One of the most difficult things in family law can be that he says one thing, she says another, and then a judge/commissioner has to make a decision based on which parent seems more credible. So how can you prepare for court so that everything doesn’t end up he said-she said?
Communication – or lack thereof – seems to be the root of many the world’s problems. In fact, this very well may be one of the main reasons you are getting a divorce. Communicating when your spouse becomes your ex is decidedly more difficult than when he/she was your spouse. But beyond the hurt and the raw emotions of it all, poor communication can (and will) end up in the courtroom and come back to haunt you. So just don’t do it.
“I want to go for full custody.” I always ask folks what exactly they mean by that, because what that sounds like is a parent who wants to have the children full-time, with no visitation for or input from the other parent, and I’m here to tell you that’s a highly unlikely scenario.
Got an ex who always shows up late for pick ups/drop offs? Or one who is months behind in child support? You’ve sent them emails, texts, strongly worded letters… and nothing seems to work. So what do you do when one party continually violates a court order? If it’s a parenting plan, a child support order, a maintenance order, a restraining order, or any of the aforementioned as temporary orders, then a contempt hearing might just be in order. Contempt is defined by RCW 7.21.030(b) as the intentional disobedience of a court order.
The biggest myth that seems to be propagated about child support is that he who has the children more receives more child support. If I get the kids 50 percent of the time, then I won’t have to pay child support!
Unfortunately, that’s just not true.
Legal separation is largely the same thing as divorce. When you legally separate the court will divide your assets and your liabilities, can grant child support and spousal maintenance, and can enter a parenting plan. The only catch is that at the end of it all you’re still technically married. That means neither of you can remarry.
Why would you want to do this?
Going to court can be extremely stressful. What heightens that stress is not even knowing what to expect. Thus, here’s a quick run-down of how to prepare for your day in court, and some general rules to keep in mind when you’re there.
Relocation is one of the hardest issues to resolve. Relocation cases are more likely to go to trial than other types of family law issues because it’s very difficult to find common ground when there are hundreds – if not thousands – of miles in between two parents.
So what do you do if your ex-spouse tells you she wants to move to Texas with the kids?
What is spousal maintenance? The newer, hipper name for alimony. The court recognizes that when you’re married, finances are often one big joint affair, and then when you’re separated, one person may lose all access to that joint account. The point of spousal maintenance is to put one spouse in the same position he/she was in before the dissolution began. If one spouse makes significantly more money than the other, then the lesser-earning spouse is likely a candidate for maintenance.
We know that when a court is deciding what would be the best residential schedule for your kids, it is going to ask: what is in the best interests of the child? One would assume, this would be the standard a court might look at when a divorcing couple has a pet.