McKinley Irvin Blogs from January 2023

  • 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 ...
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  • Choosing Legal Separation

    Choosing Legal Separation Legal separation in Washington State offers a little bit of both divorce and marriage. Couples can lead relatively separate lives while still legally married. One of the advantages of legal separation is spouses can keep some (but maybe not all) of the financial and health benefits they enjoyed as a married couple. Advantages of Legal Separation When a marriage no longer works, the two spouses often choose to move forward by getting a divorce. Other couples resist divorce because of deeply held religious beliefs or other ...
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  • Proving Neglect in a Child Custody Case

    Proving Neglect in a Child Custody Case Child custody cases in which one parent accuses the other of neglecting their children deal with some of the most complicated and emotionally agonizing matters. In the context of family law, any activity or behavior by a parent that threatens the physical or emotional wellbeing of a child can be considered abuse or neglect. Because of the serious nature of child neglect allegations, parents seeking custody or modification of an existing custody agreement must do more than simply tell a judge that the other parent is ...
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  • Do Fathers Have Equal Rights in Child Custody Disputes?

    Do Fathers Have Equal Rights in Child Custody Disputes? Washington and all other states have shifted away from presuming the mother should receive custody. Judges consider numerous factors when determining how child custody should be divided between the parents. In most cases, the court upholds the principle that the child is best served by having meaningful relationships with both parents. The Evolution of Child Custody Divorce was uncommon in the colonial United States, but it did happen. This country followed English common law that granted custody to the fathers, as women had ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • Parenting Rights for Stepparents

    Parenting Rights for Stepparents Roughly 40% of all married couples with children in the U.S. are blended families. With so many stepparents raising their spouse's children, the question of parental rights and legal guardianship is commonly raised when it comes to matters like discipline, medical decisions, and where the children will attend school. It is important to note that stepparents do not automatically have the right to make legal decisions for their stepchildren simply by virtue of their relationship to them. In order to obtain this right, a ...
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  • What Will a Divorce Lawyer Ask Me?

    What Will a Divorce Lawyer Ask Me? Heading into an initial divorce consultation, you might be wondering what types of questions the attorney will ask you. During that first meeting, the consulting lawyer is bound to ask you a few important things about your current situation and your wishes—but exactly what types of questions can you expect? It’s important to be prepared for any meeting with a legal advisor, so knowing what to expect can help you gather the appropriate information to make the most of your consultation. During your first meeting, a divorce ...
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  • New Year, New Life: Resolving to Divorce in 2023

    New Year, New Life: Resolving to Divorce in 2023 November and December are busy months filled with gift-giving and holiday gatherings. During this time of year, other responsibilities and activities are put on the back burner. After the champagne is corked on New Year’s Eve, people often switch their focus to making big changes in the new year. One resolution may be ending a marriage that is no longer working. January Is Divorce Month January has the unfortunate nickname of Divorce Month. This moniker is misleading as the first month of the year does not usually have the ...
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