Alternative Child Support

Washington has established child support guidelines for how child support is to be calculated by the courts.  The courts have the ability to deviate from the guidelines, but have an obligation to ensure that the deviated support still meets the needs of the children.  The ability to deviate actually...

Can We Reach Our Own Agreements?

I am often asked whether a couple can reach their own agreements, or whether a Washington State court is going to refuse the accept those agreements and substitute its own decisions. As a general rule, a couple is able to make their own agreements as to things that are just between them. I have neve...

Curious Questioning

Curious questioning refers to asking questions that really are open ended - not supposing any particular answer but rather trying to gather information that we are genuinely curious about. Very often when we ask questions, there are certain answers we are really looking for.  We may be trying to ge...

Empathy in Divorce

An initial reaction is likely to be, "Why should I have any empathy for my divorcing spouse?" In fact, empathy is a skill that can help you better settle your divorce issues. Empathy is the ability to see things from the other person's point of view. When you can do that, you reach a better underst...

Conflict in Divorce

Here's an interesting quote from a cover letter and resume we received recently: "Aggressive litigation is not necessarily the most efficient or emotionally appropriate forum for people going through the trauma of dissolution." Did you think you would ever hear that kind of statement from an attorne...

Positive Consequences

In legal matters we often impose negative consequences to change behavior. However, using positive consequences may in many cases work better. Basically, a negative consequence is a punishment, while a positive consequence is a reward....

What is a PostNuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is an agreement made between a couple after marriage about what will happen if the couple divorces or one of them dies."Postnuptial" simply means "after marriage". Andrea Vacca wrote a good article on postnuptial agreements in New York, and much of what she wrote is applicabl...

What is Fair?

Very often clients say "I just want what is fair." That is a great thought, but the problem is that there can be big differences in what people view as fair. At a conference I attended last week, we discussed four different theories of fairness....

Can I Fill Out My Own Divorce Papers?

"Can I fill out my own divorce papers?" On another blog, Mark Alexander of our office responded to this common question:   You are certainly allowed to, and virtually all the Washington State forms are available online. However, they are bare-bones forms, which were designed to ens...

Avoid Making Common Divorce Mistakes

Divorce is hard enough, but there are some things that divorcing people do that make the road ahead much harder financially and emotionally. By avoiding some common divorce mistakes and taking a proactive instead of a passive approach to splitting up you could avert even more heartache and stress....
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