Divorce not only leads to significant life changes, it’s also a legal matter with serious implications for your future. If you’re facing a divorce, you’ll want to consider every factor and make decisions according to the best interests of you and your children. A dedicated divorce lawyer in Bellevue, WA, will help ensure that you do.
Our law firm offers compassionate legal counsel as you transition to a new chapter in your life. Trust Aberdeen Family Law to ensure your perspective is represented in all legal proceedings and the outcomes align with your goals and best interests. Contact a Bellevue family law lawyer today to discuss a solution-oriented approach to your divorce.
The Terms of Your Bellevue Divorce
Your divorce won’t be exactly like any other divorce process. Our experienced divorce attorneys understand that each situation is unique. Due to the sensitive nature of these cases, we invest time in understanding your personal experience. Then, our legal team creates a tailored approach to divorce proceedings based on your goals.
While your case will follow its own trajectory, its terms will focus on the same issues as other divorces, including:
- Child custody arrangements
- The division of your marital property
- Child support payments
- Alimony payments
Any one of these issues is complicated and will warrant a closer look. A Bellevue divorce attorney from our team will ensure you have the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your case.
For a free legal consultation with a divorce lawyer serving Bellevue, call (855) 593-1497
Child Custody Arrangements for Your Shared Children in Bellevue
In every divorce involving children, child custody matters tend to take precedence. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can locate a middle ground and hammer out a fair agreement you are both willing to accept, the court can be kept out of the decision-making process. An uncontested divorce also leads to reduced costs and faster resolution.
Although the court is guided by the best interests of the children involved, they don’t have intimate knowledge regarding your family’s unique needs and concerns.
Furthermore, if you are willing to work together, you can get creative with your visitation schedule. Bellevue courts will typically sign off on anything within reason that works for your family.
Legal Versus Physical Custody
Understanding the difference between legal and physical custody is crucial regarding family law and child custody arrangements.
Legal custody refers to the parental responsibilities and rights to make significant decisions that impact your children’s lives. An experienced attorney will help you determine the most suitable arrangement.
Legal custody includes parenting plans related to:
- Health care
- Extracurricular activities
- Religious education
Generally, both parents share legal custody, but there are exceptional circumstances in which they do not.
Physical custody refers to which parent the children live with and when. It can be joint custody, which means the children live with both parents a significant amount of the time but not necessarily equally. Often, one parent is named the primary custodian in joint custody arrangements.
Sole physical custody means the children often live with one parent and see the other according to a visitation schedule. An experienced divorce attorney in Bellevue, WA, can help you understand the implications of seeking sole physical custody.
The family court’s primary consideration is the child’s well-being, ensuring their best interests are prioritized. As a result, fathers’ rights should be protected, ensuring they have the opportunity for equal parenting time and actively participate in all legal decision-making.
Bellevue Divorce Lawyer Near Me (855) 593-1497
Dividing Your Bellevue Marital Property
Property division is a critical element of any divorce. After child custody arrangements, this is the issue most likely to become contentious. In Washington, your marital property will be divided in a manner that the court determines to be just and right, given the circumstances involved in your divorce.
Marital property generally refers to assets you acquired together as a married couple. Exceptions include gifts or inheritances that came to either of you in your name only during the marriage. Further, the property you brought into the marriage and kept separate from your family’s financials should remain separate.
Marital Versus Separate Property
The distinction between marital property and separate property can be complex. Our team of family law attorneys will fight to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of assets. We will thoroughly analyze your financial situation, identify the property, and assess the value of your financial assets.
The following table includes examples of marital and separate property:
|Property Type||Marital Property||Separate Property|
|Real Estate||Home purchased during the marriage||Property owned by one spouse prior to the marriage|
|Income||Salary earned by either spouse during the marriage||Rental income from a property owned by one spouse before the marriage|
|Bank Accounts||Joint bank accounts opened during the marriage||Savings account solely in one spouse’s name before the marriage|
|Retirement Accounts||Contributions made to a 401(k) during the marriage||Individual Retirement Account (IRA) owned by one spouse before the marriage|
|Business Ownership||A business started and operated by both spouses during the marriage||A business owned solely by one spouse prior to the marriage|
For instance, if your spouse brought a business into your marriage and kept that business separate throughout the union, that business is likely your spouse’s separate property. However, keeping the money flowing through a business separate from one’s family financials isn’t easy.
Further, even if your spouse did manage to keep the business completely separate, any increase in the business’s value will likely be determined to be a marital asset that needs to be divided fairly. In other words, complications are not uncommon.
Child Support Payments
Child support is based on state-specific guidelines, which help ensure both parents contribute to their children’s ongoing financial welfare.
Child support is a financial obligation paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. The purpose of child support is to contribute to the costs associated with raising a child, such as food, clothing, housing, medical care, education, and other necessary expenses.
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Alimony or Spousal Maintenance
Alimony is a financial arrangement in which one spouse pays money to the other during or after a divorce. It is also called spousal support or maintenance.
It’s designed to reduce any unfair economic effects of a divorce by providing a continuing income to a lower-wage-earning or non-wage-earning spouse.
The courts usually consider several factors when determining whether to award alimony, how much to award, and for how long, including:
- The marriage length.
- Each spouse’s earning capacity and financial resources.
- The age and health of each spouse.
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The contributions made by each spouse during the marriage (including homemaking and child care).
Alimony can be temporary (or “rehabilitative”) and awarded for a set period to allow the receiving spouse to become self-supporting, or permanent (though “permanent” alimony is less common and may still end if conditions change, for instance, if the recipient remarries).
The team at Aberdeen Family Law can help you understand the nuances of alimony, advocate for fair spousal support arrangements, and assist with enforcement or modifications if circumstances change. We understand the importance of these financial decisions and strive to protect your interests throughout the process.
Consult an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Bellevue, WA
At Aberdeen Family Law, our legal professionals understand that divorce is a significant life event with far-reaching implications. It can be a challenging process, emotionally and legally. We will work closely with you to learn about your situation and create a plan that fits your needs.
From analyzing financial documents to negotiating settlement agreements, we will handle the legal complexities on your behalf. Our dedicated Bellevue divorce lawyers are highly skilled and will ensure you achieve a fair resolution that protects your legal rights and the interests of your children.
Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a divorce consultation.