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.

  • Initiating Divorce During the Holidays

    Initiating Divorce During the Holidays It’s not uncommon for a person or couple to decide to divorce around the holidays. Many do choose to wait until after the new year to file, which is why there are typically a lot more divorce petitions filed in January. However, if you have decided to proceed with the divorce during the holiday season, there are some things you should consider. Our Washington divorce lawyers have put together a few tips to help you survive the holidays while also dealing with the prospect of divorce. Consider the following steps: Consult an ...
  • Understanding Child Custody Rights in Washington State

    Understanding Child Custody Rights in Washington State Legal issues involving children, such as child custody, can be extremely emotional, frustrating, and oftentimes difficult to work through. Parents want what is best for their children – but when they cannot agree about what that looks like, court intervention might be necessary. However, dealing with the legal restrictions and laws in your state can be challenging. Whether you’re going through a divorce, a separation, or are renegotiating a long-standing custody arrangement, it’s important for you to understand your rights ...
  • How Does Emotional Abuse Impact a Divorce?

    How Does Emotional Abuse Impact a Divorce? Whenever abuse is involved in a marriage, the divorce invariably becomes more complicated – emotionally and legally. In marriages where some type of abuse transpired, it is very likely that the abuse was also one of the reasons, if not the primary reason, for the divorce. This can make the divorce more difficult in a variety of ways. Legally, the abusive party is not considered more responsible for the divorce than the abused party, though abuse can affect details in the final divorce settlement. If you were emotionally ...
  • Thanksgiving After Divorce: 3 Tips for Co-Parents

    Thanksgiving After Divorce: 3 Tips for Co-Parents While divorce can be a struggle for families with children all throughout the year, Thanksgiving can be a particularly difficult time when parents can’t celebrate the holiday with their kids. The first few Thanksgivings can be especially tough for divorced families as they adjust to their new normal. Below, we explain three strategies that can help you cope with the new reality of being a co-parent during the holiday season. Tip #1: Stick to Your Parenting Schedule There are a variety of ways co-parents can divide up ...
  • How to Adopt a Stepchild

    How to Adopt a Stepchild When a stepparent wants to adopt a stepchild as their own, they must first obtain permission from both biological parents, unless one parent has abandoned the child for an extended period of time or is deemed unfit to be a parent. If a parent wants to adopt a stepchild who is over the age of 14, then the child must consent to the adoption . If the non-custodial biological parent agrees to the adoption, then their parental rights will be terminated. Consent is revocable until the court approves it. After the court approves ...
  • Negotiating Spousal Support

    Negotiating Spousal Support Discussing the terms of spousal maintenance with an ex is never a comfortable experience. Spousal support negotiations can be one of the most difficult aspects of divorce proceedings, which is why it is important that both spouses carefully analyze each other’s situations to figure out what terms are appropriate for their future needs. Before you start negotiating a spousal maintenance agreement, you need to make sure you have a good understanding of your own personal finances. Carefully examine your monthly income and ...
  • Legal Differences Between Annulment and Divorce

    Legal Differences Between Annulment and Divorce When it comes to legally ending a marriage, there are two options: divorce and annulment. Although both options can end a marriage, the legal grounds and consequences for each are different. Among the differences are the types of evidence required to obtain a decision and the obligations for the former spouse with each ruling. The biggest difference in legal grounds between a divorce and an annulment is that divorce ends a legally valid marriage, while an annulment declares a marriage legally invalid. Most couples pursue ...
  • U.S. News Recognizes McKinley Irvin in 2022 “Best Law Firms” for Family Law

    U.S. News Recognizes McKinley Irvin in 2022 “Best Law Firms” for Family Law McKinley Irvin is honored to be ranked as a Tier 1 law firm in the Seattle metropolitan area for Family Law by U.S. News–Best Lawyers®. 2022 marks the 11 th consecutive year that the firm has achieved this distinction. Firms included in the Best Law Firms list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. “To be recognized as one of the region’s top family law firms by Best Law Firms and U.S. News for the 11 th consecutive year is an honor,” said Rita Herrera Irvin, ...
  • How to Find a Parent for Child Support

    How to Find a Parent for Child Support The State of Washington Division of Child Support (DCS) assists parents with finding missing parents and enforcing existing child support orders . If the noncustodial parent lives in another state or U.S. territory, then DCS can request the jurisdiction to establish or enforce a child support order. After the other jurisdiction receives the case, it will have control over most of the actions that follow to enforce the order. When DCS works with another state to collect child support but the noncustodial parent is unemployed, ...
  • Pet Custody in Washington

    Pet Custody in Washington As many people develop a deep connection with their pets and treat them as an essential part of their family, the matter of which spouse gets to keep the pet after a divorce can be a contentious legal issue. Unlike children, there are no “ custody ” laws in the state of Washington for pets because they are considered property under the law. When spouses can't reach an agreement on who should have custody of the pet, judges will generally award the pet to the spouse who was mostly responsible for taking care of it. If there ...
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