One of the most notable seaports in the nation, Seattle is the current seat of King County. The city houses a large chunk of Washington’s population as the Census Bureau states there are approximately 4 million people living there. Although many Seattle citizens live in the city, most thrive in the suburbs in family units. With this fact in mind, family law disputes are quite common in the city of Seattle. In fact, according to the Washington State Department of Health Highlights, nearly 50-55% of marriages in Seattle end in divorce.
No one expects to go through a divorce or any type of family law dispute. Unfortunately, sometimes arguments get out of hand or relationships fail, and there’s simply no other choice. Hiring an experienced family law attorney can give you the insight and information you need to resolve your family disputes and ensure your interests are protected. No matter the situation, whether it’s divorce, child custody, paternity, asset division, restraining orders, or any other type of family law action, it’s important you have a lawyer on your side dedicated to your case.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson have a reputation for resolving all types of family law cases from simple divorces to extremely complicated highly contentious dissolutions. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to help our clients get the best possible resolution for their case.
Seattle Divorce Lawyer | Washington Family Law
The Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson is a premier divorce and family law firm based in Seattle who is devoted to helping their clients. Our legal team have dedicated collectively decades to Washington state divorce and other related family law issues. We are consistently educating ourselves to the minor changes in Washington’s family laws to ensure our clients receive the best representation. Our attorneys would value the chance to help you with your life-changing family issues by providing effective and timely legal service and informing you of your legal options.
Call Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson today at (206) 712-2756 to set up your first consultation. Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson accepts clients throughout the greater Seattle metropolitan area including Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Shoreline, Edmonds, Ballard, North Seattle, and Kent.
- Common Seattle Family Law Disputes
- When to File Divorce Papers in Seattle
- How Much Does a Divorce Cost?
- Family Court Resources in Seattle, WA
- Divorce Resources in Seatttle, WA
Common Seattle Family Law Disputes
The King County Superior Court handles all types of family law disputes including those involving divorce, support modifications, restraining orders, and paternity. The following are some common family law issues seen in Washington court rooms.
- Dissolution of Marriage – No one intends to file for divorce, but the state allows Washington residents a chance to end their marriage on “no fault” grounds. Divorce proceedings can be long, especially if you and your ex-spouse do not agree on the terms of the divorce agreement. Often divorcing couples face the same marital issues in court including how assets are divided, determining personal and community property, drafting up a parenting plan, allocating debt, and other important matters. Whether it’s a military, high-income, or LGBTQ divorce, the process can long and arduous.
- Paternity – Normally, a child’s parents are identified at birth. However, if the child’s father isn’t present then paternity will never be established unless another person steps in and files for paternity rights. Washington allows citizens to file a family motion to establish paternity through a DNA test. The courts also allow citizens to invalidate paternity if they find out they are not the father of the child later on.
- Support Modifications - Whether it’s for child support or spousal support, the Washington court allows you to modify these court orders if there’s been a substantial change in one of the party’s lives. Certain factors like an unexpected loss of income or expensive treatment for a medical illness can affect child or spousal support calculations.
- Contempt Motions – When a person violates a civil court order, the petitioner can file a complaint against them by filing a motion of contempt. Usually, contempt orders in family law are related to divorce settlements, child support, and child custody. That is because these legal disputes surround court-ordered actions such as ensuring a child is brought to a certain location on time. If the judge determines the respondent is in contempt of court, they could face expensive fines and even jail time.
- Restraining and Protective Orders – Protection orders provide relief to Washington residents who are facing emotional, physical or mental abuse. Protection orders provide relief by not allowing the respondent near the petitioner for a time period. The order is enforced by law enforcement so violating it will lead to an arrest. A restraining order, on the other hand, is normally in context to a pending dissolution or other family law action. Usually, a restraining order just limits one party during divorce proceedings. For instance, a restraining order may require the respondent to follow a parenting plan while they wait on pending divorce proceedings.
Where to File Divorce Papers in Seattle
Before you can even file for divorce, you will first have to complete the necessary paperwork. These documents will include a petition for dissolution as well as proof of personal services, which proves that you served your ex-spouse with divorce papers. If you have children with your ex-spouse, then you’ll have to fill out additional forms including a parenting plan.
Once you’ve filed these forms, you can head over to the King County Superior Court Clerk’s office. The clerk acts as a registrar and historian for the court, so they can file the petition for you. You’ll probably have to also pay a filing fee for their services of around $200-300 dollars. You can waive the fee if you’re eligible, but you must make a certain income to waive the filing fee. When your spouse is served, they will sign an “Acceptance of Service” form to acknowledge they received these documents.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Seattle?
Divorces come in all shapes and sizes. Some are incredibly expensive, while others are considered “cheap” relative to other family law cases. While there really is no magic number that shows how much divorce costs, most divorces average out to roughly $10,000 - $12,000. Highly contested divorce cases can extend that and venture up to $20,000.
What makes a divorce so expensive is the specific charges and fees over time. Every document you file, motion you send, or time with your attorney has a price. Certain factors will have a major effect on your divorce case and the cost overall, these include:
- Duration of the marriage
- Future earning potential of each party
- Current income from each party
- The number of shared assets
- If the split was contentious
- If one party or both own/share a business
- The couple shares minor children
- One spouse has a much higher income than the other
- If 401ks, pensions, IRA’s are involved
- Whether an expert must be called upon
- If one or both spouses are in the military
Although attorney’s fees are a large chunk of divorce costs, we cannot stress enough how important it is to have a family law attorney on your side. Your attorney will ensure everything is handled properly and that will pay off financially in the long run. An unsound divorce settlement can often cause problems to arise later on including tax consequences. That is why taking the DIY approach to divorce isn’t recommended and you should instead put this life-changing event in the hands of a professional.
Seattle Family Law Court Resources
King County Family Court – Visit the official website for the Superior Court of King County where you can learn more about their family court. Access the site to learn more about family law, how to file a family law action, the programs offered by the court, and other imperative information you may need for your case.
King County Clerk – The court clerk is incredibly important as they file all documents for the court and acts as a historian. You will likely be visiting the court clerk, virtually and in-person, multiple times throughout your family law dispute. Access the site to learn more about how to look up court records, file documents, request a copy of a record, and look up a case.
WA Family Law Handbook – The rules for Washington’s family law court can be confusing. Get a 101 in family law by visiting the Family Law Handbook provided by the Washington courts. Access the stie to learn how to end a marriage, how they handle child abuse cases, how to establish paternity, and other common family law disputes.
Seattle Divorce Resources
Seattle Custody and Visitation Resources – Visit the official website for the Department of Social and Health Services to learn more about the various custody and visitation resources they’ve provided online. Access the site to learn more about Supervised Visitation Networks, Family Law Court Appointed Special Advocates, and other important organizations that could help you with visitation or custody issues.
DADS | Divine Alternative for Dads Services – Visit the official website for DADS, which is a Seattle grassroots organization attempting to tackle the problem of absence fathers in America. DADS allow fathers hope to walk together in a supportive community that can help them navigate familial and legal barriers that separate them from their families/children.
How to Ask for a Divorce – The divorce process is complicated and can for a layperson it can be hard to navigate. Visit the official website for King County and read their step-by-step guide on how to end a marriage. Access the site to learn what documents you’ll need, what happens if children are involved, and read the additional resources they provide for divorcing couples.
Seattle Divorce Support Groups – Divorce isn’t just expensive and time-consuming, but it can be a lonely process. Find your support system with the site Meetup, which hosts divorce support groups in the city of Seattle. Access the site to find people who understand the struggles you’re going through and find like-minded individuals like you.
Seattle Department of Human Services – Visit the official website for the City of Seattle to learn more about their human services department. Access the site to peruse their free or discounted programs including community programs, childcare programs for struggling parents, and more.
Seattle Department of Housing – Often after a divorce it can be difficult to pick up your whole life and move. Access the Department of Housing for the City of Seattle to learn about their rental assistance programs, programs for low-income homeowners, and more.
Aggressive Divorce Lawyer Seattle, WA
Whether you’re filing for divorce, establishing paternity, or signing a pre-nuptial agreement, it’s important you have a professional on your side like the legal team at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson. With decades of family law experience under their belts, our attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson can help you find an agreeable solution so that you leave this conflict happier, healthier, and set up for financial success.
Let the attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson help you transition to a better and brighter future. Call Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson today at (206) 712-2756 to set up your first consultation in the Seattle metropolitan area including King County and Snohomish County, WA.