Gregg E. Bradshaw, LLC

Puyallup Family Law Blog

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.

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.

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