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Yakima Family Law Blog

NBA star Blake Griffin's former lover files for child support

Most Washington parents currently facing legal problems regarding financial provision or care of their children do not have to worry about the personal details of their situations making national news headlines. However, private situations can be just as stressful as those that unfold before the public eye, such as an ongoing battle between professional basketball player Blake Griffin and his former girlfriend. She has filed a palimony lawsuit against Griffin and is requesting child support for their two children.

Griffin's personal life has been talked about in the media on more than one occasion, especially since he reportedly struck up a romantic relationship with Kendall Jenner, a member of the famous Kardashian clan. In fact, Griffin's former girlfriend mentions Jenner in her palimony lawsuit, saying Griffin brought shame to her family when he abandoned them then pursued a relationship with Jenner. The mother of two said she is requesting child support because Griffin continues to earn millions of dollars while her children's basic needs remain unmet.

Business assets top priority in many Washington divorces

When a person or couple works long and hard to develop, launch and sustain a successful business, it's understandable that asset protection would be of paramount importance if divorce occurs. Whether spouses also happen to be business partners or one spouse runs the business while the other remains uninvolved, when they file for divorce, both spouses will likely be concerned with business assets when it comes time to divide marital property. Washington is one of nine states in the nation that use community property laws to process divorce.

This means all marital property is typically split 50/50 when spouses divorce. When a business is involved, it becomes necessary to seek a business valuation before the court can determine half its value. The three main components of a thorough business valuation include existing assets, income (current and projected) and market values at the time of the assessment.

High asset divorce often equals high stress: Several ways to help

Most Washington married couples expect to be together for the rest of their lives. There's no foolproof way to predict which marriages will last and which will not; however, current data suggests that the likelihood of the latter is quite high in many areas. High asset divorce is seldom a process without challenges.

It's understandable that someone who has worked for years to amass savings or build a successful business would want to protect those interests in a divorce. Many people think ahead and sign prenuptial agreements to address property division concerns should a divorce occur later. These agreements can also specify what is to occur if one party predeceases the other. There are other resources available as well for keeping stress levels low in a high net worth value divorce.

Raising a child following divorce requires parental cooperation

Many Washington parents have gone through or are preparing to go through divorce proceedings. Most parents consider their children's best interests their highest priority, particularly as the parents navigate the family court system. The problem is that raising a child is an intensely personal journey, and parents who have gone their separate ways may disagree as to what is best for their kids.

Studies show children fare best when their parents are willing to cooperate to keep stress levels as low as possible when they divorce. There are several ways parents can help their children adapt to new lifestyles once the parents are no longer married. One thing they can do is refrain from arguing over custody or child support (or any family matter) in front of their children.

High-profile couple, Lauer and Roque, spotted at family home

Matt Lauer and his estranged wife, Annette Roque, were recently spotted sharing the holidays together with their kids. Headlines continue to spread regarding Lauer's abrupt termination from the "Today" show due to sexual harassment complaints against him. There are also rumors afloat that Roque plans to divorce Lauer. She previously began proceedings in 2006, but subsequently withdrew the complaint. Washington readers may relate to the developing story about this high\-profile couple.

Lauer and Roque own a sprawling horse farm on 40 acres that was purchased from actor Richard Gere during their marriage. It was there that they were reportedly seen recently with their children. It's not uncommon for estranged spouses to agree to spend holidays together so their kids can spend time with both parents simultaneously rather than shuttle back and forth between homes, which can be very stressful.

Child support orders must be followed as is, unless modified

When parents in Washington divorce, they typically face numerous challenges related to their future parenting plans. Even in situations where the parties are able to amicably communicate and are willing to cooperate as needed to achieve a fair and agreeable settlement, various types of obstacles or problems may arise that cause delays or disputes. Hot button issues often involve child support or custody and visitation situations.

Where child support is concerned, state laws vary; however, each state typically provides guidelines for the court's consideration when decisions regarding who should pay, how much and how often need to be made. Once the court has issued a particular order regarding financial provisions for children following divorce, both parents must adhere to the ruling. If one or the other parent disagrees with the court's decision, it may be possible to file an appeal.

Those 50 and older worried about retirement plans and divorce

There has been a 50 percent increase in divorce among those age 50 and older in the past 20 years. Surprisingly, the national overall divorce rate is on a decline according to most studies; however, this particular age group continues to see an increase. Many older people currently considering divorce in Washington are worried how the process might impact their retirement plans.

It is a valid concern, to be sure, as many people who divorce at age 50 or older wind up borrowing money from their retirement savings to cover expenses related to their divorces. Grey divorce (as it is often called among this age group) does not necessarily have to break the bank. A key to keeping costs low often lies in the type of support one obtains before heading to court.

High asset divorce may be affected by possible new tax laws

Many Washington residents will navigate the divorce process before year's end. In cases of high asset divorce, various financial matters may be key factors in achieving fair and agreeable settlements. There are rumors of possible changes in federal tax laws that have many spouses concerned, especially those who pay or think they will be ordered to pay alimony.

As it stands, those who pay alimony are usually able to claim deductions on their income tax returns. For instance, a man in another state who was ordered to pay $60,000 per year to his former wife was able to deduct the amount on his tax forms. In actuality, he only paid $40,000 out of pocket.

Former Cosby show star says daughter's father owes child support

When Keshia Knight-Pulliam, former sitcom star who played Rudy on the Cosby Show, got divorced, she likely did not expect she'd wind up in a contentious, drawn-out court battle over her daughter. However, as is often the case when parents disagree about child support or custody and visitation issues, Knight-Pulliam and her child's father, former professional football star Ed Hartwell, are back in court, each trying to convince the court that the other has done wrong. Many parents in Washington have gone through similar situations.

Hartwell reportedly filed a complaint recently, stating that Knight-Pulliam canceled a scheduled visit he had with his daughter. He said there was no valid reason for the cancellation. Hartwell requested that the court hold Knight-Pulliam in contempt for violating an existing court order.

Will a high asset wedding lead to high asset divorce?

If every Washington resident who is married answered a survey regarding why he or she chose a particular spouse, answers would greatly vary. On the flip side of that coin, if questions pertained to why people get divorced, likely no two responses would be exactly the same. However, studies show there are certain risk factors that may signal a strong propensity toward divorce. One of those has to do with how much money was spent on a wedding; apparently, a high asset weddings often leads to high asset divorce.

Many married couples struggle to make ends meet. If a spouse reluctantly forked over major money for a wedding celebration, it may ignite negative vibes from the get go, even if they are not immediately apparent. In fact, studies show those who spend in excess of $20,000 on their weddings triple their risks for divorce. Frugally speaking, those who simplify wedding celebrations by spending no more than $1,000 are less likely to end their marriages in court.

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