- Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson
- Family Law
The city of Tacoma can be found in Pierce County, Washington in eastern region of the state. The area serves as the center of business activity for the South Sound region and currently holds the title of third-largest city in the state. The economic boom has attracted a lot of families to the area, which also means family law disputes are common for Tacoma residents.
Handling a legal family dispute whether it’s a divorce, support modification, or another matter, can be incredibly stressful. It can feel like a never-ending battle trying to fight for your family and interests. That is why if you are contemplating divorce or need support in a matter related to family law, we highly encourage you to contact an experienced Tacoma attorney like the legal team at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson.
Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson is dedicated to providing exception family law representation to our clients. We are passionate about family law and helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Whether it’s a highly contentious divorce or a simple prenuptial agreement, the attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson are prepared to help you in every way we can.
Family Law Attorney Tacoma, Washington
If you’re looking to file for divorce or handle another family law matter, contact Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson. Shana Thompson and her legal team have collectively decades of family law experience that they can utilize for your case. From the initial consultation through the final resolution of the case, the Tacoma divorce and family law attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson have your back. Get started on a better and brighter future by calling the Tacoma family law lawyers at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson.
Contact the Tacoma divorce lawyers at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson by calling us at (206) 712-2756. Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson accepts clients throughout the greater Tacoma area including Federal Way, Vashon Island, Kent, and Renton. We also accept clients in all areas of King County and Snohomish County.
- What Type of Issues Are Dealt With in Family Law?
- How to File for Divorce in Tacoma, WA?
- Tacoma Washington Family Court Resources
- Divorce Resources for Tacoma, WA
What Types of Issues Are Dealt with in Family Law?
Family law is legal practice area that focuses exclusively on family relationships including divorce, child custody, adoption, among other matters. Often these disputes are handled outside of court, but both parties will still likely hire lawyers to negotiate the terms. Some family law cases, however, will go to trial such as a highly contentious divorce.
The following are some common family law cases our firm sees in Tacoma, Washington.
- Dissolution of Marriage – Although you never intended to happen, relationships end and sometimes that may mean seeking out a divorce. Washington is a “no fault” state, meaning that any married couple can divorce at any time and they don’t need any grounds to file the divorce on other than the marriage is broken beyond repair. During divorce proceedings, both parties will make decisions on how the assets will be divided, debt allocated, what is personal and community property, and how the children will be parented post-divorce.
- Modifications – Depending on the circumstances of the marriage, one party during a divorce may be granted either child or spousal support. The state of Washington allows residents to modify these orders if the paying party has experienced a substantial change in circumstances such as a loss in income. According to Washington family law statutes, support orders are due for modification every two years.
- Restraining Orders – Restraining orders are usually in context to pending divorce proceedings or another type of family law matter. One party will file the restraining order to limit the other party in some way while they wait for proceedings to end. For example, a restraining order may be filed during a divorce to ensure both parties follow a parenting plan while they wait for the divorce to be finalized.
- Protective Orders – Protective orders are often confused with restraining orders, but both legal processes are used for different situations. Protection orders provide relief to those facing physical, emotional, or mental abuse from their partner or family member. The order prohibits the respondent from being near the petitioner or their family, and if the order is violated it will be enforced by police. Whether you’re filing for a protective order or you’ve recently had one filed against you, it’s highly recommended you secure an experienced Tacoma protective order lawyer as soon as possible.
- Contempt Motions - Violation of a civil court order can result in a contempt order. So, if you violate a court-order regarding your divorce or other family law matter, you could find yourself in handcuffs. The court will determine if you’re in contempt by scheduling a hearing. At the hearing, you can provide evidence and argue why the contempt motion is not necessary. If the judge does find you in contempt of court, then you could face an expensive fine and even time in jail.
- Paternity - For most, paternity is established at the hospital. When the father isn’t present at the birth, paternity can be established later through the court system. A person can file for paternity rights or attempt to establish paternity by undergoing an DNA test. The court will grant paternity rights if the test indicates the person is in fact the father of the child.
- Unmarried Couple Disputes – Washington doesn’t only recognize married couples when it comes to dissolution. Depending on the circumstances of the relationship, some unmarried couples can be legally entitled to certain assets acquired by the couple over time. An experienced domestic partnership attorney can assist you with your unmarried couple dispute.
How to File for Divorce in Tacoma, WA?
Since Washington is a “no fault” state, you can file for divorce from your spouse at any time on the grounds the marriage is irreparable, and reconciliation is not possible. To get started, you’ll need to collect and fill out all the necessary paperwork to start proceedings. Some of these forms include the actual petition for divorce, a parenting plan, and WSCSS worksheets.
- File Divorce Forms with Your County Clerk -- You’ll have to file these forms with the Pierce County clerk and we advise you make multiple copies so you can serve your ex-spouse. The filing will require a fee of around $200, and if you genuinely can’t afford the fee you can waive it. It’s important to note though you must meet certain income criteria to be able to waive your fee.
- Serve Your Ex-Spouse with Divorce Papers – The next step is to actually serve your ex-spouse with the papers. If you and your ex-spouse have already discussed divorce, this shouldn’t be a surprise. However, if the split was contentious you may want to hire a process server or find someone to assist you serving your spouse.
- If Your Divorce is Uncontested – Most couples have discussed divorce before they pursue it. You may already have an understanding with your ex-spouse of how assets should be divided, parenting plans, etc. If you and your spouse are in agreement about how to resolve ALL divorce-related issues, then the divorce is considered uncontested. Meaning all you will have to do is have your spouse sign the papers and acknowledge they agree to the divorce settlement. The documents will then be filed with the appropriate court and you’ll have to undergo a waiting period until it’s finalized.
- If Your Divorce is Contested – When you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on various divorce-related issues, it’s considered a contested divorce. You and your ex-spouse will need to reach an agreement before the court can sign off on your divorce. Debt allocation, asset division, spousal support, child support, parenting plans, among other important matters must be resolved to finalize a divorce agreement. So, you will have to negotiate with your ex-spouse on these terms and usually lawyers are involved. In some cases, litigation is the only route, and a court order is required to resolve the issues in the divorce that are too contentious to negotiate on.
Tacoma Washington Family Court Resources
Pierce County Family Court – Visit the official website for Pierce County to take a look at their family court division. Access their site to find important Washington state court forms, a guide on what you need for a family law trial, as well as helpful resources and tools.
Pierce County Clerk’s Office – The Clerk of the Pierce County Superior Court maintains all records filed with the court. Access the site to find questions to frequently asked questions, file a copy of a record online, pay a fee online, download important family law forms you may need, pretrial services, and the rules of the local courts.
Washington Family Law Handbook – Visit the official website of the Washington Courts to learn more about family law and the rules of the court. Access the site to learn about marriage dissolution, child custody, child support, paternity matters, protective orders, restraining orders, and other important family law matters.
Tacoma Washington Divorce Resources
Pierce County Family Law Forms – Paperwork is a large part of family law in Washington. Access the Pierce County site to learn more about the different family law and divorce forms you may need. The site also provides instructions for each form in case you need them as a guide.
Frequently Asked Questions on Divorce – Visit the official website for Pierce County to find answers to frequently asked questions about divorce. Access the stie to learn where you can get dissolution papers, how to get an appointment with a court facilitator, how to pay child support, and other questions you may have.
Top Ten Ways to Protect Your Kids from Divorce – Visit the official website for Mediate, the largest online source for mediators and those looking for mediation in the nation. Access the site to learn more about Dr. Joan Kelly’s top 10 ways to protect your children from a high conflict break up including divorce.
Quick Child Support Estimator – Visit the official website for the Washington Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) to use their tool that can provide a rough estimate of your monthly child support obligation. Please note this is only an estimate and the final child support amount will be based on a variety of factors.
Parenting Seminars Providers in Pierce County – Washington requires divorcing couples with shared minor children to attend a parenting seminar before proceedings finalize. Access the Pierce County site to look at a document listing all available parenting seminar providers in the greater Tacoma and Pierce County area.
Tacoma Divorce Lawyer | Family Law Attorney, Washington
Our attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson assist Tacoma residents with all types of family law matters including divorce, support modifications, paternity issues, and any other family law disputes. Our team has decades of combined experience assisting clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Call us today and we can answer any questions you may have about your divorce or other family law matter.
Set up your first consultation with Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson by calling our offices at (206) 712-2756.