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If you have a legal issue in family law, custody, divorce, support, modifications, or any legal issue relating to family law, you have come to the right place. Family law issues is primarily what the Law Office of Charlie Shane, PLLC does! We also have a breadth of knowledge in other areas as well which helps us with your family law case (civil, criminal, litigation, collections, and business law). If you need help with a family law issue, please do not hesitate to give our office a call (206) 823-9910.
When a couple faces divorce, emotions tend to run high. Anger, resentment, fear and apprehension can quickly lead to bitter disputes. Even so called simple/amicable divorces can quickly become complicated. At the Law Office of Charlie Shane, PLLC, we deal with all facets of divorce on behalf of our clients: Child Support, Child Custody & Visitation, Alimony & Spousal Support, Division of Property, and Division of Debt & Assets. It is in your best interest to have an experienced attorney on your side who can sort out the facts and get the best result for you.
Sometimes couples agree they want a divorce and how to divide the property and debts. If they have children, they agree who will have primary custody and what will be the visitation schedule. Everything will be just fine so long as they agree, right? All they need to do now is just march into court? There are two problems with that scenario. First, people forget things over time or forget to put things in the paperwork. If the paperwork does not accurately reflect both parties' understanding of the agreement, it can lead to conflict. Your uncontested divorce now becomes contested and things can get ugly quickly. The second problem is the court has a maze of procedures and paperwork that you need to do in order to get a divorce. It is not an easy process for a non lawyer.
At the Law Office of Charlie Shane, PLLC, we can help you solve these problems. Let us put together the paperwork for you! Let us make sure the paperwork reflects your agreement and protects your rights.
Legal separation is a legal procedure where you can get everything entered with the court as if it were a divorce, without it actually being a divorce. Some advantages to legal separation are you can enter final papers immediately if everybody agrees, as opposed to waiting 90 days if it were divorce (however, if children are involved, the court will not enter the papers until the parties have taken a mandatory parenting class). Also, many times you can continue to be covered under a spouse's insurance when you are legally separated but cannot if you are divorced. The disadvantages to legal separation are you cannot remarry until that legal separation becomes a divorce. Also, from a moral perspective, any relationships with a legally separated person would be a relationship with a married person.
If you change your mind after the final orders are entered for legal separation, after six months you can move for the court to convert the decree of legal separation to one of divorce. Regardless of whether you want a divorce or legal separation, the problems in legal separations are exactly the same as divorces. You still face the same problems establishing a parenting plan, child support, maintenance, and/or dividing property and debts. That is why it is important to have a skilled lawyer representing your interests in a legal separation. Even if the legal separation is not contested, it is still important to have a lawyer helping you make sure that your interests are reflected in the final paperwork.
A parenting plan sets forth what the rights of separated parents will be in regard to their children, including visitation/residential time and the rules regarding decision-making. It becomes the law as to those parents, with penalties for violating that law. A parenting plan is like a contract. That is why it is important to have custom provisions which reflects the intent of the parties or the courts regarding the children and how the parents are to behave around the children. Creating a good parenting plan is no easy task and it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who is making sure that your rights are adequately represented in the parenting plan. Like a contract, you want to make sure that that parenting plan will protect you and your children.
Parenting Plan Modifications
Has there been a substantial change in circumstances since the original parenting plan was entered in your case? Is your parenting plan not working out for you or your children? If so, please give our office a call to find out if a parenting plan change would be right for your situation.
The Washington state legislature has made it very difficult to make major changes parenting plans. The requirements to change a parenting plan are set forth in RCW 26.09.260. Under the law, before you can even get on track to go to trial, you have to get over an "adequate cause" hurdle in which the courts scrutinize your case to see if there is enough merit to proceed forward. Many times courts are reluctant to do anything to disturb a parenting plan, especially if you are seeking a major change in custody or visitation. Parenting plan modifications are difficult even in the best of circumstances. Even a minor modification, such as minor changes in the visitation schedule or changes to some of the other provision of a parenting plan, can be a difficult sell to the court. That is why it is critical to have a skilled custody lawyer fighting on your side.
If the other parent is trying to change a parenting plan and you do not want it changed, let us help you. We have also successfully defended several parenting plans.
Third Party Rights to Children
Under certain circumstances, grandparents or third parties can obtain custody and control of children without the consent of the parents. The Washington State Legislature recently changed the way this is done. It is now called "guardianship" of a minor. We are very familiar with the law in this area. Whether you are seeking a guardianship of a minor or defending your parental rights, we can help.
Moving with Children
If the primary custodian of a child moves, there is a litany of laws that the custodial parent has to comply with well before that parent moves with the child. If you have a parenting plan, there usually is a summary in it regarding what you need to do if you need to move. You need to take a very close look at that summary and take a close look at RCW 26.09.405-915 which governs relocation. Most importantly, if you intend on moving, you should consult with an experienced family law lawyer well in advance before moving to make sure you are complying with the law. There are strict time limits regarding how much time you need to give for notice of your proposed move and parenting plan. Failure to follow the statutory notice requirement and those time limits can cause all kinds of problems with your parenting plan.
If you are not the custodial parent and you receive notice that the other party is proposing a move and a new parenting plan, you should also consult with an experienced family law lawyer to make sure your rights are preserved. There are strict time limits regarding your response and you will lose your right to protest the other party's proposal if you do not timely respond. In addition, a move by the other parent may be a positive thing for you, possibly resulting in increased time with your children or maybe a complete custody change.
Child Support Modification
Has there been a substantial change in the financial circumstances of either party since the support order was entered? Has it been two years since the support order has been entered? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you may be entitled to modify the support order to increase or decrease child support. While these questions may be easy to answer, support modifications can be quite complex. Please set up a consultation with us so that we can help you determine whether to proceed forward with a child support modification. Let us help you if you achieve your child support goals, if decide that a child support modification is in order.
Sometimes, people have children together but do not put the father's name on the birth certificate/paternity affidavit. Sometimes, there are awkward questions as to who the father of a child is, regardless of the relationship between the parties. In these cases, it is important to legally establish who is the father of the child and to spell out each other’s rights regarding child support and visitation. Do not sit on your rights. Let us help you in all these areas.
Contempt is where the court punishes people for not following court orders. Usually, the court does not like to hold people in contempt. It wants people to try to work problems out between each other with parenting plans and child support orders. However, sometimes, people just do not follow the rules or are defiant. Whether you need to enforce a court order or whether the other party is wrongfully trying to hold you in contempt, let us help you.
Domestic violence is a sad thing. Whether you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence or are seeking a protection order to protect you from a violent partner, let us help you. A domestic violence protection order can drastically affect a child custody case as well and should never be taken lightly. We have a lot of experience helping people both defend and prosecute domestic violence claims. If you are involved in domestic violence action, you should have an experienced attorney helping you every step of the way.