Family Law Attorneys

Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson is a premier family law firm located in Seattle, Washington. The attorneys in our firm are focused exclusively on family law and divorce cases. From a simple uncontested divorce to a highly contentious paternity action, we have the experience to help our clients resolve the case under the best possible terms.

With three attorneys in the firm, we are also able to handle both high income and middle income cases. Give our office a call at (206) 712-2756 to schedule an office visit. There is no substitute for sitting down and talking with an experienced attorney about your family law case. 

Be prepared. We can help you decide what you need to do right now to protect your rights as you fight for the best possible resolution in your case.

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Attorneys for Family Law Cases in Seattle, WA

For family law cases in King County at the courthouse in Seattle or Kent, Washington, call an attorney at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson. With offices conveniently located in Seattle, we can help you at every stage of the case. We created this website to give you more general information about issues that might arise, but there is no substitute for talking with an attorney.

We represent clients in family law cases throughout all of King County including Seattle, Kent, Greenwood, Greenlake, Ballard, Northgate, Shoreline, Lake City Way, Bothell, North Bend, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Issaquah, Vashon Island and Maury Island. We also represent clients in Snohomish County and Pierce County.

Call (206) 712-2756.

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Types of Family Law Cases in King County, WA

The family law attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson represent clients in a wide variety of family law cases in King County, Washington. The different types of family law cases can include:

During the initial consultation, we can help you learn more about court rules, procedures, and case schedules. Find out what you need to do right now to protect your rights and your family during this difficult time so that you can successfully make any needed transition.

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Family Law Procedures in King County, WA

As the largest county in Washington, King County has a complex system for family law cases. Special family law courts have judges assigned to hear pre-trial motions for temporary parenting plans, restraining orders, spousal maintenance and child support. A temporary order will determine who resides in the family home, who drives a particular vehicle, who pays the bills, even who has the pets. A family law motion requires 14 days’ notice to the other party, who then responds four court days prior to the hearing, and then the moving party replies 2 court days prior to the hearing. All submission to the court must be in writing and sworn under oath. All financial issues, such as child support and maintenance, require a Financial Declaration, tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements be submitted to the court and the other side.

Depending on the nature of those motions, most of them are heard before a Family Law Commissioner. Some types of pre-trial motions, such as for temporary relocation or discovery issues, must be heard before a judge. 

Judges in the family courts in King County in Seattle and Kent, WA, are also assigned to hear a case set for trial. Although most of these hearing are held in open court, hearings that are particularly sensitive in nature or require the testimony of a minor child might be heard in private.

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Court Commissioners in Family Law Proceedings in Seattle, WA

Superior court commissioners play an important role in the court system in Washington by facilitating the efficient administration of justice and alleviating the large caseloads facing superior court judges. The court commissioners derive their powers from the Washington constitution at WASH. CONST. Art. IV, § 23 and in the State statutes at Ch. 2.24 RCW. 

Although court commissioners have many of the same powers as a superior court judge, they may not preside over jury trials as explained in WASH. CONST. Art. IV and § 23.1. Another difference between the powers of superior court commissioners and judges is that commissioners are not subject to affidavits of prejudice under RCW 4.12.050. 

Instead, if one party is dissatisfied with a commissioner's ruling, that party may seek relief through a "motion for revision." The right to seek revision permits a litigant appearing before a commissioner to be treated similarly to one appearing before a superior court judge. A motion for revision of a commissioner’s order must be made within ten days of the commissioner’s ruling.

When a superior court judge receives a case through a motion for revision, the judge takes jurisdiction of the entire case as heard before the commissioner. Although the superior court judge cannot accept new evidence, as explained in under RCW 2.24.050, a motion on revision is in all other respects equal to any other matter on the court's docket. 

In fact, the judge reviews the law and evidence de novo even through the commissioner heard live testimony. If the judge disagrees with the commissioner's disposition, the judge may issue its own independent factual findings and legal conclusions. On appeal, the appellate court reviews the decision of the superior court judge, not the commissioner. 

For this reason, a superior court judge has the authority to not only reverse the commissioner's decision, but also to provide an appropriate remedy. In some cases, the judge will remand the case to the commissioner so that additional facts can be admitted into the record, but doing so is not required. 

When the factual record is complete, the superior court judge has full jurisdiction to decide the issues. By exercising complete authority over the matter, the judge can put the parties on footing with litigants whose cases are handled by superior court judges in their entirety.  

Additional Resources

Family Law Facilitators in King County, WA - Visit the website of the King County Family Law Facilitators at the Seattle and Kent locations. The King County Superior Court's Family Law Facilitator Program provides information and referrals in family law cases when the litigants who are not represented by family law attorneys.

Family Court in King County - In King County, Washington, the Family Court handles family law matters that involve children including divorce, legal separation, child custody, child support, and paternity actions.

Family Law Instructions in King County - Find instructions and required forms available through the Family Law Facilitators Office in the Kent area or the Seattle area in Kent County, Washington.

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Finding a Family Law Attorney in King County, WA

If you need to find a qualified family law attorney in King County, Washington, then call Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson to schedule a consultation.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson are experienced in filing actions under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 26.09, including dissolutions of marriage, legal separations, and major parenting plan modifications.

We represent clients in family law cases throughout all of King County including Kent and Seattle. Our family law attorneys also represent clients in Snohomish County and Pierce County to the south.

Call (206) 712-2756 to discuss your case.

This article was last updated on Friday, October 13, 2017.

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