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 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 . ...
  • Preventing a Co-parent From Taking a Child Out of the Country

    Preventing a Co-parent From Taking a Child Out of the Country If you are married to a citizen of another country, have children, and are divorcing or considering a divorce, it is natural to fear what would happen if your spouse were to take your children out of the country. If this happens, it can be difficult to bring the child back to the United States. Is there a way to prevent this from happening? Please note: If you are facing a custody situation where this is an issue, it is important to contact a family law attorney experienced in international matters right away to advise you ...
  • Community Property Laws Explained

    Community Property Laws Explained Community property covers all of the possessions and ownership interests that a couple acquired during the course of their marriage. Marital property can also include all of the shared debts the spouses incurred during marriage, with a few exceptions. Essentially, both partners have a 50% ownership claim under community property law . The state of Washington uses the concept of "community property" to determine which spouse should be awarded property ownership after a marriage. Under community property laws, almost all ...
  • How Are Household Items Divided in a Divorce?

    How Are Household Items Divided in a Divorce? When couples go through a divorce, they must find a way to extricate themselves from one another in a way that allows them to move forward with their own lives. Although the decision to separate from one another is highly personal and emotional, there are several other changes that come with the process, including the division of your assets. In a divorce, the couple must divide their shared property, including everything big and small, from their savings funds to their furniture. Part of the divorce process is determining ...
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