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.

  • Property Division in Washington State FAQ

    Property Division in Washington State FAQ Deciding how to divvy up your possessions and debts in a divorce is often one of the most difficult and tedious aspects in splitting up. Whether you have been together for 10 years or 10 months, you’ve likely accumulated assets as a married couple and deciding who gets what is a sensitive, stressful, and often confusing process. In order to make the divorce process a bit more manageable and transparent, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding property division in Washington. If you’re going through ...
  • Do I Need Grounds for Divorce in Washington?

    Do I Need Grounds for Divorce in Washington? Understanding Divorce Laws in Washington State In Washington, divorce law operates on the principle of "no-fault," making it one of the "no grounds" states. This means that you do not need to present any evidence of wrongdoing or fault by your spouse to file for divorce. Instead, one party simply needs to believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken, which serves as a sufficient ground for the dissolution of marriage. This no-fault system aims to reduce potential conflicts and make the process of divorce less ...
  • What Is a Toxic Divorce?

    What Is a Toxic Divorce? A toxic divorce is a dissolution of marriage that's characterized by intense negativity, conflict, and possibly even abuse. In these situations, one or both parties may engage in harmful behaviors such as constant criticism, manipulation, refusal to communicate, or using children as pawns in their battles. The hostility and bitterness permeate every interaction, making it difficult for the divorce to proceed in a healthy, constructive manner. Signs of a toxic divorce can be quite apparent. The communication between the ...
  • Co-Parenting & Discipline: How to Maintain Consistency and Compassion

    Co-Parenting & Discipline: How to Maintain Consistency and Compassion Being a parent isn’t easy, especially when you share your parenting time with your ex-spouse. The two of you may no longer be a couple, but you are both responsible for raising your child with love, consistency, and healthy boundaries. Acclimating to life as a single parent can be very difficult, especially if the divorce is causing your child to act out or if you and your ex have disagreements on how you want to parent your child. Keep in mind that you are all taking on new roles, so an adjustment period is perfectly ...
  • Enforcing Child Support in Washington

    Enforcing Child Support in Washington If a parent who has been ordered to pay child support fails to fulfill their legal obligation, then the parent who is collecting support can take action to enforce the child support order. The Division of Child Support (DCS) has the power to start collection actions against a noncustodial parent who fails to make child support payments. The custodial parent also has the option to file an enforcement action with the court if they want to request a judgment regarding the delinquent parent’s failure to pay child support. Common ...
  • McKinley Irvin Welcomes Katie McGinley to our Vancouver Office

    McKinley Irvin Welcomes Katie McGinley to our Vancouver Office McKinley Irvin is pleased to welcome family law attorney Katie McGinley to the firm as a Senior Attorney in our Vancouver office. A certified mediator and trained collaborative divorce lawyer, Katie tailors her approach based on her client’s circumstances and desired outcome. Her experience as a former certified life coach adds another dimension to her skill set, enabling her to excel in active listening, assist individuals in identifying their interests, and offer valuable encouragement. Originally from Portland, Katie ...
  • Are There Any Limitations to Legal Separation?

    Are There Any Limitations to Legal Separation? Understanding Legal Separation Legal separation is a court-recognized separation of spouses which allows both parties to live separately while still maintaining the legal status of being married. Distinguished from divorce, legal separation does not dissolve the marriage but provides a framework for aspects like spousal support, child custody, and property division. It's often chosen over divorce due to certain individual circumstances such as religious beliefs, the potential for reconciliation, or for maintaining certain ...
  • Getting Divorced While Pregnant: The Legal Issues

    Getting Divorced While Pregnant: The Legal Issues When a couple is in the midst of divorce, pregnancy can be incredibly stressful. While some couples may choose to postpone the divorce until after the child is born, others may feel waiting isn’t an option. Can You Get a Divorce While Pregnant? Yes, in the state of Washington, you are allowed to finalize your divorce even if you are pregnant. Although the courts cannot prevent you from divorcing simply because a spouse is pregnant, you may encounter some legal issues as you begin the dissolution process. Will the Other ...
  • Financial Obligations of Ending a Long-Term Relationship

    Financial Obligations of Ending a Long-Term Relationship Married couples aren’t the only ones entitled to legal rights after a breakup, at least not in Washington state. Although Washington law doesn’t recognize common law marriage, it does protect the rights of certain unmarried couples through the doctrine of “Committed Intimate Relationship.” Although these relationships aren’t legally recognized, couples involved in intimate relationships can seek recourse in court for property and liability distribution. If you were involved in a committed, long-term relationship and you and ...
  • Is “Divorce Season” Real?

    Is “Divorce Season” Real? "Divorce season" is a term used within the legal services industry to describe a particular time of year when the rate of divorce filings significantly increases. Typically, this season begins in January and continues through early March. It's crucial to note that while the term 'Divorce Season' is used commonly in industry discussions, each individual's situation and timeline is unique and may not align with this seasonal pattern. The Phenomenon of “Divorce Season” Historical trends indeed confirm a surge in divorce filings ...
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