Divorce Lawyer Tacoma, WA
If you and your spouse have decided that going your separate ways is the healthiest option for you both at this time, please connect with a divorce lawyer Tacoma, WA residents trust, and please do so as soon as you can. No matter how you plan to approach your divorce process, being as proactive as possible will help to ensure that your legal transition from married to single is as successful as it can be. Once our Washington legal team learns about your needs, goals, and priorities concerning your divorce process, we’ll be able to objectively assess which approach to the legal “side” of your situation may best serve your interests.
An amicable divorce process that doesn’t require judicial intervention to resolve issues related to the divorce settlement in question – sometimes generally referred to as an “uncontested” divorce process – isn’t the best approach for everyone. If you and your spouse have fundamental differences, have a history of abuse, or simply cannot be in the same room with one another, let alone negotiate with each other, an amicable process may not serve your interests. If so, our tenacious Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer will build the strongest possible case on your behalf to be resolved in court. However, if you’re hoping to keep your divorce relatively amicable, cost-effective, and efficient, we can help you to pursue this path forward successfully too.
Keeping Your Divorce Process Amicable and Fair
There are three primary ways that you can approach an “uncontested” divorce that doesn’t require judicial intervention to settle the differences between you and your spouse. Each of these opportunities is generally more efficient, low-stress, and cost-effective than contested divorce processes. Depending on your unique needs, you may be able to effectively resolve your divorce using only one approach or you can use a hybrid approach involving more than one option. First, you and your spouse can agree to all the terms of your divorce settlement on your own and present it to your separate attorneys for review and finalization. Second, you can have your separate attorneys negotiate the terms on your behalf and review their proposed settlement outline. Third, you can attend mediation – alongside your attorney – so that you and your attorney can negotiate with your spouse and their attorney in the same room as an impartial third-party mediator.
Changing Your Name After a Divorce
Many people decide to take their spouse’s last name as their own after a wedding. When the couple divorces, especially after many years of marriage, the spouse who took on a married last name can decide to keep the name or change it. Fortunately, as a Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer can explain, there is no legal impediment to changing back to the use of a maiden name.
A spouse may want to retain a married name for various reasons, including a desire to share the last name with the couple’s children or because the spouse has built a career and reputation under the married name. Other spouses may decide they no longer want any association with their ex’s last name. Whatever the reason, the spouse is not required to provide a reason or to prove it to be true in order to go back to using a maiden name after a divorce.
In a divorce decree, the spouse who took on a married name can be given the opportunity to change back to the maiden name without having to do much more. Usually, the ability to leave to resume the use of a maiden name is included in the decree at the request of the spouse who may need to change back to the maiden name. This way, the name change is legally authorized.
A Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer understands that there are many situations where a person will keep their married name following the divorce but change their mind at a later date and decide they want to go back to using their maiden name. When the name change is not authorized under the decree, the spouse wishing to resume the use of a maiden name must go through a different legal process in order to be authorized to change her name.
This process requires filing and court fees, as well as taking more steps than simply asking a court for the use of a maiden name in the divorce petition. For this reason, it is better to ensure that the authority to resume the use of a maiden name is granted as part of the divorce, even if the spouse has no immediate plans to resume her maiden name.
One spouse does not have a say in the other spouse’s decision to change back to using a maiden name. However, the spouses can negotiate about it; for example, if a husband wants his wife to give up the married name after a divorce for some reason, he can offer to give up something in the divorce negotiation in exchange for the wife resuming the use of her maiden name. A Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer can help with these negotiations.
If a person resumes a maiden name, they have to remember to change her name on all official and professional documents as soon as possible. This includes applying for a new social security card, driver’s license, and passport.
What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do When an Amicable Divorce Becomes Hostile
You and your spouse may have begun your separation with the full intent of keeping the discussion civil. However, there often comes the point during the divorce process where the negotiations become hostile, no matter how well the couple has always gotten along before.
Should you reach that turning point, your divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA, can help you understand what to do — and even more so, what not to do — to ease the impact of contested proceedings on your family.
Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce Mediation
Mediation can be a key element of your divorce proceedings. It allows you and your spouse, with your lawyers, to sit down with an impartial mediator to help you divide your marital property in a fair and equitable manner. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind through the process.
Do Schedule Your Mediation for a Time When You Can Be Fully Present
Give yourself plenty of time to deal with the mediation and your emotions afterward. If you can, take the day and do some extra self-care before and after your mediation. Your Robinson & Hadeed Family Law divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA, may be able to give you a rough estimate on how long mediation could take.
Do Let a Close Friend Know When Your Divorce Mediation Is
After mediation is over, you may feel the need for a shoulder to cry on. Letting a close friend know when your mediation is puts them on notice that you may be calling on them that afternoon or evening.
Do Take Breaks When You Need Them
Your divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA, might advise you to take a break whenever you start feeling overwhelmed or like your emotions are getting the better of you. You can use that time to phone your friend or to ask questions of professionals such as your accountant or a child psychologist for advice.
Do Schedule an Additional Mediation Session if You Need To
You don’t have to hash everything out in one session. If need be, schedule a second session to try to finish hashing everything out. Your divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA, from Robinson & Hadeed Family Law may help you realize when the first mediation session is taking a turn for the worse and suggest a second session after everyone’s recovered from the first one.
Don’t Use Mediation for Fact-finding
Mediation is a time for negotiating and compromise. Trying to use it as a fact-finding mission destroys the spirit of mediation. The time for fact-finding is during the discovery part of your divorce proceedings.
Don’t Blow It off and Not Show Up
Showing up to mediation shows that you’re being a reasonable adult and taking your financial future seriously. If you don’t show up, that may be used against you when your divorce goes to trial and a judge decides how your assets will be divided.
Don’t Intentionally Trigger Your Spouse
However tempting it may be, don’t provoke your spouse. Your goal is to arrive at a reasonable division of assets and debts and a parenting plan that includes child custody and child support.
Evaluate the New Situation and React Appropriately
It is crucial for you to take a step back and understand if your spouse is creating a stressful environment or a dangerous one. There is a big difference between your partner leaving you multiple voicemails complaining about your latest custody request and showing up at your house at 3 a.m. in a rage and threatening to take your children.
Do your best to stay objective, but you might consider documenting your spouse’s attempts to antagonize you if they become frequent and unwelcome. Of course, should you feel your immediate physical safety threatened, don’t hesitate to call the police.
Continue With the Proceedings Like a Business Deal
Divorces rarely remain completely amicable because strong emotions often lead to misinterpretation and overreaction. It is very difficult to remain truly impartial when personal history is involved, but many couples find many similarities between a divorce and a business transaction.
First, try to agree that the ultimate goal is each other’s individual happiness and a healthy environment for the children to grow up in. Then, trust your divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA, to help you through the steps to make that happen.
Prioritize Your Children and Your Well-Being
However, it’s important to realize that many other people (some of them likely being your friends and family) have been down this road before and emerged in a better place. You might wish to seek counseling for yourself and your kids whether you think you need it or not.
Don’t push yourself to work or act like there is nothing wrong, and make time to spend doing something fun or relaxing with your kids, your friends, or by yourself.
Most of all, having a trusted support network and a reliable divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA, can be the factors that help prevent a hostile breakup from ruining your life. Maintaining objectivity and conducting your side of the proceedings with maturity and integrity will set the stage for a better future for you and your family.
How To Approach the Subject of Divorce With Your Spouse
If you feel your marriage ran its course, it is customary to consider divorce as the next option. For many couples, breaking up may be the only option available. You have to take the steps healthiest for you and your family. Bringing up a divorce is never easy. While preparing to meet with a divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA, it’s time to think about how to approach your spouse.
Set a Fair Time for Discussion
The setting and time you bring up the divorce matters. You do not want to have the conversation in the middle of family dinner or when you are likely to be interrupted. It is best to talk at home, where you can both be comfortable. Likewise, do not plan to tell him or her on a holiday or when both of you are busy with work or other obligations. Divorce can be overwhelming on its own and deserves its own time.
Be Honest About Your Feelings
Do not try to sugarcoat the conversation. While you should be gentle, you should also be firm. you do not want there to be any question about your decision. If you aren’t upfront with how you feel or want the divorce, your spouse may be confused by what you do want. Sometimes, a spouse may infer that you want to work it out or that there is still hope when you are firm in your decision.
Likewise, do not be too aggressive. Try to prepare what you’re going to say and likewise, consider what you think he or she may say in response. Most people know their spouses better than anyone; you can try to plan the dialogue in your head. Even if things do not go as planned, you have some preparation. Keep in mind that a breakup with your spouse is a complicated and painful experience. Your partner may react differently than you imagined.
Do Not Talk Too Deeply About the Divorce
When bringing up the divorce, you don’t need to detail. You don’t need to discuss the details you’ll need to talk about with your divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA. Instead, mention why you want the divorce, but do not say anything that may start more of an argument. For example, if financial stress is the reason for the divorce, do not give your spouse a detailed list of reasons why the financial stress led to your decision.
Legal Assistance Is Available
Whether you’re hoping that you can keep your divorce process amicable or you’re faced with fundamental differences that will require judicial intervention to resolve, the experienced Washington legal team at Robinson & Hadeed can help you to pursue your divorce-related goals as efficiently and effectively as possible. No matter how amicably a divorce process progresses, this life transition is never easy. Know that if you entrust your case to our capable and dedicated Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer team, we will do everything we can to ensure that your legal needs are met in ways that don’t unnecessarily exacerbate an inherently stressful situation; we look forward to speaking with you.
You may have some questions about your divorce and that’s okay because we’re here to help. Some of the most commonly asked questions are listed below.
How do I file for divorce?
Because he diivorced legally in your marriage, the process starts by completing paperwork and filing with the court stating your intent to divorce. State laws govern and regulate divorce, which means that you need to understand your local requirements that are related to filing for divorce and serving this paper works to your spouse to ensure they are notified in the appropriate manner. You can only file for divorce in the state that you reside in, and most states have this requirement, furthermore you must reside in the state for six months to a year before you can divorce in that state.
How long does the divorce process take?
Because divorce laws are different in each state, the amount of time that is required to dissolve a marriage can differ because of your location. You should ensure that you are working with the divorce law here in the location that you want to be divorced in that understands local and new regulations.
How much does a divorce cost?
Cost per divorce can differ because all cases are different in every state that has a different requirement for divorce. Furthermore, if the divorce is contested it will take longer than an uncontested divorce, however, if you have very few assets and no children, you can seek an uncontested divorce without the assistance of a divorce lawyer and the cost would be limited to the court filings in most states. On the other hand, you have children, your case is very complex and you have a lot of assets, you might need a lawyer and you might find yourself going to the divorce process for anywhere from 3 to 6 months if not longer.
Is there a way to get divorced without going to court?
There is indeed. Most places allow you and your spouse to get a divorce I divorce mediation, which has become a very common avenue for divorce, mediation allows a neutral third party to meet with the divorcing couple and help settle disputed issues like child visitation or asset division. This keeps them out of the courts, and interesting divorce runs smoothly. Furthermore, if your divorce is uncontested and you have not got children or assets that are a significant number then you may be able to file all necessary marriage dissolution documents and finalize your divorce without going to court or having a lawyer.
If my spouse and I live in different states where can we divorce?
This is a great question because in theory you and your spouse could divorce in either state in which one of you resides. Only one person must reside in a state to divorce in it for six months or more. You may be required to provide proof of residency, and you must have knowledge of the state requirements for divorce because some states do require you to live there for an extended period of time before being able to request a divorce in that state.
So the short answer is if you and your spouse live in different states, you must provide residency proofing you must of met the residency requirement in one of the states that one of you live in.
Finding a Divorce Lawyer Whose Approach Meets Your Needs
If you’ve decided that meeting with a divorce lawyer Tacoma, WA residents trust is the best way to clarify your rights and options under the law, you now need to make a decision about which law firm you’d like to work with. Hopefully, the various pages of our website have given you a strong sense of our firm’s approach to representation and you feel good about what you’re seeing. But, it is important to know that you don’t need to make you decision based on web research alone. Our firm, like many other firms, offers a risk-free consultation process that will allow you to better get a sense of who we are, what we do, and how we’d approach the representation of your case.
We understand that choosing a Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer is not always a straightforward or easy task. When you’re navigating tough life circumstances, it can be difficult to make big decisions and to know if the decisions you are making are the “right” ones. When you meet with our team during a risk-free consultation, you’ll get to ask questions about the divorce process, your options, and our approach to representation. Chances are that, by meeting with us face-to-face, you’ll get a strong sense of whether you’d like to have us represent your interests moving forward.
Keeping Your “Gaze Straight Ahead”
During your consultation, you may indicate that you hope to keep your divorce amicable or you may voice concerns that you and your spouse have fundamental differences that will need to be settled by a judge. Either way, it is important for you to know that our Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer team has extensive experience with a wide range of divorce scenarios and that we will help you to make informed decisions that will benefit you as you navigate this major life transition. Divorce often feels like it is about what has happened in the past that led to this moment. The legal side of divorce is about keeping your gaze straight ahead. Which approach, which strategies, which arguments will lead you to the greatest chance of achieving a healthy, fulfilling, financially stable future? Even if your emotions are dragging you backwards sometimes—which is more than understandable—we’re here to help you build a legal strategy that will serve your brighter future well.
Connect with Our Firm Today to Learn More
If you are not yet sure about which approach to divorce meets your needs, that’s okay. One of the primary reasons why our firm offers risk-free consultations is that we aim to make sure that potential clients have all the basic information they need to decide whether our firm’s approach to representation may be a good fit for them before they commit to working with us. Additionally, a risk-free consultation will allow you to ask questions and voice concerns. Receiving objective feedback from the experienced Washington legal team at Robinson & Hadeed can help you to clarify which approach you may benefit from pursuing as you move forward.
Whether you have a rock-solid idea of how you want your divorce to progress or you’re unsure of which steps to take in order to meet your needs and goals, our firm can help. If you haven’t yet scheduled a risk-free consultation with our team, please do so now. We look forward to speaking with you.
If you and your spouse have chosen to go your separate ways, it is important to connect with an experienced Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the division of your property and assets. Whether you expect that your asset and property division process will be amicable or contentious, it is important to prepare properly. Failure to be proactive during this process can lead to an inequitable or otherwise unfair divorce settlement. Know that the experienced Washington legal team at Robinson & Hadeed has extensive experience with both straightforward and complex asset division cases and can advise you of your rights and options accordingly.
In Washington State, marital property is generally presumed to be communal property. Meaning, that any property, assets, and debts acquired during the marriage will generally be treated as jointly-owned unless an exception to this rule applies or a significant reason sways a judge to treat certain property differently. As a result, when you and your spouse divide your property and assets during your divorce, you will likely need to split the value of your co-owned property evenly.
This process does not mean that every item that you co-own with your spouse will need to be divided in half somehow. Instead, the Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer team at Robinson & Hadeed will work with you to craft a property and asset division proposal that will allow you to benefit fairly from receipt of half of the overall value of your co-owned assets and property. How this proposal is ultimately crafted will depend significantly upon your goals and priorities for your divorce process. For example, you may be eager to remain in your primary residence or you may be eager to get rid of it. If you and your spouse do not decide to sell your home, the spouse that does NOT retain ownership of the home will likely be awarded more property and assets to make up for the fact that they no longer own the home or any equity in it.
If this process sounds overwhelming, that’s okay. It’s normal to feel anxious about the prospect of dividing your property and assets. To begin, simply make a list of your most valuable property and assets so that we can look it over during your risk-free consultation. We’ll start to make plans according to your goals and priorities accordingly.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have not yet scheduled a risk-free consultation with the trusted legal team at Robinson & Hadeed, please do so today. Even if you’re unsure of whether you and your spouse will ultimately file for divorce, it is important to understand your legal and financial rights so that you can make the most informed decisions possible concerning your situation. Our experienced Tacoma, WA divorce lawyer can guide you through the processes of preparing to equitably divide your property and assets and the process of actually dividing them in a legally-enforceable, fair, and transparent way; we look forward to speaking with you.