Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Parenting Plans on the Holidays

Hopefully everyone got along for the holidays, and all the visitation happened as it was supposed to under your parenting plan.  If the other parent was not cooperative, you are to be congratulated for waiting until after the holidays to seek relief in the courts.  It is very hard to be cheated out of parenting time, and it is even more emotionally freighted during the holidays.

If you do need to file a contempt of court (or defend against an unjustified attempt to hold you in contempt), remember that a contempt of court is a willful violation of a court order, without good excuse.  Most court orders are plainly worded, and so the violation is clear.  Next, the good excuse and willfulness elements interact most of the time.  Perhaps someone accidentally violated the parenting plan, but that is not likely.  More likely, the person violating the order thinks he or she has a good excuse, and the other side thinks the violation was simply a willful desire for the violator to get their way, despite the court orders.

Spokane Washington family attorney Craig Mason will sit down with you to explore these contempt issues.  Mr. Mason has years of experience in bringing and defending contempt actions.  You want and need an experienced representative who knows his way around Spokane County family court.  Give him a call to set up your initial consultation at (509) 443-3681.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Division of Property in Washington State.

In dividing property in Washington State, the court will “characterize” property as community property (acquired by the labor of the marriage partners, or by gift during the relationship) or as separate property (owned before marriage, such as a business, or received as gift to just one spouse even if during the marriage, such as an inheritance).

The court will make a “just an equitable distribution" of both kinds of property. Community property will certainly be divided.  As to separate property, the court may respect the “separate character” of something like a pre-existing business, and leave it with the person who owned that asset prior to marriage, or the court may give the separate property of one spouse to the other spouse at dissolution.  Many factors will be considered by the court, from length of marriage and earning power of each spouse, to who has the children, to something like an award of property instead of a spousal maintenance award.  (HINT:  This is also why a good pre-nuptial property agreement is wise.)

Craig Mason has been a Spokane area family lawyer for decades and will help “your side” sort it out.  Craig has long been a strong defender of his client’s rights in divorce disputes as a practitioner of family law from his office on 1707 W. Broadway in Spokane WA.  DO NOT go into a division of property dispute without representation.  Call attorney Craig Mason at (509) 443-3681.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Types of Restraining Orders.

There are three types of restraining orders that can typically occur in a family law action:   Anti-harassment (RCW 10.14), Domestic Violence (RCW 26.50); or civil restraints issued under the dissolution (RCW 26.09).

If there is a danger or physical harm or other irreparable harm, then you or your attorney can get an order good for up to 2 weeks without notice to the other side (based upon the possibility that the opposing party will commit the irreparable harm before the order prohibiting it can be issued on normal hearing times).  These “no notice” restraining orders are called “ex parte” orders, because you get to go to the court without the normal two-week notice to the other party, and without the other side having a chance to tell their side of the story before the emergency order is issued by the court.

Unfortunately, because these orders can allow the person making the allegations an opportunity to grab the children and the home without notice, they can be abused.  In which case you need to quickly gather your facts and bring a “motion to quash” the restraints.

Craig Mason will aggressively fight for you to get your facts to the court, whether you have legitimate concerns, or you have been abusively restrained.  Call him today to arrange for a free consultation at his Spokane office at (509) 443-3681.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Child Support Modifications

Child support orders can be an afterthought after a dissolution in which the parenting plan was the focus of the litigation.  Sometimes they can be unfair, and a party will seek to modify the child support order as soon as the law allows.  Other times, there can be a substantial change in the financial condition of one parent or the other, perhaps even immediately after the decree was entered.

In Washington, either parent can petition to modify child support at any time (even immediately after final orders in the dissolution) if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.  Otherwise, after a year, there is no need to show a substantial change in circumstances if the order is working a “severe hardship” on either party or the child, or if the child has moved into a new age category (or if post-secondary support – college support – is now requested).  After two years, either parent may modify the child support order simply due to changes in the incomes of either parent, or if the economic tables used to calculate support have changed.  (This type of change in child support may only be sought every two years, at the soonest.)

To negotiate the complexities of pursuing, or defending, a child support modification, contact Craig Mason of Mason Law in Spokane, WA at 509-443-3681.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Make your Halloween Plans!

 (Follow the link above for more information)

"It’s almost Halloween in Spokane. And whether you’re a grade-schooler hoping to score the best costume, a young adult looking for a raucous night out or a parent eager to see the magic through your child’s eyes, there’s reason to celebrate. Here’s a guide to this season’s festivities." 
- Visit Spokane

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Parenting Plan Agreeable to Both Parties.

What is the worst part of the divorce process?  Almost everyone would agree that it is making plans for the proper parenting of your minor children.  They are the innocents in this conflict and their needs should always be paramount.  If one parent or another fights for custody just because they think that they deserve to “win,” the losers will be the kids.

Here are some rules to live by when deciding on joint custody -

1.  It’s not all about you.  Be an adult and do what is best for the children.
2. Assess, honestly, your own schedule and the commitments that you have in your daily life, and do not try to take more time with the children in court orders than you actually have time to give them.
3.  Just because you don’t want to be with your spouse anymore doesn’t make him or her a bad parent.
4.  Keep the lines of communication open, and remember that your spouse is as stressed as you are.  Give each other room to make some mistakes without responding with aggression.
5.  Don’t speak poorly about your ex…to anyone in this cyber age...and never speak poorly of your former spouse in front of the children.

No one wants the boys and girls that you have been raising together to have any more angst than is inevitable, despite your best efforts.  For the proper representation in all matters of family law contact Craig Mason.  Attorney Mason is a strong, experienced child custody attorney in Spokane, WA.  Please call him for a consultation at his office at (509) 443-3681.

Monday, October 3, 2016

You vs. The Insurance Company.

So you are unfortunately the victim of an auto accident that was not your fault.  Now you have to go to battle with Goliath…the insurance companies of North America.  Where do you think they get all of that money for those TV commercials?  First of all, make sure that you call YOUR insurance agent as soon as you can.  It is important to understand exactly what your insurance covers. 

Whenever you talk to an insurance agent take careful notes, even record the conversations if possible.  Check to see if you have coverage with more than one insurance provider through your homeowner’s policy or from signing up for a credit card.  Keep receipts and careful records of any expenses that you incur from pursuing your rightful claim.

When dealing with the big boys with the deep pockets it is important to have a tenacious representative on your side.  That man is Spokane, WA car accident and family law attorney Craig Mason.  He will aggressively fight for get everything that you are entitled to.  Call him today to arrange for a free consultation at his Spokane office at (509) 443-3681.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Know your Attorney.

If you have NO preconceived notion of whom to hire to defend you in a personal injury or family law case wouldn’t it be nice to already KNOW your attorney.  In Spokane the choices are many and varied.  If you get improper representation in your P.I. or divorce case your world could be changed forever.  Know your Spokane attorney BEFORE you hire him!

Look at some of the reviews that have been bestowed on Craig Mason.  “Craig took a case that others said I would get crushed in…not only did we NOT get crushed…we won”.   Eight different Spokane area law firms passed on one of Craig’s clients, but HE took the medical malpractice case and triumphed over a battery of lawyers.  Yet another said “Craig got my children back under very hostile circumstances”.

These reviews are real and the results are “in the books”.  You need to know that the person and firm going into battle for you is a winner!  Trust Spokane personal injury and family law attorney Craig Mason to get you everything that you are entitled to.  Call him today to arrange for a consultation at his Spokane office at (509) 443-3681.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Relocation after Divorce.

Even if you have had a custody arrangement that has worked for years, it is possible that the parent with primary placement has a job opportunity, or a re-marriage opportunity, that is just too good to pass up.  If you are going to move with the child, you must provide a Notice of Relocation to the other parent, and if you learn that the other parent is going to move, and you oppose the move, you must file an Objection to Relocation. 

Washington courts presume that they will allow the parent with the child the majority of the time (“primary placement”) to move with the child, unless the relocation can be “rebutted” by showing harm to the child from the move. Any objection must “rebut” the presumption that the parent can move on the basis of statutory factors that address the harm to the child from removing the child from an established environment and from established relationships.

Such a life-altering step for you and your minor child needs careful thought and superb representation.  There are many and varied statutory factors that the court must consider before making such a ruling. 

For many years, Craig Mason has been representing parents in litigating the factors to allow, or to prevent, a relocation of the children. Go into court with veteran Spokane child relocation attorney Craig Mason.  Call him today at (509) 443-3681.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SPOKANE PIG OUT - Labor Day Weekend 2016

(Follow the link above for more information) 

37th Annual Pig Out in the Park 

Riverfront Park, Spokane, WA 
August 31 thru September 5, 2016 
Open Daily 11 am to 10 pm 

Free Admission!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fighting a Restraining Order.

It may come out of the blue.  Suddenly you are served with a Civil Restraining Order under the dissolution of marriage in the State of Washington, or you are served with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.  The opposing party can get an “ex parte” order (without advance notice to you) that is valid for up to two weeks until the hearing on the merits.

If the allegations against you are “hot” enough, the court will “play it safe” and issue the order giving the other party the home and the children until the hearing.

Obviously, these orders exist in the law to appropriately keep the peace or to prevent domestic violence.  However, an unethical attorney or pro se party will start a divorce with “hot” false allegations so that they can grab the children and the home, and put you off balance heading into the initial hearing in the case that sets temporary orders between the beginning of the divorce and its termination by trial or settlement.

When you need tireless, aggressive representation, rely on the decades of experience of Spokane Attorney Craig Mason.  Attorney Mason is an experienced and successful Spokane area restraining order defense attorney.  Should this devastating event of being handed an ex parte restraining order happen to you, call Craig Mason to set up a consultation right away at (509) 443-3681.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Protecting the Children During a Divorce.

In a divorce, unfortunately, the parents can quarrel over the children, and sometimes a party who was not involved with the children during the marriage falsely claims to have been the “primary parent” as a tactic in litigation. 

The statutes look to who has performed “parenting functions” during the marriage. To determine the “primary parent,” the court will look to: (a) who maintained consistent, loving and stable relationships with the children, focused on nurturing them; (b) who attended to the daily needs of the children, from feeding and supervising the children, to taking them to the doctor and daycare, to things like helping them brush their teeth each night; (c) who showed concern for the proper education of the child; (d) who helped the children learn to socially interact in age-appropriate ways; (e) who showed consistent concern for the children’s welfare; and (f) who undertook the labor to support the child.

Remember, the only facts before the court are the facts you (and your attorney) bring to the court.  You will want to gather sworn statements from witnesses who have seen you perform these parenting functions.

If it is time for you to seek assistance in marshaling these facts, contact Spokane Attorney, Craig A. Mason, at 509-443-3681, W. 1707 Broadway, Spokane, WA.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Restraining Orders.

Occasionally, a divorce will start with a restraining order.  There are three types of restraining orders that may be deployed:  A simple civil restraining order, an anti-harassment order, or a domestic violence restraining order.

Often, these orders issue without notice (ex parte) and they must set a hearing within 14 days for the allegations to be heard with a response from the restrained party.  The ex parte orders are usually in immediate effect upon this “one-sided” issuance.  Because of their “ex parte” origin, you have a right to “quash” (have the court withdraw) the restraints on two-days notice if you can prepare your defense that quickly.

If you are in danger, come to Mason Law to file a domestic violence restraining order; likewise if you are being harassed.  If you fear the destruction of property or the loss of your normal visitation with the children, then a civil restraint might be appropriate.

If you have been the victim of a “tactical” restraining order, filed to get an initial advantage in the dissolution, also contact Spokane Family Attorney Craig Mason immediately, to prepare your response, and, if the evidence can be gathered quickly enough, to move to quash the unjust order.  Call him today at (509) 443-3681.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Pedestrians and Cell Phones.

Have you ever seen the TV show “The Walking Dead?”  Pedestrians all over the Spokane area can look like zombies as they stagger aimlessly down the general vicinity of the sidewalk, while staring down at their cell phones.  Certainly everybody knows about distracted driving.  A half-million people a year are injured in this country due to texting and talking while driving.  But what about distracted walking?

Here is a statistic that may surprise you.  At any given moment in this country, 60 percent of all walkers are engaged with their cell phones!  This coming 4th of July weekend reminds us that our Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves, seeing this revolution of communication without social interaction, and of people walking without surveying their surroundings.

The phone-staring zombies have been called “digital deadwalkers.”  And not just teens and children are lost in their phones while walking.  People of every age are guilty of “deadwalking.”

An accident, between an auto and a pedestrian using a cell phone, will likely be more complicated than that of a collision between two vehicle drivers.  If this unfortunate event happens to you, please call Spokane auto accident attorney Craig Mason.  Take the time to explain your particular situation at (509) 443-3681, and make an appointment at his Spokane office located at West 1707 Broadway.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Riverfront Park 4th of July Celebration

Noon-10:30 pm
507 N Howard St
Spokane, WA 99201
"The day features Fireworks at 10 pm, 1/2 price Day Passes for carrousel, IMAX, mini golf, amusement rides and tour train, 5,000 free American Flags for kids, live entertainment in the Lilac Bowl, beer garden, food vendors and public market."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hiring the Right Lawyer.

What if somebody you know told you that they were involved in a nasty divorce, but they found a family lawyer who “turned a nightmare into something positive”?  And what if they went on to tell you that this attorney will do anything within his power to help?  And then that friend of yours told you this particular divorce attorney was, in her words “100% amazing”!

Now let’s switch scenarios.  You are talking to this guy and he tells you that he was facing a trial date in the very near future and suddenly was left without an attorney.  And this guy tells you there was an attorney that not only took the case on short notice, but busted his tail to get up to speed on the case showing compassion for his situation.

All this and much more have been said about Spokane family and injury attorney Craig Mason.  He REALLY treats each of his clients with care and compassion.  In one sense we hope you never have to find out, but if you find yourself embroiled in a personal injury case or an impending divorce please call Attorney Craig Mason immediately at (509) 443-3681.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pedestrian Accidents and the Elderly.

As America grays, the incidents of pedestrian accidents among those 65+ continues to rise.  According to state traffic data the death rate for those age 70 and above is 150% higher than the rate of younger pedestrians.  The reasons are obvious…age brings infirmity and warmer weather brings out more pedestrians of all types.

Lower gas prices will also bring out more drivers with the advent of summer.  Even the elderly are using cell phones while walking.  Did you ever think you would be reading that?  Suffice to say that with warmer weather the incidents of pedestrian accidents are bound to increase - so watch your step out there, and drive carefully.

If you or a loved one has been involved in any type of pedestrian accident that was not your fault consult an attorney immediately.  In Spokane that choice is Craig Mason.  Attorney Mason is a personal injury and pedestrian accident lawyer practicing out of his office located at W. 1707 Broadway.  Call him immediately at (509) 443-3681.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Who doesn't love FREE!!

From river strolls and botanical gardens to fine art displays and live music, the savvy traveler can have a blast in Spokane without spending a dime. Follow the link above for a quick list of free things to do in Spokane region.

Monday, May 16, 2016

What is Civil Litigation?

We have all heard of it, but very few of us have ever been a part of the civil litigation process.  Do you remember back in the 90’s?  O.J. Simpson was acquitted in a criminal trial, but found guilty in a civil proceeding.  In a civil trial an individual is being sued for damages, and the burden of proof for the claimant is just a bare majority of the evidence, rather than the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.   A civil suit may include a variety of areas such as probate, personal injury, and contracts among other things.  (An auto collision suit is just one of many forms of civil litigation.)

In a civil litigation there will be an initial pleadings stage, answers and counter-claims, pretrial pleadings, the trial itself, and maybe an appeals process.  Once the initial paperwork has been filed, your representative attorney must begin the necessary process of preparing for trial, and often bringing, or resisting, other significant motions.  A civil case must be taken seriously to prevent a default judgment being entered, or to prevent you from getting an attorney after crucial evidentiary issues have been turned against you.

Spokane civil litigation attorney Craig Mason has undertaken a variety of cases over the years.  He will bring that expertise to the table in representing you in your specific civil case.  Cases such as yours require very specific research and you will need a professional civil litigator on your side.  Contact the Spokane office of Attorney Craig Mason today at (509) 443-3681.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It is Dangerous to use Cell Phones While Driving.

Know this…all drivers in the Evergreen state are prohibited from using a hand-held cell phone while driving.  There are a few restrictions such as calling for emergency help, but generally speaking - don’t even think about it!  However, just because it is against the law does not mean that everyone out there driving is obeying the rules.

Every day in this country a dozen or more people are killed in car crashes by distracted drivers using cell phones.  There is a 25% chance that a cell phone was involved in ANY car accident in Washington State.  Nearly half of all teens surveyed say they have been a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by someone talking or texting on a cell phone while driving the car in which they were riding.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident where the other party was cited (or will be) for driving while distracted, do not hesitate!   You should call Spokane distracted driving attorney Craig Mason immediately.  Call him at (509) 443-3681 and find out how Attorney Mason can help you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Washington State Apple Blossom Festival

Apple Blossom Festival 2016
<Click on the link above for more information>
April 28 - May 08, 2016
"The oldest major festival in the State of Washington draws thousands of visitors from around the world every year. This 11-day festival is built around great food, great events and great fun!"

Monday, April 18, 2016

Better Weather Means More Traffic Collisions, As People Drive More Miles.

Every year in the state of Washington 300 or more people will die in automobile collisions.  The emotional loss is incalculable, and the family’s financial losses are enormous.  Thousands more people are injured each year in the Evergreen State.  Buses, motorcycles, SUV’s, trucks, cars, etc. may become dangerous machines when operated without caution.

Most of us know that after collisional injury or death we must seek aggressive representation to protect ourselves from the insurance adjusters who will try to minimize your injuries, or even get you to “settle” with them before the extent of your injuries emerge.  The insurance companies develop tactics in conjunction with their defense attorneys, and you need your attorney too.  The insurance adjuster-defense industry will always minimize your losses, and try to find ways to make you responsible for the collision, in whole or in part.  They push, and push, as far as they can.

Spokane personal injury auto-collision attorney Craig Mason will not tolerate those shenanigans.  Do not waste another minute - contact attorney Craig Mason today (509) 443-3681, and explain your or your loved one’s plight. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How to Defeat a Non-Compete.

Non-compete agreements are often imposed on you at the last moment to keep or get a job.  You don't think about it until you are fired or wish to pursue a better opportunity.  The non-compete agreements that appear to prohibit you from working for a competitor, or opening your own business, are often unenforceable in fact.

For example, your prospective new job may not even violate the terms of the non-compete that you signed years ago.  Also, many of these documents are too vague to be enforced, or they are overbroad, or they unduly limit competition.

In many different situations, a non-compete agreement may be defeated, or limited in its reach and duration.  If you live in Eastern Washington you need strong representation to protect your future.  Contact Spokane attorney Craig Mason at (509) 443-3681 today and explain your situation. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Easter Egg Hunts - March 2016

Click the above link for a list of Easter related events taking place around the Tri-Cities during March 2016.

Monday, March 14, 2016

What is Non-parental Custody?

Non-parental custody (third party custody) is simply defined when the child or children do not remain with either of their natural, biological parents, but rather custody is awarded to a third person.  Usually there are two reasons for this to occur, parents are unavailable or are unfit.  For example, either (a) The biological parents refuse to take custody of their natural children, or are unfit parents due to things like drug use, or (b) the parents are simply incapable of caring for their children because of injury or illness.

The reasons why a court may award custody to a non-parental adult are several.  Among them may be the recognition that abuse has occurred that is caused by, or allowed to occur, by biological parents.  They may be subjected to substance abuse by their parents.  They also may have been deemed to have been abandoned.  The non-parent is often a grandparent, but may be anyone with an interest in the well-being of the children.

There are constitutional presumptions in favor of the biological parent.  For a difficult situation such as this you need aggressive representation on whichever side of the issue you may fall.  If you live in Eastern Washington, contact Spokane child custody attorney Craig Mason today at (509) 443-3681, and find out how he can assist you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Defining Wrongful Death in Eastern Washington.

The legal term “wrongful death” is easy to misinterpret by the layman.  It is defined as the taking of a life of one or more individuals due to a willful or negligent act of another.  We have seen these claims in the news many times where the survivors file a wrongful death suit against the person whom they believed took the life of their loved one in a willful manner.

It is important to understand that such a suit may be brought against someone even if the act was deemed unintentional.  For example if someone is driving and causes the death of another that may well be considered negligence.  Even in an innocuous situation of a home owner who has a swimming pool that is not properly fenced in they may be sued for wrongful death if a child wanders into the area and drowns.

There are many different situations in which a wrongful death suit may be filed.  You may be the defendant or the plaintiff.  Either way, if you live in Eastern Washington you need aggressive representation.  Contact Spokane wrongful death attorney Craig Mason today at (509) 443-3681 and find out how he can assist your legal needs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Public Planetarium Shows

Public Planetarium Shows 

"The state-of-the-art CBC planetarium is your go-to weekend destination for affordable and educational family fun! Visit the largest planetarium theater in Washington for live sky shows presented by experienced staff members, and immersive full-dome movies."
Information: 509-542-4515
Ages: All ages
Price: $3-$10

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What is Medical Malpractice?

We all have heard this term, but how exactly is it defined?  Many bad outcomes from surgery are just bad luck.  For a physician or hospital to be liable for medical malpractice, the medical care must fall below the reasonable "standard of care."  This is called "medical negligence."  (Hospitals are liable for everyone they hire, or certify, to work within their walls.)  The standard of care must be established by a medical expert knowledgeable in that particular field.  Also, your medical care must proceed with your "informed consent."  For example, performing a surgery without your informed consent is also medical malpractice.  Finally, it is malpractice for a physician to make a very specific promise, and then break that promise.

There are many twists and turns in most potential medical malpractice cases.  The journey may be a long one, but the rewards may be substantial.  You need an experienced attorney on your side.  Attorney Craig Mason is just such a medical malpractice attorney in Eastern Washington.  Contact Craig Mason today at (509) 443-3681 and find out how he can help you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Planning Child Custody after Divorce.

Many divorced parents are facing the task of raising one or more of the lives that they created, to adulthood.  While the divorced parents may even be relieved that the union has ended, the children are often feeling loss, and even more so feeling the pains of uncertainty.  We know your children are the most important people in your lives.

Co-parenting is the official policy of Washington State.  Craig Mason will work to facilitate that policy, and he defends your right to parent if it is under attack.  Mr. Mason will use mediation, and the courts when necessary, to work out cooperative parenting.

However, sometimes cooperation fails.  If one of parents has become harmful to a child, whether through physical abuse or parental alienation, then a psychological evaluation may be in order for that harmful spouse.  In some cases co-parenting may not be the best suggestion, and a supervised visitation schedule may be more appropriate.  This is why it is important to hire a family lawyer in Spokane who knows how to aggressively fight for the proper evaluation of your former spouse, and of any harm that spouse is causing.

Craig Mason is just such an attorney.  If the other parent is trying to unjustifiably limit your time, or if significant restrictions on that parent are actually merited by the facts, Attorney Mason will fight for your right to discover that.  The main focus of course is co-parenting, but you need a strong Eastern Washington divorce lawyer on your team.  Contact Craig Mason today at (509) 443-3681 and find out how he can help you.