You have now decided to broach the topic of divorce. You and your spouse are in the process of separating and you are trying to determine your next steps. Understandably, there are many questions that are running through your head at this point. Where will I live? How will this impact my retirement? When will this all be finalized? How will this all be determined? These are all issues that can be complicated further when either spouse in a divorce has significant assets. One solution to an amicable and efficient high asset divorce is mediation.
Getting the finances right is important in any divorce settlement, but in cases where there is a lot of money at stake, doing so becomes more complex. When high asset divorce happens in Washington State, the court decides how to divide up marital property in an equitable way -- equitable, meaning fair and equal, not necessarily 50/50, and they will also look at what assets should be considered separate property that the other spouse should not hold a legal claim to.
When a wealthy couple splits, it presents many complex issues. The existence of children further complicates matters. Unlike other couples, whose assets and incomes may be minimal, high net worth parents often spend vast sums on their children's upbringing and education. Other financial issues may include sharing responsibility for tuition at a private school, setting up trust accounts or managed bank accounts, and contributions over time to special accounts for college education.
If the couple will live in different states or countries, special issues may arise involving regular contact by Skype, Face Time, or other providers. Scheduling visitations and passports may also present an issue after the divorce if they are not addressed in the final court orders. Finally, there are sometimes extremely sensitive issues like paternity of children which wealthy parents may wish to shield from the public record. All of these issues can be handled with discretion and expertise by the attorneys and staff at Clement Law Center. We would be pleased to protect the interests of you and your children, and can offer you excellent advice and representation in and out of court.
Washington is a community property state. What does this mean exactly? In general, this means that each spouse receives fifty percent of all property (debts and liabilities) acquired during the marriage. However, you may not receive exactly fifty percent of property in a divorce, depending on the circumstances. And, you may be able to keep some property that is deemed "non marital." If at all possible, it's best to divide the property through divorce negotiations, else you may not get what you want if a court has to divide the property.
When a marriage is about to be over, both spouses usually have some ability to see the writing on the wall before one of them actually says the word "divorce" or simply has papers served. But whether there is a vague sense of an upcoming breakup or not, moving on requires a certain amount of preparation in order to be able to move on successfully. The more time you are able to spend making preparations the better, because it's likely you will be able to be more subtle and be better prepared as you walk away.
When a person ordered to pay child support in Washington fails to comply with that order, it can have serious implications for their professional lives. Child support enforcement is based on both federal and state laws, with a range of options available to enforcement agencies to compel people to make payments.
In Washington State, failure to pay child support can result in the suspension of a driver's license. In addition, unpaid child support arrears can be automatically deducted from a federal income tax refund. Wages and bank accounts can be garnished. Arrears can also be entered as a court judgment, which is an automatic lien on real estate, and can profoundly affect credit ratings. For certain professionals and military servicemembers, unpaid child support can adversely affect employment, promotion, background checks and security clearances. Sometimes technical errors or mistakes in data entries can unfairly create or inflate the total amount due. Whether people own their own businesses or serve in an important capacity, they should seek the help of a lawyer immediately if they foresee an inability to make payments. Payment plans or the correction of errors can often be accomplished through negotiations or court proceedings. Failure to do so can result in financial and professional problems that only exacerbate whatever other issues people are already facing.
You were once a power couple, building your net worth and striving towards bigger and better goals together. Now, in the painful aftermath of a union that no longer works, you are wondering what will happen to all you have built. In a high asset divorce, business ownership is a common obstacle. Overcoming it equitably is a challenge.
Community Property Issues
If you both own a business together, it can be identified as an asset characterized as marital property. But, because Washington is a community property state, business ownership may come as a surprise when there is only one named owner. In many cases, the law recognizes both spouses as business owners, even when only one of you is named as owner and involved in its operation.
You and your spouse are divorcing, and custody is a big issue. This is a common problem, and one with no easy answers. Naturally, the best interests of your child should be of top concern. In fact, this is the criteria that a court will use to make custody determinations should you and your partner not be able to do so. To help you negotiate an arrangement that works best for all involved, consider the factors that the court uses to make these determinations.
Your divorce is finally done and the final judgment has been filed. You have custody of your children, but the military is going to throw a monkey wrench into your plans because you know that your spouse is going to use a deployment against you to gain the custody you fought so hard for. Washington provides policy for these situations via RCW 26.09.260(1).
A military spouse who has the majority of time sharing does not lose their awarded custody because of a temporary deployment or other temporary military assignment. The court will enter a temporary custody order that ends no more than ten (10) days after you return from your temporary duty station.
Co-parenting after a divorce presents many challenges even when both parents live in the same area. However, if the custodial parent decides to move to a new city or state with the child, many difficult issues arise. The non-custodial parent will be unable to see the child as frequently as before. Travel is an added expense for both parties. The child is subjected to a major change that has the potential to greatly disrupt his or her life. For these reasons, many non-custodial parents file court proceedings to bar relocation if at all possible. The custodial parent sometimes has no choice but to move - for example, due to a job change or military orders. Having an excellent attorney often means the difference between a court order barring or allowing relocation.