Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

“But It’s in My Name”

In community property states, of which Washington is one, the marriage owns all the labor of both persons during the life of the marriage, and everything purchased by the proceeds of this labor belongs to the marriage, unless otherwise gifted or contracted away.

And when the court turns to “characterizing” property as separate or community property, the court looks to the “source of funds” with which the property was purchased.  In short, if you cannot “trace” a separate property source for the purchase, then the purchase is presumed to be made with community funds, and the asset is presumed to be community property. “Title” (whose name it is in) does not matter.

Of course, there are exceptions and complexities, for example, if you can claim that when something was titled in your name it was meant to be separate property as a gift, or part of an enforceable property agreement between you and your spouse, then title is evidence of that agreement.  Or if an inherited house, that would normally be separate property, is titled in both spouses’ names, that can be evidence that the intention was to gift the property to the community, by the deceased or by the inheriting spouse.

This little sample is not legal advice.  It is simply a reminder to seek legal counsel in the face of very complex legal rules.  For help understanding these complexities in the laws of Washington State, call Mason Law in Spokane at (509) 443-3681.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Valentine’s Day in Spokane

(Click the link for more information)

"The annual day of love is nearing. If you haven’t begun thinking about your Valentine’s Day plans yet, fear not because Spokane has you covered with date ideas and romantic things to do."


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Domestic Violence: A Tough Call for the Courts

Domestic Violence Protection (DVP) orders under RCW 26.50 serve an important part in protecting a spouse, or even a former romantic partner from misbehavior of the other party, from violence and threats of violence. Beware because they are also misused for the purpose of gaining a strategic advantage in a divorce, especially in regards to children.  This is unfortunate, because then genuine threats can be dismissed as merely litigation strategy.  There are “false negatives” and “false positives” all too often when our over-burdened courts make the wrong call.

These DVP orders usually are first issued “ex parte.”  That means without notice to the other person until he or she is served with the proper papers.  Normally a hearing will be set within 14 days from the ex parte order being granted by the court, so that the restrained person has an opportunity to present his or her side of the story.

If these orders are violated, the penalties are severe.  They range from a gross misdemeanor to a class C felony.  Even if you are completely innocent of the alleged domestic violence, you must obey the order unless it is changed in the full hearing.  To prepare for that hearing, as the person bringing the petition, or as the person defending against a petition, you need strong legal representation to prepare your facts for the court.

Craig Mason and his team at Mason Law in Spokane, Washington, will be able to help you fully prepare for court, so that your story is heard. Call Mason Law for a consultation at (509) 443-3681 today.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Keeping your Family Together.

If your family has been disrupted by divorce, or a break-up between any pair of parents, in 2019, the underage children get caught in the middle. Washington State courts will probably give you substantial time with your children if you do not have behavioral, criminal, or drug problems.  So, hire a capable family attorney if your former significant other says: “I will take the kids from you.”

Legally speaking, it is in the best interests of the kids to be raised by both parents on terms that most match what went on before the break up, and that is what the court is required, by statute, to arrange.  Some attorneys will promise your angry ex-spouse that they can get "sole custody," and keep you from your children.  They may even try to convince the court that your presence is harmful to the children!

If your break-up or divorce takes this unfortunate turn, Spokane family lawyer, Craig Mason, routinely fights back against such outlandish, and damaging, attempts to keep you from your children.  He has years of experience in helping people just like you prepare and present the real facts, and in developing the relevant witness statements, to defeat such attempts to deprive you of participating in the lives of your children.  Call Spokane Family lawyer Craig Mason at (509) 443-3681.