McKinley Irvin Blogs from February 2013

  • Evaluators and Advocates in Child Custody Cases

    In a disputed child custody or parenting time (commonly known as visitation) suit, judges make decisions that have life-long effects on a child and his or her family. To ensure that judges receive complete information and are acting in the child's best interest, either the parents or the court may seek the assistance of an expert witness or child advocate. Generally, the expert witnesses are known as child custody evaluators, and the advocates for the children are known as Guardians Ad Litem (a "GAL"). Custody evaluators and ...
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  • Rights When Ending Intimate Committed Relationships

    Do We Have a Common Law Marriage? While several states recognize "common law marriage," Washington State does not. Instead, Washington State follows the doctrine of Committed Intimate Relationships (also called meretricious, quasi-marital, or marital-like relationships). Like common law marriage, which is a legal status given to parties living in a relationship similar to marriage but without a formal ceremony or marriage certificate, committed intimate relationships also recognize the importance of long-term, committed, ...
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  • Can I Protect My Children's Inheritance from Their Spouses?

    Can I Protect My Children's Inheritance from Their Spouses? Estate Planning for Your Children after They’ve Married Parents developing an estate plan to financially provide for their children need to consider effective means to protect their children's inheritance in the event of their children's divorce. Generally, depending on state law, inheritance is treated differently than property otherwise acquired during a marriage. But the separate designation provided for inheritance does not provide complete protection, as a court typically has authority over all property for distribution ...
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