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Yakima Family Law Blog

Child support, from the court's perspective

If you recently got divorced and also happen to be a parent, issues regarding your children were likely discussed, and court decisions were made (or approvals granted) in conjunction with your co-parenting plan. You may also have an existing court order regarding child support in Washington. Perhaps you are the paying parent or you receive payments from your ex to provide for your children's needs.

The court takes various factors into consideration when making child support decisions. First and foremost is typically income, in particular, how much each parent currently earns. From there, the court will no doubt consider the custodial parent's financial ability to provide for the children.

Keep Washington business assets safe in divorce

No one likes to think about divorce when he or she is planning to marry. However, in some circumstances, such as when the person also happens to be a Washington business owner, it is a wise business decision to think ahead and to not ignore the possibility that any marriage could ultimately end in divorce. Doing so enables a business owner to take steps to protect business assets should a marriage someday end in court.  

Washington happens to be one of only nine states in the nation that continue to operate under community property laws in divorce. This means that all marital assets are typically split 50/50 between spouses. Unless a business owner executed a prenuptial plan before marrying, marital property would include the value of the business at the time of the divorce.  

Raising a child in a healthy parental relationship after divorce

The relationship between parents and their children may be seriously affected by divorce. Raising a child in Washington who is healthy and well-adjusted is likely one of the most difficult and most important things a person can do. Humans are far from perfect and most adults are able to move on after marriages end. It may take kids a little longer, especially if one or both of their parents have found new partners.

Being in a blended family takes a lot of getting used to and many kids don't take kindly to drastic changes. But when parents on the same page are working a positive co-parenting plan, children may ultimately be able to accept perhaps sharing a space and sharing their parents' time with other children now in the mix. Kids in this situation greatly benefit spending one-on-one time with their parents who need to remind their kids that they will always come first.

Postnuptial contracts: Read before signing to avoid dispute

In business, divorce or any other transaction that includes signing a contract, Washington readers will want to remember the importance of carefully reading all terms therein and making sure they understand them before signing. A dispute may arise down the line if one or more parties of a contract suddenly claim they did not understand what they were signing. A man who was once married Elvis Presley's daughter says he was unaware of the contents of the post-nuptial agreements he signed.

Lisa Marie Presley has been married four times. While she paid spousal support to her first husband, she did not pay any to her second or third. It is her fourth husband who complained that he was unaware that signing a post nuptial contract would prevent him from ever receiving spousal support from Presley.

What to do when child support problems arise in divorce

While it is sometimes possible to create an amicable co-parenting plan in a Washington divorce, it can be quite challenging if parents disagree about certain issues. Problems often arise regarding child custody or child support matters. However, if a concerned parent knows how to quickly access legal support, most problems can be resolved before they get out of hand.  

The court always has the best interests of the children involved in mind. Like most good parents in Washington, you also want what is best for your kids, even if it means you must make sacrifices along the way. Things can get messy during divorce proceedings if your interpretation of what is best for your children differs from your spouse's.  

When Washington property division problems involve hidden assets

Many Washington spouses encounter challenges when navigating the family justice system, especially regarding divorce. It's never an easy process, and when one spouse is out to get revenge on the other or is trying to gain the upper-hand in property division proceedings, things can messy. If anyone reading this post is worried about possible hidden assets in divorce, there are several issues to pay close attention to when trying to confirm a suspicion or gather evidence to catch a spouse in the act.  

Spouses trying to beat the system concerning marital assets in divorce may make one or more expensive purchases, which they will then attempt to undervalue. For instance, if a spouse suddenly adds numerous pieces to an art collection or buys another high-end item, such as a piece of jewelry or an expensive oriental rug, it may be a sign that he or she is attempting to hide assets. Another common means for hiding assets is to overpay on federal tax returns.  

Father accused of not paying child support, now in jail

Most Washington parents who contribute financially to their children's needs by order of the court understand the importance of strict adherence to the terms of the court order. If a judge orders a specific payment to be made by a certain date every month, the parent ordered to do so may face serious legal problems for noncompliance. In fact, child support situations like this can lead to criminal charges above and beyond family law proceedings. 

A man who owns a cab business in another state is currently sitting behind bars because of a similar situation. He is known as the 'taxi king' because he owned so many medallions, which, essentially are certifications of license to operate taxi cabs in a particular location. The man has already faced legal consequences after pleading guilty to trying to get out of paying $50,000 he owed in taxes.  

"Grey's Anatomy" star not happy about child support ruling

"Grey's Anatomy" fans in Washington and beyond are typically big fans of Jesse Williams, the actor who plays Doctor Jackson Avery on the show. While the character Williams plays faces stress or emotional challenges in the series, it's fiction and, as such, doesn't impact his real life. However, the stress he has been dealing with in a child support battle with his former wife is another situation altogether, and it's definitely real.

Williams and his ex have two children, for whom he has been ordered to pay more than $50,000 per month in support. He also provides his former spouse with $50,000 in monthly spousal support payments. That's why he was upset with the court's recent ruling to increase his child support payments.

Keep these things in mind about child support modification

Washington parents who divorce often become entangled in legal battles with their former spouses regarding various issues having to do with their children. Those who pay child support must adhere to the exact terms of their court orders; that goes for both parents, in fact. If a parent is, for some reason, unable to keep making payments, there are certain things he or she will want to remember in order to avoid legal trouble.

Only the court can change a child support agreement. However, if a parent needs to request a modification, the swiftest way may be to first discuss the issue with his or her ex. If he or she agrees to the proposed changes, then all that's left is to seek the court's approval.

Reality TV star seeks child support and custody

Washington fans of the reality TV series "Southern Charm" are likely familiar with a star on the show, Kathryn Dennis. Some may also be aware that Dennis has faced several challenges regarding child support and custody matters concerning her two children. In 2016, Dennis failed a drug test, which led her losing custody of her kids.  

The mom of two has been paying $100 per month to the father of her children, who has had full custody since then. Dennis has reportedly passed several drug tests since then and says she hopes to regain full custody of her kids. She also hopes the court will rule in her favor regarding her request to receive child support payments to help provide for her daughters' financial needs.  

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