplification.

As this is a new endeavor for the Access to Justice Board, they welcome feedback from practitioners,...Read More

Dividing Property At The End Of Committed Intimate Relationship In Washington State

Posted: Oct 27, 2014

By: BeresfordBooth

If you are in a marriage-like relationship with another adult, referred to as a “meretricious relationship” or a “committed intimate relationship,” but not legally married, Washington State courts can still determine the division of debts and assets you acquired during the relationship.

In order to determine whether you and your former partner fall into the definition of a “committed intimate relationship” the Court will consider the following 5 factors:

  • Continuous cohabitation;
  • Duration of the relationship;
  • Purpose of the relationship;
  • Pooling of resources and services for joint projects; and
  • The intent of the parties.

Similar to what...Read More