Idaho & Washington Divorce
Divorce can be a stressful and difficult, and people often feel confused, angry or hurt when facing issues such as:
- Child Custody
- Property Valuation
- Property Division
- Child Support
- Spousal Support (Alimony)
It is important to have Mosman Law Offices on your side so we can help you deal with these issues in an effective, efficient, and dignified manner. We work with our clients to come to a fair and respectful settlement with their former spouse. If that fails and your case goes to trial, you can be assured that our attorneys will aggressively represent your interests in court.
Hiring a skilled, experienced attorney ensures that someone is looking out for your interests, at a time when you are under a great deal of stress. We can walk you through the process, discuss expectations, and provide recommended options. We can help you plan for the future of your family during a time of transition.
We can help you “keep the temperature turned down” even as the situation heats up. We’ll work with you to achieve understanding when possible, or to be firm but fair when necessary.
Every family is different, and every custody case is different. There is no formula to follow to guarantee being awarded custody. Generally, courts favor a schedule in which children spend meaningful time with each parent. How the best interests of your children are met will depend upon the facts and circumstances of your case.
Courts, in establishing custody and parenting schedules, determine what is in the “best interests of the children.” Idaho Code Section 32-717. In making that determination, judges will consider all relevant factors, which can include:
(a) The wishes of the parents;(b) The wishes of the child;
(c) The relationships of the child with each parent, and with siblings;
(d) The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
(e) The character and circumstances of all individuals involved;
(f) The need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; and
(g) Domestic violence, whether or not in the presence of the child.
See Idaho Code Section 32-717
In Washington, establishing custody and schedules is known as a “parenting plan”. In any action between parents regarding the placement of children “…the best interests of the child shall be the standard by which the court determines and allocates the parties’ parental responsibilities.” RCW 26.09.002. In adhering to that standard, judges seek to:
(a) Provide for the child’s physical care;(b) Maintain the child’s emotional stability;
(c) Provide for the child’s changing needs as the child grows and matures, in a way that minimizes the need for future modifications to the permanent parenting plan;
(d) Set forth the authority and responsibilities of each parent with respect to the child;
(e) Minimize the child’s exposure to harmful parental conflict;
(f) Encourage the parents to meet their responsibilities to their minor children through agreements in the permanent parenting plan, rather than by relying on judicial intervention; and
(g) To otherwise protect the best interests of the child.
See RCW 26.09.184
In determining the residential schedule most consistent with a child’s best interests, judges will look to the following factors:
(i) The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent;(ii) The agreements of the parties;
(iii) Each parent’s performance of parenting functions, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting functions relating to the daily needs of the child;
(iv) The emotional needs and developmental level of the child;
(v) The child’s relationship with siblings and with other significant adults, as well as the child’s involvement with his or her physical surroundings, school, or other significant activities;
(vi) The wishes of the parents and the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his or her residential schedule; and
(vii) Each parent’s employment schedule, and shall make accommodations consistent with those schedules.
See RCW 26.09.187.
Assets and debts are divided “equitably.” Equitable division of assets does not necessarily mean 50/50, but rather means the court will look at a number of factors, which may include how and when the assets were obtained, how the asset is titled, the financial positions of the parties, etc. Assets include retirement accounts, bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and heirlooms.
In making its decision as to the distribution of property and liabilities, the court must consider the following statutory factors:
(a) The nature and extent of the community property;
(b) The nature and extent of the separate property;
(c) The duration of the marriage; and
(d) The economic circumstances of each spouse or domestic partner at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to a spouse or domestic partner with whom the children reside the majority of the time.
We work with you to document assets and debts, and provide options for how an equitable distribution might be achieved.
Support in both Washington and Idaho is based upon guidelines, economic tables, and worksheets unique to each state. Child support is determined based upon factors which include each parents’ income; the number of overnights each parent has with the minor child; which parent is paying for health insurance; the age of the child; and whether there are other children in the home who are not the offspring of the divorcing parents. In some instances, support orders can deviate from the “standard” calculation. But courts will start an analysis with the support amount called for by the standard tables or worksheets. Our attorneys and staff can ensure that you receive or pay child support which is fair and just under the unique circumstances of your case.
We can help protect your rights under the law.