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Lakewood Divorce for Men

Our Lakewood Attorney's Guide To Divorce For Men

Divorce in Lakewood can present unique challenges for men, often requiring the navigation of complex legal and emotional terrain. Acknowledging this, our attorneys specialize in representing men undergoing divorce. We understand men's specific issues in the divorce process, from concerns about fair asset division to custody arrangements, which is why we vigorously defend their rights and interests. Our team is dedicated to providing tailored legal strategies and support to secure the best possible outcomes for our clients. If you're a man facing divorce in Lakewood, know we're here to help. Let our expertise be your advantage during this difficult time.

What Does Every Washington Man Need To Know About Divorce?

Because Washington is a no-fault divorce state, it grants divorce without the need to prove wrongdoing by your spouse. The only ground necessary is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. To file for divorce in Washington, you or your spouse must be a state resident or a member of the armed forces stationed in Washington. The law requires a 90-day waiting period from when the divorce is filed and served to the other spouse before the court can finalize it.

The divorce process in Washington can vary in length, depending on whether it is contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, characterized by mutual agreement on all terms, the process typically moves more quickly, while a contested divorce may prolong the proceedings and require greater court involvement. For more straightforward cases, Washington allows for a more streamlined "simplified dissolution" or "summary dissolution" for couples who meet specific criteria, such as having limited assets and agreeing on all divorce terms.

Washington is a community property state, meaning assets and debts accrued during the marriage are viewed as jointly owned by both spouses and are usually divided equally during divorce proceedings. However, the court may consider factors such as the duration of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse, and how each spouse contributed to the acquisition of marital assets when dividing property.

When determining maintenance awards, the Pierce County family court considers several factors such as the duration of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, the age and health of the spouse seeking maintenance, and the spouse's financial resources.

If you have children, their welfare will be a primary concern. This is why Washington courts focus on the child's best interests when determining custody arrangements. To calculate child support, the courts use the Washington State Child Support Schedule while considering the parents' incomes, the number of children, and other factors.

Although navigating a divorce without legal representation is feasible, especially in an uncontested scenario, seeking advice from a legal professional can offer invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of divorce law. Advice from a legal professional is crucial in contested cases or those involving significant assets, children, or potential disputes.

What Is The Divorce Process In Pierce County?

Despite the complexity of the laws involved, the divorce process in Pierce County is straightforward. Typically, it follows a standard process that involves the following:

  1. Filing the Petition: In Pierce County, one spouse, the petitioner, initiates the divorce process by submitting a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the Superior Court. The petitioner must fulfill Washington's residency requirements, which usually entail one spouse being a Washington State resident for a certain period.
  2. Service of Process: Whether through personal service, certified mail, or other approved means, the petitioner must provide the other spouse (the respondent) with a copy of the petition and associated documents.
  3. Response: The respondent can respond to the petition within a specific timeframe. This response may include counterclaims or requests for relief.
  4. Temporary Orders: While the divorce is pending, either spouse may request temporary orders related to issues like child custody, child support, spousal support, and possession of property as needed.
  5. Discovery: During divorce proceedings, a process called discovery requires both spouses to exchange relevant information and documents, including financial agreements, property records, and other evidence.
  6. Negotiation/Settlement: With the aid of their attorneys, spouses may negotiate a settlement agreement that addresses all divorce-related matters, covering property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support.
  7. Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): When spouses cannot reach a settlement independently, they may need to mediate or facilitate resolution through another form of ADR.
  8. Trial: If spouses fail to reach an agreement, the case may go to trial, where a judge will hear evidence and render decisions on contested matters.
  9. Final Decree: Once all matters are resolved through either settlement or trial, the court will issue a final decree of dissolution of the marriage, formally bringing it to an end.

It's important to note that divorce proceedings can vary depending on the case's specific circumstances.

How To Protect Your Assets During A Divorce

Men looking to protect their financial health during a divorce must take several strategic, legal, and sometimes financial steps. Here's a comprehensive guide to safeguarding your interests:

1. Understand Your Financial Situation

Compile a comprehensive inventory of all assets and liabilities, including those obtained before and during the marriage. These may include bank accounts, investments, property, and debts. Obtain current valuations for real estate, businesses, and retirement accounts.

2. Be Transparent But Cautious

To avoid penalties or unfavorable judgments, ensure all assets are disclosed during the divorce proceedings. Exercise caution when sharing information with your spouse in negotiations or court proceedings.

3. Separate Non-Marital From Marital Assets

Identify and document assets owned before the marriage, as these may be considered separate property, depending on your jurisdiction's laws. Keep inheritances and gifts received before or during the marriage in your name only. Integrating these with marital assets can result in their classification as property assets, which may impact their distribution during divorce proceedings.

4. Consider Getting A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement

If you are not yet married, consider creating a prenuptial agreement that outlines the division of assets and liabilities in case of divorce. A postnuptial agreement can provide comparable protections if you are already married, but it requires careful consideration to ensure its enforceability remains intact.

5. Close Joint Accounts

Close joint accounts or remove your spouse's access to prevent additional debt from accruing in your name. Update accounts to reflect responsibility for payment to avoid any adverse reports on your credit history.

6. Monitor Your Credit

To ensure no unauthorized activities and to manage your financial reputation effectively, regularly check your credit reports.

7. Legal Steps and Documentation

Hire a competent divorce attorney who can guide you through the legal steps necessary to protect your assets. Maintain thorough documentation of all transactions, communications, and legal paperwork associated with your divorce.

8. Understand Tax Implications

Be aware of the tax consequences of any asset division, including potential capital gains taxes on property or investment sales.

9. Negotiate Wisely

A court battle can be costly and unpredictable. Consider the benefits of a negotiated settlement, which gives you more control over the outcome.

10. Emotional Decisions vs. Rational Decisions

In divorce, emotions often run high, but it's crucial to base decisions on rational, long-term considerations rather than seeking short-term emotional satisfaction.

11. Update Your Estate Plan

Amend your will, trusts, and other estate planning documents to mirror your present circumstances and ensure you distribute your assets according to your preferences.

12. Seek Professional Financial Advice

Seek assistance from a divorce-specialized financial advisor to guide you through the asset division's intricacies and plan for your economic well-being after the divorce. They can provide valuable insights into long-term financial planning and retirement considerations, ensuring you make informed decisions that benefit your future financial security.

13. Protect Your Digital Privacy

Change passwords for your email, banking, and social media accounts to ensure digital privacy. Be mindful of the information you share online and through digital communications, as this can sometimes be accessed and used in divorce proceedings. Consider using secure communication methods when discussing sensitive information related to your divorce.

Safeguarding your assets throughout a divorce necessitates financial savvy, legal protection, and strategic planning. While this guide offers a broad overview, discussing the specifics of your situation with a professional advisor is essential to tailor a strategy that best suits your needs and complies with local laws.

How Our Attorneys Fight For Men's Rights During Divorce

Our Lakewood divorce attorneys for men are committed to fighting for men's rights, acknowledging the unique challenges they face during the divorce process. We understand that beyond the legal battles, divorce can be an emotionally taxing journey for men, often feeling like they're navigating uncharted waters. This is why we use a holistic approach––we offer legal representation, emotional support, and guidance and handle everything from asset division to custody disputes, ensuring we hear you and protect your rights.

Our team is dedicated to advocating for men and leveling the playing field in a system that can seem daunting. We stand by our commitment to fight for fairness, equity, and the best possible outcome for you. Call us now for a consultation and let our specialized attorneys support and guide you through this challenging time.

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