Hire an Experienced and Compassionate Seattle Family Lawyer to Help Your Family
At Seattle Divorce Services each Seattle family lawyer believes in resolving conflict rather than exacerbating it. We believe that our clients do not benefit from extended fighting, but rather are looking to find solutions to their divorce issues and move on with their lives. We serve clients throughout King County and the State of Washington. We are also available to help with your Family Law needs connected to COVID-19.
Our Law Firm Can Manage All Your Family Law Issues
At our firm, your Seattle family lawyer will assist you in selecting the best process for your divorce and be by your side until the divorce (or other family law matter) is completed. Our focus is on your long term future, which means we look for solutions that will address not just your immediate needs, but will serve you down the road. When possible, we help clients work with each other to develop mutually satisfactory agreements, which tend to be far more durable and result in less trips back to court over time.
Specific issues your Seattle family lawyer can assist you with include:
- Division of property and debt. This looks at both community and separate assets and liabilities.
- Spousal maintenance (alimony). Often one spouse needs help regaining their independent financial stability.
- Child support. Both parents have an obligation to provide for their children.
- Parenting Plans & Child Custody. Learn the issues considered when creating a residential schedule.
- Parental Rights Disputes. From termination of parental rights to emancipation, a Seattle family lawyer can help manage your dispute.
- Creating a Parenting Agreement. Parenting need a long term plan as to how they are going to share in the parenting of their children.
- Relocation. Learn how a move can fit in to your current parenting plan.
- Visitation. Create a schedule that best fits the needs of your family.
- Restraining orders. In abuse situations orders may be necessary to provide protection.
- Parentage (paternity.) When parents are not married but have children together, a parentage action can establish their ongoing roles with regard to their children.
- Separating assets for long term unmarried couples (committed intimate relationships). When couples have lived together long term and acquired joint assets and liabilities, they may need help separating.
- Legal Separation. A couple may want to be legally separated rather than completely divorced for various reasons such as keeping a spouse on health insurance.
- Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements. Couples may wish to make special arrangements as to property and debt either prior to marriage or even during marriage.
- Modifications. From time to time support and parenting arrangements may need to be updated to better fit current circumstances.
- Unmarried Couples. Whether you qualify for a domestic partnership, a committed intimate relationship or neither, we’ll help you with property division, paternity, parenting plans, etc.
When it comes time to select a Seattle family lawyer for your divorce or other family law matter, it is important to find an attorney who is a good fit for you. A good fit means having a family law attorney who shares your values and concerns, who understands where you are coming from, whose approach fits with who you are and how you are wanting to deal with the issues.
If the fit is not right, you and your own lawyer will be at odds too much of the time as your values and approaches pull you in different directions. With a good fit, you and your lawyer should be in sync, pursing the same goals through methods you both agree on.
What Makes Our Seattle Family Lawyers Different?
At Seattle Divorce, we prefer an approach that helps build cooperation rather than tearing it down. Our approach is not just for couples that are already cooperative – those couple may not even need very much of our help! We help couples who are in conflict find ways to become more cooperative because they recognize that will ultimately be better for the whole family. We believe this is important not only to achieving the best outcome, but also to laying a foundation for a successful future. We also believe it helps create a much less stressful and scary process though the divorce.
If this sounds like an approach that would be a good fit for you, a good way to start finding the right Seattle family lawyer is to look though the profiles on our website for the different lawyers in our firm. While we share a set of core values, each family lawyer has their own set of values as well, their own personality, their own set of clients they are the best fit for. As you read through those profiles, pay attention to which family lawyer you resonate with the most, the one you feel you would be most comfortable with. Then give us a call so we can schedule your family law consultation.
The Role of a Seattle Family Lawyer
Many people think that a family lawyer’s role consists entirely of handling your divorce paperwork and navigating the court system. While these are significant aspects of what a family lawyer does, your attorney can play a much broader role than you may realize.
One of the most valuable services a knowledgeable Seattle family lawyer can provide is to give experienced counsel regarding your particular situation. They can help you understand your options, the potential issues and challenges you face, and what kind of outcome you can expect. Your attorney can help set your expectations early on so that you don’t waste valuable time pursuing unrealistic results or become frustrated when you can’t get what you want.
Another valuable service that a family lawyer provides is that they can speak on your behalf. They can negotiate custody, child support, property division, and any other issues on which you and your spouse cannot agree. In cases where the divorce is less than amicable, having an attorney handle the discussions can help get the issues resolved much more quickly and with much less stress.
When Should You Speak With a Seattle Family Lawyer?
If you don’t already have an attorney, you can talk to a family lawyer at any point in the process. However, we recommend that you speak with an attorney as soon as you think you may want to file for divorce. Divorce is a significant life event and, believe it or not, many people decide to reconcile with their spouse once they begin working through the questions concerning custody of their children and the division of the marital assets.
If you are committed to filing for divorce, engaging an attorney at the very outset can help the process go as smoothly as possible. They may also be able to negotiate with your spouse so that you can file for an “uncontested” divorce, which can save you a considerable amount of time, money, and stress.
Some of Our Most Common Family Law Questions Answered
Am I required to hire a Seattle family lawyer if I am getting divorced?
The short answer to this question is no – you are not legally required to hire a lawyer. That said, a Seattle family lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and make sure your present and future interests are protected, as well as those of your children.
Can I get sole custody of children?
The general rule is that custody arrangements must be in the best interests of the children. As a result, the courts want your children to have relationships with both parents. It is fairly rare for the court to award one parent sole custody of the children unless the court believes it is in their best interest. If you believe the other parent to be unfit, you should consult with a Seattle family lawyer to discuss your options.
What do I do if I can’t afford to pay child support or I need to change the custody agreement?
Your arrangements regarding child support and custody are orders of the court. That means that you could face serious legal consequences if you don’t follow them to the letter. If you find yourself unable to pay child support or you need to change the custody agreement (also known as the parenting plan), the best thing you can do is speak with a Seattle family lawyer to discuss what you can do.
What happens in a paternity claim?
If you have a child with someone you are not married to, then you may need a paternity action to legally establish the identity of the father of the child. You may be able to get help with this process through the county prosecutor’s office, or you may file your own action with the court.
A DNA test may be required to establish whether the presumed father is the actual father of the child. DNA tests do not give absolute answers, but identify the odds of paternity.
If an acknowledgement of paternity has been signed by both parents and filed with the state, then it may not be necessary to establish the father of the child, but a parentage action may still be needed to obtain a parenting plan and order of child support.
If you have any questions as to what steps need to be taken with your paternity action, it’s better to speak with a Seattle family law attorney in order to prevent any mistakes from occurring.
Can a Family Lawyer Help Me Enforce Child Support?
Most child support is paid through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Child Support.
By default, the state generally collects child support through wage garnishment. If the paying parent is in arrears, the state can seize bank accounts, intercept tax refunds, and suspend licenses. If a parent is willfully avoiding paying support, the state can even hold them in contempt of court and jail them.
If you are having trouble collecting child support, you may want to contact your local support enforcement office to see what can be done. However, you may also want to consider contacting an attorney to see what steps you can take through private enforcement as well.
Contact a Seattle Family Lawyer at Our Firm Today
As you navigate your divorce, select a Seattle Family Lawyer who will strive to come to the best resolution for your family. Call us today at 206-784-3049 or complete our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation.