When your family is at stake, you need knowledge and experience you can count on.

It may seem as though there is a surplus of divorce lawyers in the Vancouver area, it is important to recognize the difference between a divorce attorney and a family law attorney.  Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeable, divorce law is only one of many issues encompassed by family law.  A divorce attorney may not have the necessary skills or knowledge to represent you in any family law matter other than a divorce, however, a family law attorney can handle divorce litigation as well as any premarital or post martial family law issues. 

Dissolution of Marriage

A dissolution of marriage is a divorce and legally ends the marriage.  In Washington, one or both spouses can file for a dissolution if a marriage falls apart.  The law uses the terms “irretrievably broken” to described a failed marriage.  A marriage is irretrievably broken if one of the spouses says it is.  The other spouse does not have to agree to the dissolution of marriage.  The court will enter orders for parenting time, child support, dividing your property and debts and possibly alimony to you or your spouse.  The state of Washington is a no fault for purposes of dissolution matters as it is intended to help spouses settle matters without unnecessary bitterness or resentment.

If you are thinking of a Dissolution of Marriage, you need to fully understand all the issues in your case.  While Washington is a no fault state, you will still need to decide what to do with your property, custody plan/parenting plan if there are children, divide debts, child support and do you need alimony (maintenance) or will the other party request maintenance. 

Legal Separation

A legal separation means the spouses are separating but not ending their marriage.  It means more than living in separate homes.  One spouse may file a legal action know as a petition for legal separation.  As in a Dissolution, you will need to decide how your property and debts will be divided, you need to determine if you need support/maintenace/alimony or if you must pay such support/alimony.  If you have children, you will need to decide a parenting plan and issues related to child support. 

We understand how difficult it is to go through a divorce or legal separation.  We take pride in the fact we shoulder the burden of the legal aspect so you can use your time to heal emotionally and make plans for the future.  Our office has extensive experience in divorce and all family law matters.