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Yakima Family Law Blog

"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.  

Seeking tailored support for your high asset divorce

Just as no two Washington marriages are exactly the same, neither are any two divorces. Your situation is unique to your own circumstances and personal history. Why you filed for divorce may not be as critical as the type of support you secure before heading to court. In a high asset divorce, trying to go it alone is typically not a good idea.  

You may be among those who simply wish to get through the process as swiftly as possible so you can move on in life and leave the past behind you. However, there may be various issues that could delay your settlement, including those pertaining to taxes, child custody or support, or business interests. In fact, you may be dealing with several of these issues simultaneously.  

Will Geena Davis have to provide for spouse's financial needs?

Among many other complicated matters that can arise in a Washington divorce, issues pertaining to money often prompt contentious situations in court. One of the things a judge must often decide is whether one spouse should help provide for the financial needs of the other. Hollywood actress Geena Davis is currently going through a divorce filed by her husband, who has requested spousal support as well as joint legal and physical custody of their three children.  

Davis and her husband were married 17 years before he recently petitioned the court for divorce. They have three children, one aged 16 and 13-year-old twins. Not only has Davis's soon-to-be ex requested spousal support, he has also asked the court to deny a similar request from Davis if she happens to make one.  

The better prepared one is, the less stressful divorce may be

Most people who are married or have been married in the past would agree that it can be a joyful, rewarding experience and challenging all at once. Sometimes, problems arise that can be overcome. Others situations lead to a complete relationship breakdown. When a spouse in Washington or elsewhere suspects that his or her other half is contemplating filing for divorce, it makes sense to prepare by researching state laws and having a plan in mind, just in case.  

A woman who is divorced herself and often writes about the topic developed a list of telltale signs she says may help concerned spouses recognize the possibility of an impending divorce. She says many spouses stop arguing and that can be a major sign that he or she has simply given up on idea that the marriage can be saved. Especially in situations where spouses tend to bicker a lot, if one spouse suddenly goes silent and stays that way for a long time, it may be because he or she is heading for divorce.  

Bird nesting may be in best interests of the child on Today Show

Fans of Hollywood film actor Josh Lucas may have watched his guest spot earlier this year on the Today Show. Lucas spoke about bird nesting, an alternative living arrangement many people (no doubt including some in Washington) are incorporating into their divorce plans. Lucas said he and his former wife chose bird nesting for their 5-year old son. He also said his son loves the new plan, and he (Lucas) believes parents can keep the best interests of the child in mind as they move forward in life following divorce. 

Parents are wise to fully research any proposed plan before signing an agreement. Bird nesting involves children remaining in the family home that was shared during marriage. Parents take turns living with their kids while securing separate living quarters for the times when it is not their turn to reside in the family home. A potential downside to bird nesting is that additional residences may add to post-divorce expenses.  

Washington is a minority state regarding property division

If you're preparing to file for divorce in Washington anytime soon, there are several things you know regarding state laws that govern such issues. This state is one of only nine in the nation that continue to regulate property division proceedings in divorce through community property rules. This means that all marital property is divided 50/50 when you divorce. 

It's critical that you seek clarification of community property laws since this will impact your financial future once your divorce is finalized. Washington is also unique concerning divorce regulations because it doesn't allow modification of an existing property division court order. Although there may be rare circumstances where the court would allow you to change the terms of your agreement, you should be prepared for permanency regarding this aspect of your divorce.  

Dividing property and assets can be confusing amid divorce

The end of a marriage can bring about a myriad of difficult emotions. In Washington State and all across the country, ending a marriage can also be a costly experience. The process of divorce can wreak havoc on personal finances. However, there are certain things like dividing property and assets that can be done early on that can save money and complications later.

Two of the most common assets of former spouses are property and pensions. Dividing these can sometimes be complicated. With pensions, these are usually divided two ways: pension sharing and pension offsetting. In pension sharing, one party can receive a percentage share of their former spouse's pension. In pension offsetting, the party originally receiving a pension keeps it, but the value of the pension is offset against another asset, usually the home.

Dividing marital property calls for knowledge and strategy

During a marriage, an individual and his or her spouse have likely accumulated assets. When it comes time to divorce and separate those assets, a bit of knowledge and strategy can ensure that the best arrangement is made, one that will support the individual's best interests. By staying informed about the value of the marital property and with the right timing, a person in Washington can undergo the divorce process with the goal of correct valuation of community property. 

Divorce lawyers often share their own tips and tricks for achieving the best results. One commonly suggested tactic is simply awareness. A person who co-owns real estate or shares financial accounts with a soon-to-be ex-spouse should understand the financial impact. Knowing the mortgage payment, the available equity, the value of any stocks and the amount of funds in bank accounts will help a person get the big picture information about shared finances. 

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