Gregg E. Bradshaw, LLC

Puyallup Family Law Blog

Prepare for financial impacts of divorce during retirement

As Washington residents age, they will face many changes in life. For some, a major change could be ending a long-time marriage during their retirement years. Because divorce can have major impacts on a number of areas of a person's life, it is important to consider those possible impacts, especially when it comes to finances.

Finances during retirement differ greatly than when individuals are still working and generating a regular income. Because most retirees live on a fixed income, divorce could throw financial affairs off track for individuals who end their marriage during this time in their lives. If this event is taking place, individuals would be wise to look into their Social Security payments and other retirement benefits to determine how they may be affected.

Parents often have questions about child support

Getting a divorce is a complicated endeavor. For Washington parents, the ordeal can be even more trying because decisions regarding child custody and child support will need to be made. If the details of the custody arrangements mean that support is necessary, the noncustodial parent may have many questions.

First, it is common for parents to wonder how long they will need to pay child support. Typically, payments are no longer required as soon as the child reaches the legal adult age. However, if a child has special needs, the court may require support payments to continue even after the child is no longer a minor. Additionally, if a child becomes an active-duty military member, child support is no longer necessary. Other scenarios that could bring an end to support payments include a stepparent adopting the child and terminating the paying parent's parental rights or the child becoming emancipated.

Are field sobriety tests part of the implied consent laws?

Whether a Washington resident stopped to have a drink with friends, co-workers or family, or had a drink with dinner, as he or she drove home the lights of a police car appeared in the rear view mirror. Once pulled over, the officer suspected impairment and asked the driver to step out of the vehicle. What the driver does next could help steer the course of any potential DUI charge he or she may face. Should the driver participate in field sobriety tests if the officer asks?

Many Washington residents believe they must participate in these tests due to implied consent laws. When drivers get their licenses, they agree to submit to a blood or breath test if arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. However, drivers are not obligated to participate in field sobriety tests, such as the one-leg stand test, the walk-and-turn test or the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Police administer these tests in order to build probable cause for an arrest. Submitting to them only helps the officers -- not the drivers.

Military parents need a family care plan as part of a divorce

Military families share a great deal with civilian families, but they also have unique issues to deal with, such as deployments, reassignments, training and more. Military life can put quite a strain on a family, and some marriages do not last. When a couple goes through a military divorce, they also have unique issues to address, even when it comes to child custody.

Military service members who become newly single parents must create and submit a family care plan to their commanding officers for approval. The plan must provide instructions and provisions for the care of a service members’ children should they be deployed. The short-term and long-term caregivers cannot be military members, so they may be unfamiliar with how military life works.

Remaining civil during divorce could help cases move forward

A lot of work goes into building a marriage. Just as much work, if not more, can also go into ending one. Though many Washington residents would likely rather avoid having to go through divorce, it is a common occurrence. If individuals want to have a relatively smooth process, they may want to work on their civility.

It can certainly be trying to remain civil with someone who a person may have had numerous arguments with, especially if the arguments contributed to the divorce. Still, it is often worth the effort to remain as civil as possible throughout the case. If individuals decide to create conflict at every turn, the case can become more stressful, take more time to complete and cost more money.

Unmarried fathers must establish paternity for parental rights

Not every Washington couple who has a child is married. If you are like many other unmarried fathers across the country, either you decided not to marry the mother of your child or she decided not to marry you. During your relationship, you may not have considered this a problem, but now that it has ended, you find yourself without the parental rights you thought you had.

Just because you never married does not mean that you forfeit your rights as a biological parent. You can still obtain those rights, but you will need to establish paternity first. Before doing so, it may help you to understand the basics of how the state protects unwed fathers.

Critical tips to protect your finances in divorce

Financial issues are one of the most common reasons that couples pursue a divorce nowadays. Whether they face significant financial struggles during marriage or frequently argue about spending money, there is no doubt that finances can be the root of a lot of stress for individuals.

And it is likely that stress will not end during divorce. The process of divorce can be costly, especially when spouses have to divide their financial assets. However, there are ways that divorcing spouses can prepare and protect their finances:

Surprising statistic about car accidents and war

With a significant active military and veteran presence in Puyallup, surrounding areas and across Washington, it makes sense that many of our regular readers have extensive knowledge of our nation’s defense history. Even the most knowledgeable military scholars might be surprised, however, to learn that since 2000, more Americans have been killed in motor vehicle crashes than all of the Americans who died in World War I and World War II combined.

The numbers are jarring: 535,000 members of the U.S. military died in the world wars, while more than 624,000 people died in car crashes. Another 30 million injuries were sustained in those wrecks since 2000.

A strong parenting plan benefits the whole family

When Washington parents divorce, children face the possibility of suffering emotional stress and experiencing difficulties as they try to navigate this time of transition. As a parent, you understand the importance of helping your kids during this time and making decisions that will spare them as much trauma and difficulty as possible. One way you can do this is with a strong and thoughtful parenting plan.

A parenting plan is something that two parents will work on together. If you opt to craft a parenting plan out of court, you will be able to make plans that suit the unique needs of your children. If you think it may be possible to work with your spouse to reach an out-of-court solution regarding parenting time schedules and other custody-related issues, you may want to learn more about what makes a strong parenting plan.

Understanding how commingled assets work in marriage and divorce

Commingling everything has long been the American model of marriage. When a couple gets married, they share a house, cars, and bank accounts. The complete commingling model is often done for practical reasons as well as symbolic ones.

But part of that model may be changing. Millennials are increasingly choosing not to share bank accounts after marriage. According to a national survey, 28 percent of married millennials have chosen to keep separate bank accounts after tying the knot. One of the reasons for this trend is that many millennials were children or divorce. As such, they want to maintain some financial independence in case their marriages also end in divorce.

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