During your initial consultation with the firm, we can provide you with an estimate regarding what we believe you are entitled to receive or pay for child support. This is assuming we have reasonably accurate financial information at the time of the consult.
Whether you receive child support depends upon who has custody or primary care, and if you receive custody, how much parenting time the other party has. Child support is based upon the Washington State Child Support Schedules. The amount depends on each parentвЂ™s income, child care costs, medical and dental insurance for the child(ren), school costs, the child(ren)’s ages, whether the child(ren) have special needs and other factors.
Mediation may be an excellent alternative to assist you in resolving all or a portion of the issues in your divorce proceeding and where alternative dispute resolution (ie. mediation) is required. The mediator works for both parties (ie. husband and wife/father and mother), and thus cannot later represent either party as his or her attorney in the event that the mediation is unsuccessful.
There are many “mediators” who claim that they can assist you who are not licensed attorneys. You often pay as much if not more for these unlicensed and often unqualified services. Sometimes, the documents that they help draft cause more harm than good.
Some psychologists and counselors also serve as private mediators. They can often provide you with excellent services regarding custody and parenting issues, although many of them do not address child support, property and other financial issues.
In many cases, especially ones that are uncontested, you may be able to represent yourself. There are self-help forms available on-line through the Washington State Office of Administration. You can also obtain forms and packets in person from Self Service centers located in the Superior Court facilities.
Paralegals are not licensed to practice law and cannot give legal advice. Although there are undoubtedly some excellent paralegals, it is difficult to find out who has the experience and training necessary to assist you. Paralegals are precluded from providing any legal advice, although many do and this advice can be poor which leads to major problems.
Many people have had bad experiences with independent paralegal services. Often the forms are not prepared or filed properly, causing unnecessary delays. Paralegals sometimes attempt to represent both sides which is a conflict of interest, or align themselves with one side. Many people are not protected in the end. The biggest insult is that people sometimes end up paying more for a paralegal than they would have paid for a family law attorney to take care of them properly. Paralegals cannot represent you in court.
Paralegals are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Washington State Bar Association. If your attorney does something wrong, he or she may be subject to discipline. There are strict rules of conduct which govern attorneys. There are no such safeguards with regard to paralegal services.
If possible, it is always in your best interest to consult with a family law attorney before you move out of your residence or file for divorce. What happens early on in a case may turn out to be very important. Each case is different, and many of our clients have special circumstances.
The costs and fees in divorce proceedings vary depending upon a number of factors. If you and your spouse agree to most or all terms, the fees and costs will be considerably less. Regardless of how simple a divorce may appear, it is always in your best interest to consult with an attorney. This does not mean that you cannot do your divorce yourself. However, without the input from an experienced family law attorney many leave out important provisions that come back to haunt them later on. A little “preventive medicine” may save you a lot of headaches in the future. Curry & Williams, PLLC is committed to providing its clients with quality representation at an affordable cost.
Once the divorce petition and other documents have been filed and served on the other party, you need to wait a minimum of 90 days if you and your spouse agree on all issues. This is an uncontested dissolution. Even if you and your spouse do not agree to all terms in the beginning, Curry & Williams, PLLC is committed to settling the vast majority of its clientsвЂ™ cases. Curry & Williams, PLLC commits itself to settling your case if the issues can be settled in a manner that are in your best interests.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on all issues, the only other way to obtain a divorce is through a trial. The length of a divorce trial varies depending on the complexity of the issues and number of witnesses. In such event, the judge makes all decisions (there is no jury in divorce cases). In King County, trial dates are assigned about eleven months after filing. This time period varies with other courts.
Curry & Williams, PLLC is committed to expedite your case and to conclude the proceedings for you as soon as possible so that you can get on with your life.
Washington is a “no fault state”. In other words, you do not need to state any specific reason why you want a divorce, other than that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Nor does your spouse have to agree to a divorce.