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Divorce in Washington State Part 3: Unique Issues

By June 12, 2020June 17th, 2020One Comment

This is Part 3 of our “Divorce in Washington State” series. Access Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Unique Divorce Issues in Washington State

Divorces are already complex enough, but some marriage dissolution situations bring up different legal issues. If you are ending your marriage under complicated circumstances, you should seek the advice of an experienced family lawyer that can explain your options.

Military Divorce

The grounds for a military divorce in Washington State are identical to those for a civilian divorce. However, some unique rules and conditions also apply to military divorces.

Divorce proceedings might be postponed while an active duty service member is unavailable or deployed. There is a cap on the garnishment of military pay for child support and maintenance. Also, parenting plans can be difficult to arrange due to the service member’s schedule.

Learn more about military divorce here.

Same-Sex Divorce

Under the current law, marriage and divorce for same-sex couples in Washington State are the same as for straight couples. But special issues exist when it relates to any children the couple may have. When one spouse isn’t the biological parent of a child, and there hasn’t been an adoption, sorting out parenting rights post-divorce can be complicated. This is just one of the issues you should discuss with your Washington family lawyer.

Learn more about same-sex divorce here.

Legal Separation and Annulment

Washington courts do allow spouses to choose legal separation instead of divorce. If you choose this option, you and your spouse will have to resolve all of the same issues (division of assets, parenting plan, support), but you will remain married after the legal separation is entered. Legally separating may be a good choice if you don’t meet the requirement for a divorce, or you wish to stay married for religious or benefits reasons.

Washington State doesn’t use the term “annulment,” but you may be able to get a marriage declared “invalid” if it meets certain strict standards. Among the acceptable grounds for this are bigamy, incest, fraud, coercion, incompetence, insanity, or one party being underage without a parent’s consent.

Learn more about legal separation and marriages declared invalid here.

Why You Need Qualified Legal Advice and Representation

When you get divorced, there is a lot at risk, including your children and financial security. Once the courts enter the picture and issue a final order, this is next to impossible to change. While you aren’t required to hire an attorney to get a divorce in Washington, it nearly always a good idea to do so.

An experienced Washington divorce attorney can protect your rights and thoroughly explain your options and the potential consequences of every choice. Your lawyer will have a clear understanding of the laws that protect your relationship with your children and your access to assets.

The divorce process is stressful enough without having to figure out how to navigate a complex legal process on your own. At AB Law, we provide compassionate and responsive family law services to our clients. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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