Susan L. Beecher, Attorney for Families and Small Business in Kent, Washington
Family Law
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Family Law Practice

 

* Dissolution of Marriages and Domestic Partnerships

* Parenting Plans

* Child Support Orders

* Property Settlements

* Domestic Violence

* Rights at Termination of Committed, Long Term Relationships

* Maintenance

* Paternity

* Child Relocation

* Adoption

* More…

 

Each family law case is, in some ways, different from any other. Whether you are dissolving your marriage or domestic partnership, working out a parenting plan, or arranging child support, your legal needs during this challenging time of change in your private life will be unique in some respects. Some cases call for aggressive representation. Others require restrained diplomacy. Some cases can be quickly and inexpensively resolved within a matter of months. Other cases must be conducted through the complete legal process from beginning to end. In some cases, the parties are able to take charge of fashioning their own resolution. In others, the parties’ expectations are simply too far apart for any conclusion to be reached without intervention or the courts.

 

In some ways, however, all family law cases have much in common. All will be more satisfactorily resolved if handled by attorneys who listen, and who keep their clients informed. Nearly all will have better outcomes if the clients stay involved. All concern matters that are of great importance to everyone who is touched by the proceedings.

 

Family law is more than just divorce (or “dissolution”, as it is legally termed). Family law also concerns the rights of children in the family to have their needs given a high priority, and the needs of families to have child support orders and parent plans adjusted when appropriate under changing circumstances. Family law also addresses fair and equitable resolution of property disputes. Family law also covers questions of care of the children and division of property for registered domestic partnerships that are dissolving as well as for those who have been in a long term committed and intimate relationship, even if never formalized in any way.

 

Where Family Law and Business Law Meet

 

If your relationship (whether a marriage, a domestic partnership, or a long term, committed and intimate relationship that was never formalized) has included cooperation or investment in a shared business enterprise, you may have property rights that are in addition to those granted in family law statutes and case law. Under Washington statutes and case law concerning partnerships, and concerning registered entities such as corporations and limited liability companies, both parties may have an ownership interest, independent of community property rights, which cannot be taken from either of them without just compensation. If you cannot, or do not plan, to continue working together in the shared business, be sure your attorney is properly prepared to present the law concerning ownership of a business interest to the court.

 

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Unbundled Services – Family Law on a Budget

 

Family law problems do not wait until financial resources are available. In fact, breakup of relationships and the need to change child support or parent plans seem to happen most often when finances are inadequate to meet even day-to-day needs. If you are facing a family law problem, but cannot afford an attorney, consider whether “unbundled services” might provide a solution for you. This alternative is not the right option for everyone, but can provide many families with a way to keep legal costs low.

 

When an attorney agrees to provide you with unbundled services, he or she is agreeing to assist you in a limited way. Most often the attorney will provide you with guidance that will allow you prepare and file your own forms. If you do not want to appear before a judge alone, you and the attorney might also agree that the attorney will appear for you at a particular hearing. You will still need to pay the attorney for his or her time, but costs can be kept much lower through this alternative approach.

Serving the needs of families and small business