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Kent Divorce for Women

Kent Women's Divorce Attorneys Are On Your Side

As family law attorneys serving Kent, Washington, we are aware of the unique challenges and struggles women face during the King County divorce process. With a commitment to advocating for your rights and interests and a comprehensive approach that encompasses the full spectrum of family law, from property division and child custody to child support, we navigate the complexities of Washington's legal system to protect what matters most to women.

What Are The Key Issues Women Face In Divorce?

Women facing divorce encounter a range of challenges. Some experience financial instability while others worry about their ability to support themselves and their children post-divorce, particularly if they have been out of the workforce or have limited earning potential.

Child custody and support arrangements can be particularly stressful for women, especially if they fear losing custody of their children or if they anticipate challenges in co-parenting with their ex-spouse. They may also worry about their ability to provide financially for their children and ensure their well-being. Furthermore, the process of co-parenting with an ex-spouse can also present numerous challenges, including communication issues, disagreements over parenting decisions, and navigating the logistics of shared custody arrangements. Beyond these concerns, women worry about their children's well-being and adjusting to the changes in their family structure.

To help them maintain their standard of living post-divorce, especially if they sacrificed their career or education to support their spouse's career or raise children, they may seek spousal support, also known as alimony. However, obtaining it can be difficult, as they may encounter resistance from their ex-spouse or the court.

Another challenge women face during a divorce is property division, particularly if significant assets are involved or one spouse feels entitled to an unfair share of the marital property. Women may find it hard to ensure their contributions to the marriage are recognized and they receive a fair settlement.

Above all, they struggle to find competent legal representation during divorce proceedings, despite possibly being disadvantaged when negotiating settlements or litigating contested issues without adequate legal support. Fortunately, our capable Kent divorce attorneys are here for women in Washington.

How Women Can File For Divorce In King County

If you are looking to file for divorce in King County, you must follow certain procedures outlined by the court. Here's a general overview of the steps involved:

  1. Meet Washington's Residency Requirements: Before filing for divorce in King County, at least one spouse must meet the residency requirements. One of you must have been a resident of Washington State for at least six months and a resident of King County for at least 90 days before filing.
  2. Prepare The Necessary Forms: Obtain the necessary forms for filing for divorce in King County. These forms typically include a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Summons from the King County Superior Court website. Follow the instructions on the forms and complete them completely and accurately.
  3. File The Forms With The King County Court: Once completed, file them with the King County Superior Court clerk's office. Unless you are eligible for a waiver due to financial hardship, you will be required to settle a filing fee.
  4. Serve The Forms To Your Spouse: After filing the forms, you must serve copies of the Petition and Summons to your spouse either by mail, process server, or any other method allowed by Washington State law.
  5. Wait For Your Spouse's Response: Your spouse will have time to respond to the petition after being served with the divorce papers. The case may go to trial if your spouse contests the divorce or disputes any issues. Otherwise, you may be able to proceed with an uncontested divorce.
  6. Attend Divorce Court Hearings: Be sure to comply with any court orders and deadlines. Depending on the circumstances of your King County divorce case, you may need to attend court hearings, mediation sessions, or other proceedings as required by the court.
  7. Finalize Your Divorce: Once everything is resolved by mediation, negotiation, or trial, the court will issue a final divorce decree. This document legally terminates your marriage and outlines the divorce terms, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and support, if applicable.
What Women Need To Know About Alimony And Property Division

Women going through divorce should be aware of key aspects of alimony (spousal maintenance) and property division to protect their rights and interests. Here's what they need to know:

Spousal Maintenance In King County

In the state of Washington, a spouse may qualify for spousal support based on the duration of the marriage, each partner's financial status and potential to earn, and the lifestyle maintained during the marriage. This support could be short-term (throughout the divorce process) or long-term (established once the courts in King County finalize the divorce) and may be paid out in one large sum or through recurring payments.

When deciding on the specifics of spousal support, such as its amount and length, courts examine various criteria, including each spouse's financial necessities, their self-sufficiency capabilities, and the length of the marriage, among other pertinent considerations. If a mutual agreement can't be reached, negotiations between spouses or a court decision will determine the final outcome. For women especially, carefully assessing their financial situation and future earning potential is paramount during this process.

Property Division In King County

Washington is a community property state, which means assets and debts are generally split equally between partners. Nonetheless, fair division may influence the allocation, adhering to equitable distribution rules. Assets accumulated throughout the marriage, including but not limited to real estate, bank and retirement accounts, vehicles, and personal items, fall under marital property. Likewise, debts accrued during this period are classified similarly. Separate property, on the other hand, is defined as assets a spouse owned before marrying. Inheritances, gifts specifically given to one spouse, and certain types of personal injury awards are classified as such.

When it comes to the division of your marital assets, the King County courts weigh several considerations, such as the length of the marriage, the financial input of each spouse into the marital estate, and their future earning abilities, among other pertinent factors. Spouses can reach an out-of-court agreement on distributing their marital assets and liabilities, detailed in a property settlement agreement. For women especially, it is crucial to thoroughly evaluate their financial requirements during the discussions on asset division.

What Women Need To Know About Child Custody And Support

Women involved in divorce proceedings in King County need to understand important aspects of child custody and support to protect their children's well-being and their rights as parents. Here's what they need to know:

Child Custody In King County

There are two types of child custody in Washington State:

  • Legal Guardianship: This term pertains to the authority to make significant choices about a child's welfare, such as their education, medical care, and religious practices. This guardianship can be collaborative (shared between parents), exclusive, or assigned to just one parent.
  • Residential Custody: This type of custody specifies the child's primary residence. Similar to legal guardianship, it can be arranged to be either collaborative or exclusive, depending on the situation.

In custody decisions, the court’s major concern is the child's welfare. Consequently, they take into account several factors when making these decisions. These include the nature of the child's relationship with each parent, their adaptation to their living environment, school, and wider community, and any instances of domestic violence or drug abuse.

In Washington State, divorcing parents must create a parenting plan outlining custody and visitation arrangements and decision-making authority regarding the child's upbringing. Typically, a parenting plan includes a residential schedule detailing when the child will spend time with each parent and provisions for holidays, vacations, and other special occasions. It also addresses decision-making responsibilities, communication between parents, and dispute-resolution mechanisms.

Child Support In King County

Child support covers basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare expenses. In Washington State, it is calculated based on guidelines considering each parent's income, the number of children, and other relevant factors. The non-custodial parent (or the parent with less residential time) typically pays child support to the custodial parent. When significant changes in material circumstances arise, such as income or expenses, child support orders may be modified.

The cornerstone of successful co-parenting is effective communication between parents. This means prioritizing the child's well-being and working together to create a supportive, stable, and loving environment. Women should strive for open and respectful communication with the other parent, focusing on the child's needs.

However, when co-parenting fails, they should be aware of their legal rights regarding child custody and support enforcement. If the other parent fails to comply with court orders, legal remedies, such as contempt of court proceedings or wage garnishment, may be available.

How Our Kent Attorneys Support Women During Divorce

At our law office, we stand firmly on the side of women navigating the complexities of divorce. With a deep commitment to advocating for women, we leverage our expertise in family law to ensure your voice is heard and your goals are achieved. We believe in empowering you through every step of the legal process, offering support and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Don't navigate this journey alone—reach out to us today. Let us be your allies, ensuring that you have a strong, compassionate team by your side.

Client Reviews
Laurie has worked on my very challenging and contentious divorce and I could not have asked for a better family law attorney. She was able to handle all of the twists and turns of my case with ease. I highly recommend Laurie to anyone looking for an excellent, ethical and hard working counselor. Chandler
Laurie is an incredible divorce lawyer! She did an amazing job with my divorce, and it was a real dog fight the whole way. She is a true fighter. And you can tell that she really cares about her family law clients and the results that she achieves for them. John
My lawyer guided me through a very challenging time in my life when I was going through my divorce. She worked hard and explained every step of the way what was going on so I could understand the process. I was very happy with her work. Barbel