Archive For: Divorce & Family Law

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

Legal Marijuana Use In Washington State And Divorce And Child Custody

Posted: Aug 27, 2014

By: BeresfordBooth

Washington State has legalized the use of marijuana.  Clients are now frequently asking whether or not their use of marijuana will impact their divorce or a custody determination.  Much like alcohol use (or abuse), it depends on whether the use of marijuana has an impact on a parent’s ability to parent.  Under RCW 26.09.191(3)(c), “A parent's involvement or conduct may have an adverse effect on the child’s best interests, and the court may preclude or limit any provisions of the parenting plan, if any of the following factors exist: .  . . A long-term impairment resulting from drug, alcohol,...Read More

Who Pays For A Child’s College In Case Of Divorce In Washington State?

Posted: May 30, 2014

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Dimitra S. Scott

High School graduation is on the horizon. Your child may have plans to attend college or vocational school in the fall. How (or who) is going to pay the expense? Courts in Washington state have the authority and discretion to determine whether the parents must pay.

If you have an Order of Child Support, the issue of post-secondary support may already be addressed. Depending upon the age of the child at the time the order was entered, the issue of post-secondary support may have been reserved for later determination provided the issue is addressed timely. Although all...Read More

Washington State Appellate Court Indicates Termination of Parental Rights Trials Should Be Open

Posted: May 20, 2014

By: BeresfordBooth

In a recent Washington State Court of Appeals case, the appellate court indicated a termination trial (i.e., the termination of a parent-child relationship) in an adoption matter should be open to the public. Because of a procedural error, the appellate Court did not make such a ruling but ruled the appellant father, whose parental rights were terminated, raised a constitutional claim of error to RCW 26.33.060, which states, in part, as follows: “All hearings under this chapter shall be heard by the court without a jury…The general public shall be excluded and only those persons shall be admitted whose...Read More

Changing Your Name In Washington State

Posted: Mar 3, 2014

By: BeresfordBooth

When a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is entered, the Court may order a spouse’s name to be changed at his or her request. Often, a spouse will want to assume their maiden name, particularly if the marriage was for a brief period of time.

A name change is not limited to divorce proceedings. Anyone can change their name or that of their child by filing a petition for a name change in the District Court of the county where he or she resides. The Court will grant the change of name in its discretion. RCW 4.24.130

Read More

Washington State Court Of Appeals Upholds Ruling Denying Guardian Ad Litem Quasi-Judicial Immunity

Posted: Feb 20, 2014

By: BeresfordBooth

The Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the trial Court’s decision to deny quasi-judicial immunity to a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) because the GAL acted outside his statutory GAL functions, as alleged in the complaint.

Slip Opinion

Beresford Booth PLLC (425.776.4100),

BERESFORD BOOTH PLLC has made this content available to the general public for informational purposes only. The information on this site is not intended to convey legal opinions or legal advice.


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

Posted: Feb 18, 2014

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?

Posted: Feb 18, 2014

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

Posted: Feb 18, 2014

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.

...Read More