Community Property/Family Law
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Requirement for decress of dissolution?
No-fault state and only assertion is a marriage is "irretrievably broken" required.
90 days period between filing of petition and dissolution decree.
Either party may petition the court for temporary relief, including a temporary parenting place, maintence, parment of debts, or temporary restraining orders.
No common law marraige.
Committed intimate relationship: stable relationship, as evidenced by contiuous cohaitation, duration of the relationship, purpose of the relationship, pooling or resources and services for mutual benefit, and intent of the parties.
Court will evaluate the interest of each party in the property acquired and make a just and equitable distribution.
Venue - Dissolution
Either county where a party resides.
Different counties, and dispute? consider which county has primary residence and in which county the children reside.
- Valid if:
- (1) Made in good faith
- (2) fair dealing
- (3) full disclosure of material facts
- (4) given the opportunity to obtain indepdent advice.
Character of Property - Real Property
Puchased prioer to a marraige = seperate property
Improvements may create an interest in the community. Will be offset by a benefit to the non-owning party. (e.g. the rental value of residing in the property)
May be prorated based on the portion purchased with inheritance versus potion purchased or secured by both parties.
Character of Property - Inheritance/Gifts
Considered seperate property, even if recieved during marraige (unless given to both)
Character of Property - Personal Injury Damages Recieved
Pain and suffering is seperate property
Special damages are community assets. If funds are comingled, they may all become community property unless seperate property portion attributable to pain and suffering can be traced.
Character of Property - Professional Practice
Expert witness will be used. Goodwill and the value accumulated over the course of the marriage will be considered.
Character of Property - Debts
Incurred during marraige - presumed community debts done in furtherance of the community benefit
Marriage Defunct? may determine debts after a point in time are seperate obligations
Rights of the third party based on the evidence available regarding the status of the marriage.
Change of Character - Seperate to community
May agree to change; changed by gifitng (donative intent and delivery must be established)
Division of property in decree of dissolution
All property, both seperate and community, will be brough before the court to be divided in a just and equitable manner.
- The court will consider the
- (1) chracter of the property,
- (2) the length of the marriage or partnership,
- (3) and the economic circumstances of each party
Community Property not included in final decree?
Owned between parties as tenants in common which results in an undivided one-half interest in each
Payment of Maintenence
Based on a standard of what is considered "just" in light of need of one spouse or partner an the ability to pay of the other.
- Will be set without regard to misconduct. THat court may consider:
- (1) reasources
- (2) standard of living
- (3) duration of marraige
- (4) age
- (5) physical and emotional conditions
- (6) employability
May set "rehabilitative maintenance" for a period of time sufficient to allow the recieving party to become employed.
Parenting Plan - How determined
Based on the "best interest of the child"
- Include the following:
- (1) dispute resolution process
- (2) allocation of decision making authority
- (3) residential schedule
- (4) designation of custodial parent pursuant to federal req'ments
- (5) any applicable limitations on contact.
Paternity - Establishment
Governed by uniform parentage act.
Presumption of paternity for child born during marriage or within 300 days after termination of marriage.
Genetic testing may also be used to establish paternity.
Once established, the rules concerning child support and parenting plans apply.
Limitations on contact
Visitation/contact: based on best interests of the child
Discretionary or mandatory limitation on contact may be required depending on the severity of damage to the child
Rights of visitation for a nonparent
Custody with biological parent favored unless parent is determined to be unfit.
Non parent may petition court for visitation rights only as part of an ongoing legal action between the parents, but not as an independent action for visitation.
Petitioner must also show a significant relationship with the child.
Removal of child from state of Washington
Has power to entered a restraining order that prevents rumoval of child from state's jurisdiction while an action is pending. A parent may not relocate without proper notice to the other parent, providing for a hearing on the basis for the move.
Child Support - Basic Rule
Statutory scheme: mandatory child support schedule basedo n ages of children and income.
May be imputed income if voluntarily underemployed.
Must be followed unless alloweable reasons for deviation.
Child Support - Past majority of the age
May be ordered for purpose of paying higher education if the circumstances warrant such continuing payments. May be approriate bassed on level of education of parents and their financial circumstances
Witholding visitation or contact with a child in retaliation for the other party's position in financial matters
May not withold other party's visitation in retaliation to enforce or modify financial obligation. May be held in contempt.
Modify Parenting Plan
Favors retaining existing parenting plan.
A substnatial change in circumstances must be asserted by the moving party setting forth "adequate cause" that the care of the child or children is more harmful than the propsed change.
Modifying Child Support
Must have "substantial change in circumstances in fincial status.
Court retains power to find a party in contempt if it is determined that he willfully took steps to avoid child support
Automatic wage asssignment is available.
Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
Determines Child's home state in a dispute.
Where child lived with a parent (or person acting as a parent) for the last six consecutive months immediately before the communcement of a child custody proceedings.
The court has jurisidiction to enter or modify a child custody order if the state is the child's home state (or was the child's home state within the past six months and the child is absent from the state, but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in the state)
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