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.

  • Valuation of Real Estate in Divorce

    Valuation of Real Estate in Divorce Under Washington's community property law, assets must be divided equitably between spouses who file for divorce. Dividing assets equitably does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split between the spouses. During the divorce, both parties must take stock of the assets they own and assign a value, regardless of if the asset is in one spouse’s name or jointly owned. This process is called valuation. Although valuation of property can be fairly simple when it comes to a bank or retirement account, it can be complicated if there is ...
  • Contempt of Court in Family Law Cases

    Contempt of Court in Family Law Cases When an ex violates court orders, filing a motion for contempt is a legal option to carefully consider. Contempt is a severe legal remedy that can be used when a person intentionally disobeys a court order. When it comes to family law cases, judges generally do not want to find someone in contempt unless there is a serious violation of a restraining order, or one party fails to act in court-ordered manners like child support or spousal maintenance. Common examples of contempt in family law cases include: A parent refuses to ...
  • Announcing Partner Lisa Ward

    Announcing Partner Lisa Ward McKinley Irvin is thrilled to announce that Lisa Ward has been named a partner in the firm. Based in our Vancouver office, Lisa represents clients in all family law matters, including complex property division and high asset divorce litigation. “Lisa is a leader in the practice of family law and an exceptional advocate for our clients and their families. We are pleased to welcome Lisa as a partner and look forward to her being an integral part of the future of the firm, ” says Founder and CEO, Rita Herrera Irvin. Lisa ...
  • Child Support for Children with Special Needs

    Child Support for Children with Special Needs When a court decides how to distribute child support payments, they consider several factors, including the mental and physical health of the child. The child’s well-being will always come first in the eyes of the court, so if a child has a special set of needs, the court will consider how those needs may affect the child’s care and living expenses. Whether you and your child’s other parent share custody or one of you has primary custody, it is important for you to understand how child support could be affected by your ...
  • Preparing for Divorce in the New Year

    Preparing for Divorce in the New Year With 2021 behind us, many people are setting goals and making resolutions for 2022. If divorce is one of the major changes being considered this year, then there are several steps to take to prepare for the legal process ahead. This is especially important for those who aren’t familiar with the finances of their household. Below, we discuss the important things to start doing if you plan to end a marriage this year. #1: Financial Information Sometimes a spouse will cut off the other from credit cards and even withdraw funds ...
  • When a Co-Parent Breaks the Custody Agreement

    When a Co-Parent Breaks the Custody Agreement When a court issues a custody order to parents who are divorced or separated, both parties are legally obligated to adhere to the parenting plan exactly as it is written, unless the court approves a request to modify the order. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one parent to feel like they got an unfair deal because they spend less time with their children than the other parent or because they disagree with some other aspect of the custody agreement. If one parent denies the other their scheduled visitation or refuses to ...
  • The First Christmas After Divorce

    The First Christmas After Divorce Those who were recently divorced and experienced some major changes in family life might be concerned about how it will all affect the upcoming holiday season. The holidays are usually filled with happy memories, family traditions, parties, and get-togethers. While you can still find enjoyment in these activities, it is important that you and your family understand that your first post-divorce Christmas will certainly be different. Be Flexible, Create New Traditions Trying to make this holiday season the same as the ones you ...
  • Reducing or Canceling Spousal Support Payments

    Reducing or Canceling Spousal Support Payments There are many reasons an ex-spouse may feel like their spousal support order is no longer fair. Below, we discuss what can be done to reduce or cancel a spousal support order that was awarded as part of a divorce settlement . Change In Circumstances If the settlement agreement or alimony order doesn't specify a timeframe for when alimony can be modified, then both spouses have the option to file a request with the court to ask for a change to the order. Ex-spouses should try to first reach an agreement to reduce support ...
  • Choosing Which Parent to Live With After Divorce or Separation

    Choosing Which Parent to Live With After Divorce or Separation When parents go through divorce or separation , children sometimes have strong opinions regarding custody . In Washington, there are certain situations in which a child's preference can impact a court’s custody decision. If divorcing or separating parents can't agree on a custody arrangement for their children, a judge might require them to attend mediation . If mediation doesn’t resolve the issue, the parents will have to go to court, where a judge will decide on a parenting plan based on the child's best interests. ...
  • McKinley Irvin Adds Two New Attorneys in Everett

    McKinley Irvin Adds Two New Attorneys in Everett We are pleased to announce that attorneys Sara Penn and Christa Melton have joined the Everett office as Discovery and Document Specialist Attorneys. Sara received her juris doctorate from Creighton University School of Law and Christa from Gonzaga University School of Law. As Discovery and Document Specialists, Sara and Christa will assist clients in all areas of family law, including divorce, legal separation, child custody, and parenting plan modifications. Sara and Christa are empathetic advocates who feel passionately ...
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