Archive For: Divorce & Family Law

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

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 Orders of Child...Read More

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

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 presence...Read More

Changing Your Name In Washington State

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 Beresford Booth PLLC...Read More

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

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. http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/D2%2043983-2-II%20%20Part-Published%20Opinion.pdf Beresford Booth PLLC (425.776.4100), www.beresfordlaw.com 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?

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

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