Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S.
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Robert N. Getz

Everett Legal Issues Blog

Filing for divorce from a narcissist?

Narcissism is a personality disorder that more people seem to have now than in years past. A narcissist is someone who, in short, is a selfish bully. He or she can seem charming and loving one minute and then emotionally abusive and cruel the next. Washington residents who are currently in relationships with people who have this mental disorder, and wish to file for divorce, can certainly do so. They just need to be ready to expect a fight.

When a narcissist feels slighted in any way, he or she will hang on to those feelings. These individuals struggle through divorce and may not move on even when their relationships are over. When going through the dissolution process, narcissists are often unwilling to compromise. They are angry, vindictive and will do what they can to limit how much their spouses receive in their divorce settlements -- particularly when it comes to the terms regarding children and finances.

Washington probate: What does an executor do?

Anyone who has been chosen to close out a loved one's estate may feel overwhelmed at the task. Being an executor is not an easy job, especially if it is something one has never done before. This week, this column will discuss the role of the executor in the state of Washington and what a probate law attorney can do to help those in this position.

So, what does an executor do? He or she has the job of closing out an estate. This means that he or she will have to:

  • Locate a will -- if there is one
  • Open a probate case
  • Notify beneficiaries
  • Notify creditors
  • Pay taxes
  • Pay any debts
  • Address any claims made against the estate
  • Distribute assets

Considerations when searching for a mediator in your divorce

Getting a divorce is a major life event. Whether you spent a few years together or a few decades together, it's never easy. If you are about to start this process or are in the beginnings of it, you and your future former spouse may have decided that you don't want to end up in court, especially if you have children.

You think that mediation would be the best route in your case, but you aren't sure. In addition, you aren't sure how to pick a mediator. The information below may help.

Every child copes with divorce differently

Ending a marriage is a difficult thing to do, particularly if children are involved. Most kids do not cope with significant change well, and all children will react differently to it. There is one thing that parents in Washington can do to help their children through this challenging time, and that is simply doing what they think is best for their kids.

There are numerous books and articles out there and available on the subject of helping children cope with divorce. It is normal to feel the need to take in as much information as possible and put it into practice, and there may be no harm in doing so. There is just one problem, however. Every child does not fit into a standard mold. They have their own unique needs, and parents are the only ones who know what those needs are.

Washington probate: Where to keep estate planning documents

Estate planning is not something that everyone does. It is something most know they should do, but they just never get around to it. Washington residents who do take the time to get it done may not be sure where they should keep their estate planning documents. At the end of the day, if they cannot be found, it can cause serious probate issues down the line. 

So, where should one keep completed estate planning documents? There are a few places that attorneys often recommend. There are also others that legal counsel say are not the best idea. A few recommendations include:

  • With one's attorney
  • At one's home
  • With a trusted friend or family member
  • In electronic form on a computer or other storage drive

Communication during divorce necessary, harassment is not

Ending a marriage is a difficult and emotional thing. When going through the divorce process, some individuals in Washington and elsewhere will do things that they think are okay, while their spouses may view those things as harassment. A recent story about communication and harassment during divorce proceedings was recently published. It certainly brings into focus differing views on what is and is not deemed acceptable communication frequency with one's soon-to-be ex. 

According to the article, one man was recently ordered to limit the number of times he texts his ex to one time per day. He was allegedly sending, on average, 14 messages per day. His wife complained that this had been going on for nearly a year. A judge agreed that his communication efforts qualified as harassment. If he fails to stick to the rule of one text per day, this gentleman could find himself behind bars. 

Gray divorce has a strong impact on finances -- not in a good way

The desire to put an end to one's marriage can happen at any age. When a relationship has run its course, it makes sense to walk away even if doing so may cause some hardships for one or both parties. For instance, an article was recently published that talked about the strong impact gray divorce has on a person's finances. While this article should not persuade Washington residents who are considering marital dissolution to stay in bad marriages, it is useful information to know and may even help one when negotiating settlement terms.

According to the article, the United States has seen gray divorces increase substantially since 1990. With this increase has come a rise in the number of adults ages 50 and above experiencing health and financial troubles. According to various studies, divorce mid to late in life can cause a person to experience depression, weight gain and high blood pressure -- which in turn can contribute to other health issues. In terms of financial health, those who divorce at the age of 50 or older lose 50% of their wealth -- which is expected. The real worry is that many of them fail to recover from this loss.

Washington probate: Don't put off what can be done today

Some things in life are easy to keep putting off. They may not seem essential, or they may be things that you want to avoid doing. Estate planning is one of those things that most adults in Washington, and the United States in general, put off until it is too late. When it comes to matters of probate, it is best not to put off what can be done today to protect oneself, one's assets and one's family. Why does having an estate plan matter?

An estate plan serves many purposes. First, it allows you to protect yourself if you ever become incapacitated. How? By naming who you wish to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself and putting your wishes for medical and end-of-life care in writing so there is no mistake about what you want to be done.

Can separate accounts deny you a fair share of assets?

It may have seemed perfectly logical to you when your new spouse suggested that you keep your individual bank accounts. Perhaps you added a joint account for paying bills or you divided the bills between you. Perhaps you never had an account of your own but trusted your spouse to take care of the finances.

Now that your marriage is coming to an end, you may be wondering what your financial future will be like. Your spouse may tell you that the money in his or her account does not belong to you and that you will have to make do with whatever you saved on your own. Fortunately, this may not be the case, but you may need skilled legal assistance to obtain what is legally yours during property division.

Can a credit score be impacted by divorce?

Some changes definitely accompany the end of a marriage. Divorce affects a number of things in each spouse's life, including financially, but can separation or divorce actually affect a person's credit score? Experts say that divorce doesn't directly impact a credit score since marital status is not included on a credit report. What does, however, are the often financial woes that divorce may cause some Washington couples since going from a possible two-income to a one-income household may pose problems.

Spouses who divorce or separate may be saddled with debt they might find difficult to manage -- such as credit card payments or personal lines of credit. Add to that having to pay a mortgage or rent and utility bills and the financial picture could become overwhelming. Missed payments on a regular basis could cause a person's credit score to plummet.

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