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Federal Way Divorce Law Blog

How can I co-parent when my ex is toxic?

Barring situations involving abuse or neglect, Washington courts prefer joint custody situations when couples divorce. While this is thought to be in the best interest of the child, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to deal with an ex you consider toxic. Psychology Today explains how you can navigate this situation to the best of your ability, to ensure you and your children are taken care of. 

The first step is to establish boundaries. For example, relegate all conversations to child-rearing matters alone. If your ex attempts to bring up other issues or goad you into an argument, don't take the bait. Instead, deflect the comments or avoid the altercation altogether. This is why it's good to keep contact with your ex minimal. You can communicate via phone, text, or email, which enables you to easily remove yourself from a conversation when it becomes uncomfortable. 

How income may affect the stability of a marriage

Washington couples may be more likely to stay together if their earnings are roughly equal. If a woman earns more money than her husband, the marriage may be particularly vulnerable. Various studies have looked at different attitudes about money and how it affects the stability of marriage and found that the answers are complex.

For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly 40% of wives are bigger earners than their husbands. However, there still seems to be an expectation that men are supposed to be the breadwinners, and marriages in which women earn more are 33% more likely to end in divorce. A Pew Research study found that 25 percent of Americans feel that providing an income for children is extremely important for the mother compared to 40% who believe this of the father.

Key factors for a successful grandparent rights case

It is important for children to have positive adult figures in their lives. Many grandparents fill this role within the lives of their grandchildren.

However, there are some unfortunate situations where a child's parents will not allow the grandparents to visit. Within the state of Washington, a new law went into place last year that may aid grandparents in seeking rights to be a part of their grandchildren's lives.

When divorce involves a stay-at-home parent

For many families in Washington, the choice to have a parent stay at home with the kids may have seemed obvious. In many cases, the person who leaves work to raise the children at home is often the mother. This scenario reflects a number of beliefs, including the widespread American view that mothers are the best choice to care for young children. Around a quarter of American mothers and 7% of fathers are stay-at-home parents, choosing to remain outside the traditional workforce in favor of caring for their children.

There are various reasons why people make this decision, but economic factors come into play on several levels. For some parents, the cost of day care may be so much that it would overwhelm the salary of the stay-at-home parent. This is especially true for families with multiple children or special needs. In other cases, a stay-at-home parent helps boost the fortunes of the working spouse, thus improving the financial situation of the entire family. Due to the work of the stay-at-home parent, the working spouse can take business trips, devote long hours to the job or even launch a new enterprise without worrying that parenting tasks are being neglected.

What do the courts consider when faced with a relocation request?

If, after the finalization of your Washington divorce, you want to relocate out of state with your child, know that you have an uphill battle ahead of you. If you share custody of your child with your ex-spouse, the courts are likely to hesitate to disrupt your child's current schedule and his or her relationship with the other parent. That said, the courts will not automatically deny you your request for relocation. VeryWell Family details a few considerations the courts will make before making a relocation decision.

Above all else, the courts will consider the best interests of the child. In fact, when parents head to court over a relocation dispute, it is not uncommon for the courts to automatically assume the relocation is not in the child's best interests and to rule in favor of not disrupting the child's life any more than necessary. Therefore, if you plan to relocate, the burden of proof rests on you to prove the relocation is what is best for your child.

3 signs your marriage might end in divorce

According to U.S. News & World Report, for every 1,000 married people in Washington state, approximately 12.06 people will get divorced over the course of the year. That means divorce is a very real possibility for many married couples, which can be disheartening to consider. There are signs your marriage may be headed for divorce, and being able to recognize these signs is crucial to make the best decisions for your marriage. 

According to Fatherly.com, many people have "dealbreaker" issues that simply can't be worked around to find a resolution for a couple's problems. These issues often involve addiction, infidelity, abusive acts, or emotional detachment. While working on these issues can be beneficial, and may even be capable of saving a marriage, both parties must be willing to put the work in. Perhaps the greatest indicator of a divorce is when both parties give up their efforts and start to take divorce planning steps more seriously.

How stonewalling and other behaviors can lead to divorce

Divorce does not always happen because of issues such as infidelity or substance abuse. Over the long term, other issues that appear to be less serious can erode the foundation of a marriage and lead to divorce for couples in Washington. Certain behaviors can lead to long-term resentment, and this could mean couples engaging in sarcasm, passive aggressiveness and other damaging behaviors.

Avoiding conflict might seem like a positive thing, but conflict avoidance means that couples never resolve their differences. Some behaviors might seem innocuous but can add up to invalidating the other person's feelings over time. People should be careful about contradicting their partner's expressions of emotions.

Boy allegedly abducted from Spokane home by his father

When a couple enters into divorce proceedings in Federal Way, the hope is that they will be able to remain amicable towards each other throughout (as hostility may on serve to slow things down and add to the costs all sides incur). Yet certain elements of such proceedings (such as discussions involving child custody) can often spark emotion. Many divorcing parents may try to draw a proverbial "line in the sand" when it comes to custody and visitation, believing that each individually is best suited to care for their children. One has to wonder if their assertions are motivated less for the love they no doubt feel for their kids than it is their desire to punish their soon-to-be ex-spouses. 

Whatever the reason, the hope is that any rash action on the part of either parent can be avoided. Sadly, such action appears to have led to a father in Spokane abducting his young son. Authorities say that he picked up the boy last week and has not been seen since. It was reported that he did have a gun in his possession when he picked up the boy, yet no word was given on whether or not he threatened anyone with it. Law enforcement officials are now enlisting the public's assistance in locating the two. 

Situations that make co-parenting hard or impossible

While many experts may say that a healthy co-parenting relationship is the ideal post-divorce arrangement, it is not possible for all parents. Several elements must be in place for people to co-parent successfully. These include the ability to communicate, consistent rules between households, adherence to the custody schedule but flexibility if it must change and respect for one another as parents. Individuals should also agree on major issues like religion and education, have clear boundaries and behave amicably at events they must both attend for the children.

There are certain situations that can make co-parenting difficult or impossible. For example, in cases of parental alienation, one parent tries to turn the child against the other parent. Exes who have strong negative emotions about one another may also struggle to co-parent. There may also be problems for people who simply cannot collaborate or if one person is particularly controlling.

A woman's journey through high-asset divorce

When a woman announces she is filing for divorce, friends appear by her side to offer well-meaning support and advice. Some of them have already survived a high-asset divorce and have lived to tell the tale. They may tell entertaining but irrelevant stories about their husband's legal team or gloat over how they won a hotly contested asset.

Other friends are professional women who are knowledgeable in several impressive fields such as accounting, finance, business or personal injury law. A woman may find the personal injury lawyer's suggestions particularly compelling. After all, a divorce hurts. A high-asset divorce may hurt more.