Ending a marriage is a unique, life changing event because it touches every aspect of your life: your children, finances, work, property, relationships, retirement, etc. When you are a party to a divorce action, you place important decisions in the hands of the court. While the courts are experienced with making these decisions, because there is so much at stake, it is pivotal that you have experienced representation on your side to make sure your story is conveyed to the courts accurately, and in the best possible light.
The dissolution process can often be a test of endurance and patience. In Washington, even if you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, it will take at least 90 days to complete. Where the case is contested, it will take much longer to complete and the process becomes much more complex. When choosing Arwood & Blum, PLLC, you are ensuring that you will have an experienced attorney by your side throughout the process. We will advise you both inside and outside of the courtroom, to give you the best chance for success.
Our primary goal is to ensure that you are happy with our representation and with your results.
Custody & Visitation Disputes
Unmarried parents often have different ideas about what is best for their child. When you are unable to agree on issues relating to custody, only the best representation will do.
We represent parents in all phases of custody disputes, including:
- Genetic Testing
- Emergency Custody Orders
- Temporary Parenting Plans
- Decision Making Disputes
- Petition for Parenting Plan
- De Facto Parentage Actions
- NonParental Custody Actions
- Parenting Plan Modifications
Child Support Disputes
At Arwood & Blum, PLLC, we offer services to address all issues surrounding child support disputes, including:
- Petitions for Child Support
- Motions for Temporary Child Support
- Assisting Clients Track Down Hidden Income/Assets of Spouse
- Petitions for Modification of Support (increases and decreases of support)
- Petitions for Post-Secondary Education Support (support for college)
- Petitions for Support for Children with Special Needs
Our attorneys are experienced in a variety of different adoption processes and the unique issues that each presents, including:
- International adoption
- Private adoption
- Grandparent adoption
- Same sex couple adoption
- Family adoption
- Stepparent adoption
Pre-Nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements
Most people do not want to think about the legal consequences of their marriage during the planning stages, but if you have pre-marital assets, executing a pre-nuptial agreement can be a relatively simple way to save time and expense if your marriage subsequently fails. No one expects for their marriage to fail going into it, but many clients who end up getting divorced wish that they would have taken this step prior to getting married. At Arwood & Blum, PLLC, we perform both drafting services, and represent non-drafting spouses to help determine whether the agreement is fair.
Same Sex Marriages
Washington passed a law in 2012 which legalizes same sex marriages. The law creates a number of unique issues for same sex couples, as well as questions for the future of the law. If you are considering marrying in Washington, or are currently in a domestic partnership and have questions about the new law, it may be beneficial for you to schedule an appointment with a qualified attorney so that you fully understand what this law means to you.
Collaborative law is becoming an increasingly popular selection for separating spouses because of the unique benefits that it provides. In a Collaborative family law case, you and your spouse/other party, will agree not to litigate any issues in Court. By selecting the collaborative law process, you are taking the difficult decisions out of the court’s hands, and take control of the process for yourself by working with your spouse in the Collaborative process. Unlike a contested divorce, you will work together with your spouse to come up with solutions to your legal problems, after receiving advice from our experienced team. For spouses with children, you avoid exposing your child to an extended and adversarial court process.
Unmarried Couples & State Registered Domestic Partners
Our offices handle all matters relating to legal rights of unmarried couples, as well as the rights of state registered partnerships. For separating unmarried couples, having experienced legal counsel can be just as important as important, if not more important than when experiencing a divorce. This is because unlike Washington divorce, the law for unmarried couples is largely not based upon statute. If you are unable to resolve your legal issues outside of court, you will need to file a “civil complaint” seeking relief, as opposed to filling out one of the mandatory forms. Understanding the rights of unmarried couples requires a careful understanding of the case law, and an ability to make creative arguments to protect your rights.
For domestic partnerships, the law is ever-changing, with steady reform continuing since state registered domestic partnerships were adopted in Washington in 2007. While the goal of the domestic relations statute is to offer the same rights and benefits of a married couple, there are unique legal issues that may arise during the pendency of your case.
Contempt of Court & Collection of Support
It can be a great feeling when you obtain a final judgment in your case, but what happens when the other side refuses to follow the Court’s orders. Obtaining a judgment can be the first step in obtaining your desired results, but if you are dealing with an uncooperative party, it may not be your last. When you have problems getting results from your judgment, do not hesitate to contact us for help. We will aggressively pursue enforcement of your court order, so that the other party will think twice before violating the order again.
Many clients associate restraining orders with criminal behavior. However, Washington offers a number of methods to request restraints from unwanted contact when there is no criminal case pending. At Arwood & Blum, PLLC, we offer representation for those pursuing restraining/protective orders, and for those who are seeking a defense against such a request. Those requests include:
- Domestic Violence Protective Orders: Where a party is seeking a protective order based upon a history of domestic violence, and no criminal case is currently pending.
- Anti-Harassment Orders: Where a party is in need of relief due to contact that has no lawful purpose.
- Vulnerable Adult Protective Orders: Protection of vulnerable and elderly adults.