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.

  • Gray Divorce: What to Expect

    Gray Divorce: What to Expect Overall divorce rates may currently be the lowest they’ve been in the last 50 years, but rates among older adults have dramatically increased in the last few decades. It is now more common than ever for people in their later years to end long-term marriages and forge their own paths. Whereas people may have been more likely in the past to remain in unhappy or less-than-ideal marriages due to cultural and religious stigmas or concern for minor children, gray divorce has become a viable and socially acceptable option for many ...
  • What Happens if a Divorce Goes to Trial?

    What Happens if a Divorce Goes to Trial? The trial is the very last step in any divorce process, which means there are plenty of opportunities to avoid trial altogether. Mediation and settlement options can help resolve the details of a divorce without presenting the case in court, but this isn’t always a viable option for every couple. You can learn about alternatives to trial here . If you and your spouse are unable to resolve your differences through a settlement, you will have to go to trial to resolve any open-ended issues in your divorce. However necessary it ...
  • How Child Custody is Determined in a Divorce

    How Child Custody is Determined in a Divorce The court has several goals in deciding child custody in a divorce case. These goals can include, but are not limited to: Providing for the child’s physical care Maintaining emotional stability for the child Providing for the changing needs of the child as he or she grows and matures Setting forth the responsibility of each parent with respect to the child Minimizing the child’s exposure to harmful parental conflict Overall, the court will make these decisions based on what it thinks are in the child’s best interests. The ...
  • What to Do About False Allegations in Child Custody and Divorce Cases

    What to Do About False Allegations in Child Custody and Divorce Cases When your co-parent makes false accusations against you, their words, however unfounded, could seriously harm your child custody or divorce case. Whether you’re just now going through the beginning of a divorce or are rehashing a custody issue for the fifth time, any words against you, as a parent, can be particularly damaging. Some of the common false accusations include: Child abuse and negligence Drug and alcohol addiction Accusations of criminal offenses Accusations of domestic violence Lying on your legal forms Failure ...
  • Relocating With a Child After Divorce

    Relocating With a Child After Divorce Under Washington State law, both parents and anyone else granted visitation by the court are required to be informed if one parent plans to relocate with the child. If a child visitation rights holder, such as the other parent, grandparents, or a sibling, has visitation rights with the child, then the relocating parent must inform them when they plan to move. Washington State law establishes this obligation because everyone involved in the child’s life should be alerted about the move in advance. Below, we discuss what ...
  • 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 ...
  • McKinley Irvin Founders Featured in Seattle University School of Law Magazine

    McKinley Irvin founders, Rita Irvin and Sands McKinley, have been featured in Seattle University School of Law’s article, “Founded by Alumni, Firm Leads Region in Family Law Services." Read the full article here: The Lawyer, a magazine of Seattle University School of Law, Spring 2022 issue, p.14
  • Four Reasons Spouses Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce

    Four Reasons Spouses Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce Deciding to file for divorce or legal separation can be a difficult decision that carries serious legal implications for everyone involved. Although people sometimes assume that divorce is the only way out of a marriage they are no longer satisfied with, a legal separation can provide strong protection that is similar to divorce. In some scenarios, it’s actually advantageous if the couple chooses legal separation over divorce. Keep reading to find out why it might make more sense to legally separate from your spouse instead ...
  • How to Respond to Divorce Papers in Washington

    How to Respond to Divorce Papers in Washington A divorce case officially begins when one spouse files or serves the other spouse with the initial divorce petition . The party being served with divorce papers should receive a copy of the petition and a court summons informing them how much time they have to file a response. The summons contains information specific to the case, such as the case number, while the petition includes the names of the people involved, the legal claim being made, and the desired outcome or relief the filing spouse is seeking. In Washington, the ...
  • Creating a Long-Distance Parenting Plan

    Creating a Long-Distance Parenting Plan When it comes to co-parenting over long distances after divorce or separation, it can be difficult to come up with an effective parenting plan. Because long-distance parenting plans are substantially different than standard parenting plans, co-parents must use creative thinking to address the logistics of this complex arrangement so that both have a fair say in their child’s upbringing. A long-distance parenting plan is a set of instructions that dictates how co-parents will raise their children after divorce or separation . ...
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