Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Quick Tutorial on Our Legal System.

In case you did not know, the legal system in forty-nine of the American states was inherited from the English.  (Louisiana follows the French legal system.)  In medieval times things were simple across the pond.  The King owned everything and the laws protected royalty over the commoners.  Commoners were called “vassals” and essentially had no rights.  Enter the Church of England.  Following its creation, courts were created to resolve disputes that the King did not have time for. The ecclesiastical courts followed a different set of rules; designed to bestow fairness and equity rather than to protect the property rights of the nobility. 

When America’s court system came into existence, the courts looked to English common law to establish precedents, integrating both rules of law and rules of equity.  Some English laws were codified into statutes.  What does any of this have to do with Washington’s Marriage Dissolution Act?  This is an area where law and equity overlap.  In the Evergreen State we have a 90-day waiting period before a dissolution may be finalized. That is a rule of law.  On the other hand, the Act provides that the community and separate property of the parties is to be divided fairly and equitably.

In a system where black-letter law does not spell out how financial issues are to be resolved, a qualified Washington dissolution of marriage attorney is a must to represent you properly.  That person in Bellevue is Lyle Clark.  Attorney Clark has been a Seattle area family lawyer for nearly 4 decades.  For professional advice on all family law matters call Lyle today at (425) 452-3092.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Subject of Maintenance (Alimony) in Washington State.

This area of divorce is one of the most interesting and malleable as it affects every couple in a different way.  Years ago, a Washington judge by the name of Robert Winsor defined three separate categories of marriages.  They are short term (7 years or less), mid-term, and long-term (25 to 30 years or longer, depending on the ages of the parties).  His article has been cited in appellate court decisions, and it has become a benchmark in determining alimony or “maintenance” within the state.

The most difficult of these to determine is the mid-term marriage of say, 8 to 25 years.  There are so many variables, not the least of which is good old Uncle Sam.  You see, the person receiving the maintenance (alimony) must pay taxes on that amount while the one providing it may deduct it from their income tax return.  Now, there’s something to consider!

The subject of alimony or maintenance in the state of Washington needs to be discussed and handled by someone who has had decades of experience in dealing with it.  In Bellevue, WA may we recommend that you seek the council of Washington state divorce lawyer Lyle Clark.  Discover more about all of your options regarding maintenance by calling Attorney Clark at his office at (425) 452-3092.