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Seattle Family Law Law Blog

Important estate planning considerations amid divorce

Divorcing your one-time partner will undoubtedly have a dramatic effect on many areas of your life, and you may find yourself making some major changes with regard to your living situation, custody arrangements and so on. With everything you have going on, it can prove difficult to devote enough attention to other important matters, such as estate planning, but failing to amend or update your estate plan after a divorce can lead to considerable hardship down the line.

Chances are, your soon-to-be-former spouse has an important role when it comes to your estate plan, and you may no longer want this person having so much power over your affairs once you are no longer romantically involved. Thus, when navigating your way through a divorce, you may want to consider taking the following steps when it comes to updating your estate plan.

3 types of people who can help you through your divorce

Deciding you want to end your marriage is life-changing. Making such a monumental decision that drastically changes your life is inevitably going to lead to some emotional difficulties. While divorcing your spouse may be the best choice overall, it can be a bumpy road at first. 

Creating a supportive group of people to help you and give advice is crucial to having the healthiest mindset possible. Aside from your closest loved ones and financial and legal professionals, it is wise to reach out to a few other individuals and experts to aid you through the process. 

4 tips for dealing with a narcissist during divorce

Divorce is a process that drains even the most upbeat person. The stress of splitting one life into two fair and equal parts is something that takes time, patience and energy.

What happens, however, if your ex has a difficult personality? Those who possess narcissistic tendencies tend to put on a show to the outside world, but behind the scenes often take on a negative and combative attitude. Take a look at these four tips for dealing with a narcissist during your uncoupling.

Divorce and the emotional needs of children

Divorces include a multitude of variables. Parental worry about children can be a common factor in most divorces. A child often feels powerless and fearful when parents decide to dissolve their marriage. Children are unable to reason as well as adults; in fact, young children may react solely on emotion. Some children fear that parents are not only divorcing each other, but they are also divorcing their children.

The entire family experiences stress in a divorce. Parents can learn how to create the least amount of trauma for their children by understanding separation from a child's point of view. Children fear abandonment. A difficult child may feel guilt and self-blame for the family breakup. Each child's reaction will be characteristic of unique personality traits, as well as age-related coping and cognitive skills. Children also take their cues from parental behavior.

Signs your marriage may be heading for divorce

On your wedding day, you may pledge to be with your spouse until death. It may be ideal to stick with your partner through everything, but there could be a time when it is better to let things go. While you may try to work things out or go to therapy at first, if problems continue to arise, your marriage may be in deep trouble.

Each relationship is unique, and the decision to get a divorce is a deeply personal one. However, here are some red flags your marriage may be coming to an end. 

What is the purpose of a living will?

Almost everyone knows what a will is and why it is necessary. Despite this knowledge, many people still do not have one. A Gallup poll in 2016 revealed that less than half of Americans have created a will.

Even fewer people know what a living will is or have ever heard of it. If you are in this group, it is imperative that you become familiar with the purpose of a living will and include it in your estate plans to ensure the fulfillment of your wishes.

How to modify a custody agreement

The custody order in your divorce may not make sense forever. While your parenting plan or custody arrangement may work at the start, you may find it is inconvenient or even harmful for your kids. If this is the case in your situation, you may want to make changes to the existing order.

In order to modify a custody or visitation agreement, you must show there is a significant change in circumstances. Here is a basic overview of custody modifications in Washington state.

Are you considering who to name as executor in your will?

Perhaps you are about to prepare your will, or you need to update the will you created over a decade ago. One of your first tasks is to name, or possibly rename, your executor.

This is an important decision, and there may be several potential candidates for the job.

How does an unwed parent fight for custody?

If you have had a child with a partner that you are not married to, you may wonder how your parental rights differ from those of a married parent. Even if you are not married to the parent of your child, you have rights that courts have to honor, including a right to fight for custody. There are a few things every unwed parent should understand about the process of petitioning for custody.

A married parent does not necessarily have any rights that an unwed parent cannot gain, but you may have to advocate for yourself and your child. Consider the following tips for gaining custody, even if you are not married to your child's parent.

How community property laws affect your divorce

If you are facing a divorce, one of the primary concerns you will be dealing with is that of property and asset division. Most married couples have accumulated at least some property and assets during their marriage, such as a house, vehicles, and possibly some other major possessions such as a boat or vacation home. 

Regardless of how much property you have accumulated during your married life, there will be a specific format that you will have to adhere to in terms of dividing your property and assets when you go through your divorce. How that process works depends on the state in which your divorce occurs.


Mark A. Brown, P.S.
1325 4th Avenue, Suite 940
Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: 206-686-4466
Fax: 206-515-2084
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