Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Mogren, Glessner & Roit, P.S., is a law firm located in the south Seattle area (Renton) of Washington. We offer services in the area of family law, including declaration of invalidity, legal separation, dissolution of marriage, and modifications of various final orders (child support, spousal maintenance and parenting plans). If you live in the greater Seattle area, and need an experienced family law attorney, please call us at 425-255-4542 and talk to one of our attorneys.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
http://mgrlaw.com/ In the past, Lincoln County was the preferred county in Washington to file for divorces prepared by paralegals. The reason was paralegals could not appear in court, and Lincoln County was the only county in Washington that would allow the entry of a Decree without personal testimony. Therefore, paralegals would prepare the documents for clients, who would file in Lincoln County and could finalize without appearing in court.
Recently, King County eliminated the necessity for personal testimony in entry of a Decree. Instead, a simple written Declaration by the client will suffice. This eliminates the need to file in Lincoln County. This also eliminates problems for clients, when years later, there is a problem, and you need to return to court. If you reside in King County and the Decree is in Lincoln County, you have a problem. You either have to litigate the issue the other side of the mountains (just outside of Spokane), or transfer the case over to King County.
There is no longer a need to file in Lincoln County (unless you live there). You should file in the county in which you reside.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
In Washington, a child cannot decide where they will live in a divorce process. This is the decision of the parents, and if the parents cannot decide, then the courts will decide.
Depending upon the age and maturity of the child, the court may take the child's wishes into consideration, but generally the courts do not want the child involved in this decision. The court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the best interests (not stated desires) of the child in the process, or appoint a parenting evaluator (M.S.W. or Psychiatrist or Psychologist) to make a recommendation to the court as to the child's best interests. Again, depending upon the age of the child, these experts may ask the child questions like how they get along with each parent or what they like to do with each parent, but will usually not ask the child who they want to live with, as that is an inappropriate question.
There are many reasons a child should not be asked this question. Generally, children want to live with both parents in a happy family, which is no longer an option. Younger children will tell both parents in private that they want to live with them, because that is true, and they don't want to hurt their feelings. It is not appropriate to force a child essentially reject one parent in this legal process they had nothing to do with. Older teens can pit one parent against the other, saying if you give me ____ (bicycle, car, etc.), then I will say I want to live with you. We cannot give children that kind of authority, or the parents will lose all authority.
This is the decision of the parents, not the child. If the parents cannot agree, then the courts are there to decide.