Gregg E. Bradshaw, LLC

Puyallup Family Law Blog

The strain of the holidays can lead to divorce filings

Most Washington residents want the holiday season to be one of fun and festivities. However, for many, it can be a time of stress and strain instead. Commonly, married couples who feel the strain of the holiday season may also feel that the time has come to end their marriages. As a result, January often sees a peak in divorce filings.

The last straw for a marriage can come in many forms. Some people may reach a point where they just do not feel that they could go through another holiday season like the one they just finished with their spouse. As a result, they may begin looking into their divorce options in hopes of finding answers to how to have a fresh start.

The holiday DUI crackdown: What drivers should know

We'll let the words of Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney speak for themselves here. "Holiday parties are in full swing," he tweeted. "So are DUI emphasis patrols."

Yes, we're in that time of year where the state patrol and local law enforcement agencies around the state are cracking down on people suspected of driving under the influence (DUI). From now until Jan. 2, 2020, there will be extra patrols out on the roads, as well as increased scrutiny from law enforcement officers. What does this mean for regular citizens? Potentially, a higher chance of getting pulled over and accused of DUI - whether guilty or not.

Avoid reaching for junk food during divorce

Ending a marriage can take a toll on individuals in more ways than they may expect. Some Washington residents may think that they will not see any negative repercussions because divorce is what they want. However, the process can be more stressful than anticipated, so it is important that parties take care of themselves during this time.

When individuals start to feel stressed and overwhelmed, it is common for stress-related eating to come into play. Unfortunately, eating junk food can make people feel worse instead of better. As a result, divorcing parties may want to pay attention to what they eat during this time. Rather than reaching for the ice cream or potato chips, it may be smarter to snack on fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods that can actually boost one's mood.

Having the right support is important during divorce

Trying to get through one day at a time is a mantra many people hold when going through something difficult. For some Washington residents, remembering to take matters one day at a time may be especially important when going through divorce. Some days, everything may seem overwhelming, but it is wise to find ways to stay focused on the end results.

For some people, the process of divorce can be so overwhelming that they may need additional support. It is important to maintain one's well-being during any trying time in life, and some people may find that seeking help from a therapist during their divorce could be immensely helpful. Talking about the feelings and issues that are threatening to overwhelm could help keep individuals on track and help them handle the stress of the matter.

Reassurance can help children with new child custody arrangements

Many parents in Washington and across the country go through divorce. They may have various reasons for believing that this step is right for them. Of course, that does not mean that they do not worry about how their children will adjust to child custody arrangements and the major change in general.

Fortunately, parents can do their best to help their kids handle this transition. They may want to start by providing a line of open communication with their children. It is common for kids to have many questions about what is going to happen, and they may also have a number of emotions that they will struggle with. If parents let their children know that they can talk about anything relating to the divorce, it may help the kids feel more at ease.

Beware of distracted drivers on Washington roadways

When you were growing up in Washington or another state, your family might have taken Sunday drives. It was a common custom in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In the decades that followed, traffic became more and more congested, speed limits increased, and other factors made leisure rides feel more like games of roulette, with travelers hoping they would safely reach their destinations. Perhaps, you're one of many throughout the state who navigate a daily commute to and from work.

Some days, you might sigh with relief when your trip into or home from the workplace unfolds in a rather uneventful manner. Other days, you might be glad you arrived unscathed, especially if a distracted driver or reckless person nearly caused a collision. Distracted driving collisions are responsible for many fatalities, which is why it's so important to know how to recognize potential danger on the road and have a plan in mind if a problem arises.

Confusion and uncertainty about deciding to divorce is normal

It is not unusual for people to push unpleasant thoughts or thoughts they think they should be having out of their minds. Still, try as they might, some Washington residents may not be able to get certain ideas out of their heads. For some, the idea could revolve around potentially filing for divorce.

The idea of ending a marriage is one that many people struggle with. It is not unusual for parties to try to ignore the thought for as long as possible because they feel that they should stay married or at least give the relationship more effort. Some people may not even know if they really want a divorce when these thoughts creep into their minds, and that is a perfectly normal scenario to face. Making such a major life change is often filled with uncertainty.

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.

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