Protecting Your Family Is Attorney Cronin’s Priority

Answering Your Family Law Questions

At The Law Office of D.C. Cronin, Dennis Cronin understands that every family law and domestic relations case is complicated. It’s important to stay informed about the legal processes involved. That’s why D.C. Cronin provides answers to frequently asked questions, to helps ease stress, frustration and feeling overwhelmed. Get answers and read more about family law and domestic relations.

How does child support work in Washington?

Child support is financial support provided by parents to assist in taking care of their children’s needs. In Washington, the court of DCS determines the amount a person must pay for child support based on the state’s support guidelines and other relevant factors.

Factors considered in calculating child support include:

  • Gross monthly income as identified in the statute of both parents.
  • Available resources of each household.
  • Involuntary debts of each parent.
  • Number of children needing support.
  • Children of other relationships
  • Health care and education expenses for each child.
  • Work related day care costs, as needed.
  • The amount of time a child spends with each parent.
  • The standard of living, if any, established for the child.
  • Reasons for deviation (up or down) from the presumed amount.

Can an ex-partner relocate with a child?

According to state law, if a parent with whom the child resides a majority of the time or with whom the child resides a substantially equal period time  is relocating, he/she/they must provide notice to the non-relocating parent pursuant to statutory requirements and most often a proposed parenting plan. The relocating parent must give this notice well before the move – in most instances at least 60 days before the relocation absent statutory factors for less notice.

The non-relocating parent then has the right to object or agree to the child’s relocation and any proposed parenting plan within a certain statutory time frame. If neither parent can agree on a solution, a court may intervene and schedule a hearing. The court can help decide whether the detrimental effect of the relocation outweighs the benefit of the change to the child and the relocating parent based upon a series of non weighted and non exclusive statutory factors.

How does Washington divide property and debts?

Washington is an equitable community property state. In a divorce or a legal separation or domestic partnership or a Committed Intimate Relationship, the court equitably divides property and debts considering several non exclusive statutory factors including:

  • The nature and extent of the community property
  • The nature and extent of the separate property
  • The duration of the marriage or relationship
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse or domestic partner at the time the division is to become effective including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to a spouse or domestic partner with whom the children reside a majority of the time.

The list of applicable factors can be much lengthier than the statutory list above and the above statutes are analogously applied in Committed Intimate Relationships where other factors also apply to such relation- ships distinct from a dissolution of marriage, dissolution of a domestic partnership, or legal separation. And, a division does not necessarily need to be 50/50 to be equitable. As such an experienced and knowledgeable attorney such as D.C. Cronin should be consulted for advice and guidance.

How is spousal support (spousal maintenance) decided?

When one spouse is in need of financial support at the separation and/or dissolution of the marriage or domestic partnership legal separation or declaration of invalidity or maintenance proceeding  Washington looks to a non exclusive statutory list of factors including:

  • The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned to him or her and his or their ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision of support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his or her or their skill, inserts, style of life, and other attendant circumstances;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership
  • The duration of the marriage of domestic partnership
  • The age, physical and emotional condition and financial obligations of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance; and
  • The ability of the spouse or domestic partner from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her or their needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse or domestic partner seeing maintenance.

What should a business owner going through a divorce do?

If a business owner is going through a divorce in Washington, there are several steps they should consider taking to protect their interests and ensure a fair process in asset division. They include:

  • Understand the business valuation process: The business will likely need to be valued to determine its worth. This process can be complex and may require hiring a professional business appraiser.
  • Gather financial documentation: Compile all relevant financial documents related to the business, such as personal, corporate, and partnership tax returns, profit and loss statements, balance sheets and other financial and business records. This is not an exhaustive list an after consultation other documents may be necessary.
  • Separate personal and business finances: If personal and business finances are intermingled, (unsegregated) the tracing can complicate the divorce process.

It may be important to seek legal advice from a lawyer with experience in both family law and business assets.

Providing Effective Legal Representation When You Need It Most

If you are struggling with a family law or domestic relations matter and need experienced legal advice, don’t wait. Call Attorney Cronin and let him help you find an efficient solution to your legal dispute. Call 509-328-5600 to schedule a free consultation with him to discuss your case.