Washington is a community property state in which all assets accumulated by the couple during their marriage considered to be owned equally by each partner, and subject to property division in the event of a divorce. This community property concept also applies to debts. One of the frequently asked questions for family law attorneys involves gifts that the spouses gave each other during the marriage.
Once the divorce is final, and a child support order is issued, it is far from over because children will tie parents together for quite a few years and perhaps the rest of their lives. Divorced parents in Washington know that life goes on and circumstances change. Job losses, illnesses, remarrying and the increasing needs of children as they grow older may create the need for modified child support orders. Fortunately, the family law court understands this, and parents with documents to substantiate claims of changed circumstances may file petitions for modifications.
Anyone in Washington who is concerned about the welfare, health or safety of a child can report it to Child Protective Services. As soon as such a report is filed, family law requires CPS to investigate the circumstances in the home where the child lives. If CPS finds any reason to suspect that harm may come to the child, it will evaluate the situation to determine whether there is a viable option to improve the child's safety.
When marriages end in Washington, couples who have children usually have a lot to learn. Many myths exist about child support, child custody and other family law matters. Rather than relying on information obtained from the internet or friends and family, it might be smarter to get answers from experienced legal counsel.
Divorce in Washington does not remove the responsibility of a parent to support his or her child. Family law requires even a noncustodial parent who relocates and has limited contact with the child to share the support until the emancipation of the child. Fortunately, most parents want what is in the best interest of their children when marriages end.