Divorce Lawyer in Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver Divorce attorney

Washington Family Law Attorney
The Martin Law Firm, P.C. | Divorce, Child Custody & Visitation, Spousal and Child Support, Domestic Violence

The Martin Law Firm, P.C., attorneys at law, represent clients in most areas of family law in Southwest Washington including, but not limited to, divorce involving simple and complex assets, child custody, child visitation, spousal support (alimony), child support, and domestic violence.

The Process

Clients often have questions about the procedure involved in starting a family law case in Washington. The first step is to meet with a lawyer to obtain competent legal advice. It is helpful for the client to come to the first meeting with the lawyer with fact-specific questions about his or her case. All cases are different, and clients are strongly cautioned not to compare his or her case with that of a friend or family member as the results of a particular case vary greatly depending on the unique facts of the case. It is also extremely important for the client to divulge all facts of the case, even those that are embarrassing or difficult to discuss, so that the lawyer can properly advise the client.

Filing A Case In Washington

Most Washington family law cases require one of the parties to file a summons and petition with the court to get the case moving forward. For example, if you are filing for divorce or legal separation, the court requires that a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Petition for Legal Separation be filed to start the cause of action. Washington courts have created mandatory forms for each type of family law case which can then be edited and formatted to fit the specific facts of the case. Filing a case in Washington requires the petitioning party to pay a filing fee. That fee varies depending on the county in which the case is filed and the type of case that is filed.

Serving The Opposing Party

Once the family law case is filed with the court, the next step is to have the opposing party personally served with the legal pleadings that were filed with the court. This may be accomplished either by having a process server serve the opposing party at the location the client indicates is the most likely place to find the opposing party, or the opposing party may choose to voluntarily accept service of the legal pleadings. Once service of the summons and petition has been completed, the opposing party has 20 days to respond if served in the state of Washington, 60 days if served outside of the state of Washington. There are other methods to accomplish service on the opposing party if personal service cannot be accomplished. You should consult a lawyer if you have concerns or questions about alternative forms of service.

Temporary Orders

In a divorce or legal separation lawsuit in Washington, and some other types of family law matters, the parties may ask the court to grant him/her a temporary order while the divorce action is pending. Often times, one or both of the parties will require financial support, temporary use of the family home and personal property while their divorce or legal separation is pending. Your lawyer can file a motion for temporary orders with the court requesting temporary relief such as child support, spousal support (alimony), use of the family home, use of personal property, a restraining order against encumbering or dissipating assets, dividing debts, and if necessary, a domestic violence restraining order.

Washington Is A Community Property State

Washington is a community property state. This means that all property acquired during the marriage, including earnings from employment is presumed to be community property and is subject to just and equitable division by the court if your case goes to trial. Many cases involve assets acquired prior to marriage. It is presumed by Washington courts that those assets are the separate property of the spouse who owns then property unless somehow the asset was commingled with community property and cannot be traced back to the separate property source, or the spouse owning the property gifted or conveyed the property to the community.

Vancouver, WA Divorce Lawyer

Washington Family Law Attorney Lisa E. Martin represents clients in Clark County, Washington including the cities of Vancouver, Camas, Ridgefield, Battle Ground and Washougal. To set up an appointment to speak with Ms. Martin, please call 503-220-1620.

Contact Us

The Martin Law Firm, P.C.
One SW Columbia Street
Suite 1685
Portland, OR 97258
[T] 503-220-1620
[F] 503-220-1622
[E] E-mail

Schedule An Appointment

To set up an appointment to meet with Washington family law attorney Lisa E. Martin, please call 503-220-1620.

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