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.