Archive for divorce

6 Reasons Why You Need a Family Law Attorney In 2023

When it comes to matters of family law, it’s important to have the guidance and representation of an experienced attorney. With the ever-changing legal landscape, it’s more important than ever to have an attorney who is up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations. In this article, we’ll cover six reasons why you need to invest as soon as possible.


An attorney can help navigate the legal process of a divorce and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the proceedings. With the possibility of virtual hearings and mediations, it’s important to have an attorney who is well-versed in navigating these new processes.

Child custody and support

Determining child custody arrangements and negotiating child support agreements are tricky due to several inherent nuances in place. A seasoned attorney can help advocate for your rights as a parent and make sure that the best interests of the child are taken into account.

Property division

In a divorce, it’s important to divide property and assets fairly. A family law attorney can help ensure that your property and assets are divided equitably and that you receive your fair share. Protecting your financial future will be key to safeguarding your mental well-being during this often taxing time.


Family law attorneys can help guide couples through the legal process of adopting a child and make sure that everything is done correctly. With ever-changing laws and regulations, it’s important to have an attorney who is well-versed in the latest adoption laws and procedures.


With advancements in DNA testing, it’s important to have an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area and can ensure that your rights are protected. This is increasingly more important in the areas of child custody and support, where paternity tests are often a deciding factor of the results in many cases.

Domestic violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence, a family law attorney can help you obtain a restraining order and take other legal steps to protect yourself and your children. It is important to have an attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and ensure your safety.

Family law matters can be emotionally charged and complex, which is why it’s crucial to someone experienced on your end. A family will help you figure out your rights and options while advocating for your best interests throughout the legal process. The legal landscape is constantly changing. That means it’s more important than ever to have an attorney who is up-to-date on the latest nuances within the different rules and regulations.

Valuing Real Estate in Washington State Divorces

Washington State’s divorce laws require that the trial court justly and equitably distribute the spouses’ property and liabilities, whether community or separate.  That property will include real estate, which must be valued to figure into a just and equitable distribution of property.  The parties will not be likely to agree on the worth of the property.  The party that wants the asset wants it to be worth virtually nothing, while the party giving it up wants it to be worth the universe.

So, the court must determine how to reach a fair valuation.  The court must award each party an asset of roughly equal value each time it makes a distribution.  It can only do this if it can determine the value of those assets.

In Washington, the value of property is a question of fact.  This status means that the trial court’s asset valuations will be affirmed so long as they are based on the evidence presented in the case.  Generally, a challenger will review the record to determine whether substantial evidence exists to support the court’s valuation of a particular asset, reviewing it in the light most favorable to the party in whose favor the findings were entered.  Substantial evidence is sufficient to persuade a fair-minded person.

The most common valuation used in divorce is “fair market value” (FMV).  FMV, in Washington State, is the amount of money a willing but not obligated purchaser would pay an owner willing but not obligated to sell, considering all uses for the property.  In other words, FMV is the price objective persons in the marketplace would agree upon for a given asset.

However, the court is not locked into using FMV.  Deciding value is at the court’s discretion and is usually set at the price for which a spouse could sell the asset.

If the disputed asset has significant value and the parties are widely apart in their respective valuables, a joint appraisal may be obtained, with either party entitled to a second opinion if dissatisfied.  Accredited appraisers may be the best option, especially with real estate.

In the end, the valuation must be supported by evidence and, hopefully, by an appraisal.  This objectivity will be helpful in the emotional context of a divorce.