Family Law Blog

McKinley Irvin Blog

A little knowledge can go a long way to protect your assets and family relationships. Planning can save headaches and money, and can provide peace of mind. The articles and tips in this section of the McKinley Irvin website are intended to help you understand and prepare for some of the more common issues you’ll encounter in a divorce, child custody, or other family law matter.

Please be advised that family cases can be very complex. The information provided here should not be construed as legal advice in your case.

  • What Are the Advantages of Arbitration in Family Law Matters?

    What Are the Advantages of Arbitration in Family Law Matters? Understanding Arbitration Arbitration is a private, contractual method of dispute resolution where the parties involved agree to submit their disagreements to a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator. Unlike courtroom litigation, arbitration proceedings are usually less formal and allow for a greater degree of flexibility in terms of scheduling. The arbitrator, who is often an experienced family law attorney or retired judge, listens to each party's argument, reviews the evidence presented, and then makes a binding ...
  • McKinley Irvin Named One of Washington's Best Workplaces for the Third Consecutive Year

    McKinley Irvin Named One of Washington's Best Workplaces for the Third Consecutive Year We are proud to announce that McKinley Irvin has been named one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s Best Workplaces in Washington for the third year in a row. The Best Workplaces list is driven by employee feedback. Puget Sound Business Journal’s research partner, Quantum Workplaces, anonymously surveys and scores hundreds of companies each year on employee engagement matters to create a list of finalists. Puget Sound Business Journal explains the significance of the list: “Our annual Washington's Best Workplaces List is an ...
  • Who Gets the Engagement Ring in a Washington State Divorce?

    Who Gets the Engagement Ring in a Washington State Divorce? Understanding Community Property Laws Washington adheres to the community property doctrine, meaning most assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered jointly owned by both spouses. This applies to income, property acquired with marital funds, and even appreciation in value of separate property during the marriage. However, there are exceptions for certain types of property, including separate property. Conditional gifts can qualify as separate property under Washington law. These are gifts given to one ...
  • Summer Break & Child Custody: Tips for Co-Parents

    Summer Break & Child Custody: Tips for Co-Parents Making the Most of Your Parenting Time During Summer Visits Summer break brings a welcome change of pace for children, but for parents, it can raise questions about childcare and maximizing quality time. Read on to learn how to make the most of your parenting time during summer break. Parenting Time Tips for the Summer We understand that custody arrangements vary, with some parents enjoying full summer schedules while others share parenting time during the break. For some, summer might be the only time they have physical ...
  • The Potential Challenges in an LGBTQ Divorce

    The Potential Challenges in an LGBTQ Divorce The fight for marriage equality was a hard-won victory for the LGBTQ+ community. However, the legal landscape surrounding divorce for same-sex couples can still be a minefield. While the core issues of emotional turmoil and financial disentanglement remain similar to opposite-sex divorces, LGBTQ+ couples face unique challenges during the divorce process. In this blog, we will discuss those specific challenges in further detail. Child Custody & Same-Sex Divorce Same-sex couples have many options and possibilities when it ...
  • What To Do If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets

    What To Do If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets Financial dishonesty within marriages is not a rarity. Indeed, the National Endowment for Financial Education reports that approximately 43% of adults have admitted to financial infidelity, which involves a party in a relationship intentionally deceiving their partner about money. This can include hiding debts, making major purchases without discussing them, or even having secret bank accounts. Even if a spouse does not breach trust and lie about their assets or debts in a marriage, they may do so during their divorce, which ...
  • Why Consider Divorce Mediation?

    Why Consider Divorce Mediation? Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process. However, for divorcing couples seeking an amicable and cost-effective resolution, divorce mediation offers a compelling alternative to traditional litigation. A neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates communication and guides couples in working towards mutually agreeable settlements on key issues such as child custody, spousal support, and asset division. Is Mediation Required for Divorce in Washington State? While state law does not require couples to attend ...
  • How Divorce Can Affect Your Retirement

    How Divorce Can Affect Your Retirement Divorce doesn't merely alter your current life circumstances; it can also significantly reshape your long-term financial outlook, especially when it comes to retirement savings. In Washington state, this is primarily due to the community property laws that mandate an equal division of marital assets, including retirement accounts such as IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401K and 403K plans, employee stock options, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) funds. Understanding the Division of Retirement Plans 401(k) plans and ...
  • What Happens If a Spouse Won’t Sign Divorce Papers?

    What Happens If a Spouse Won’t Sign Divorce Papers? Can Your Partner Refuse to Sign Divorce Papers? Yes. Your spouse can refuse to sign. In some cases, they may not agree to the terms you have set forth and may wish to pursue a contested divorce. In other cases, they may simply fail to respond to your petition for divorce altogether. In the event of a refusal to sign or respond, however, you still have options to proceed with a divorce. Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree on all matters related to the dissolution of their ...
  • Child Custody & Religion

    Child Custody & Religion Religion can be a significant factor in a child's upbringing, often influencing their values, behaviors, and worldview. In Washington State's diverse landscape, parents may come from various religious backgrounds, each with its own set of traditions, practices, and holidays. This diversity can present challenges when creating parenting plans following a separation or divorce. According to RCW 26.09.184, the parenting plan shall specify how decision-making authority is allocated between the parents regarding the children's ...
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