Magnuson Lowell Blog
Each week we post a blog about relevant legal issues. Glance through our various topics to learn more about a particular legal situation.
Divorce will always have a negative connotation associated with it due to the nature of its substance. That depressing viewpoint on the legal system does not have to come to fruition, though. In fact, in Washington, a divorce inherent with civility and amicability may allow the parties to reach quick resolution saving time, money, and your anxiety levels in the process. Learning to be civil with your soon to be ex-spouse may be difficult, but it is often an approach worth taking, and working with the right attorney will help this process immensely.
Breakups of a marriage and that of a family is not fun. They can be chaotic. Divorces can be stressful and even hurtful. They do not have to be that way. There are only two ways that a divorce will finalize – with trial or with an agreement. Most of the time, the parties will eventually realize that the cost and risk of going to trial just is not worth it any longer. Eventually at mediation, the spouses will find some common ground and reach a settlement without having to go in front of a judge. What if we could expedite this process and reach resolution earlier?
It is all about having the proper mindset. Now, obviously, civility after the fact can only go so far. It cannot repair years of abuse or other major traumas inflicted during the marriage. In many instances, if the parties can just have a polite conversation, working amicably with each other may lead to a better result. It starts with the filing of the lawsuit. Often, before we file the lawsuit, I tell my clients that divorces can be efficient and less expensive, but it takes hard work from both spouses. If they can sit down prior to filing and speak frankly about the future, we may be able to save a lot of heartache in the future. What does this look like?
Divorce requires a few separate agreements. First, and always, separating parties must be able to split their assets and debts. Washington state has done much of the work for you on this measure. Washington is a community property state, which means for the most part, assets and debts acquired during the marriage are owned equally by the parties and should be split equally. There are certainly times where that is not the case, but those arrangements are often by agreement only. Next on the financial note is spousal support. Depending on the length of marriage and the needs of the parties, alimony may be awarded to help one spouse transition more easily to single life.
If there are children, you will need two separate agreements. Child support is mandated in Washington and may be easily determined based on calculations under RCW 26.19.020. You look at the net income of both parties and can create a pro-rated monthly transfer payment. Finally, the parents must create a parenting plan to determine the kids’ schedule and other plans.
Parents who can amicably reach these decisions have just saved thousands of dollars and a lot of time and effort in a divorce lawsuit. An attorney may be able to draft documents relatively quickly if the parties have already reached an agreement. Divorces tend to get more expensive as the attorney is required to spend more time arguing and negotiating with the other side. If the parties can work cooperatively to find common ground, the attorney will not need as much time and substantial costs may be saved.
At the law offices of Magnuson Lowell, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you save time, effort, and money. At the same time, their guidance will allow you and your spouse to find common ground while cutting out perhaps months or years of litigation just to reach the same result. Call today for a free case evaluation!