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

Everett Legal Issues Blog

Is divorce on your mind?

There comes a point in many marriages where one or both parties considers walking away from the relationship. If divorce is on your mind, it's okay. Now is the time to find out how ending your marriage will actually affect you down the line. Some people have an idea of what they will be able to walk away with, but the reality of the situation is often very different. An experienced attorney can let you know how the divorce process works in the state of Washington and what kind of settlement you may expect when all is said and done.

Whether you ultimately go through with a divorce filing or not is up to you, but knowing what you're walking into can go a long way in helping you make your decision. Where you get your information matters, though. Legal counsel should be able to answer most if not all of your questions in a case-specific way, which is far better than scanning the internet for general advice.

Divorce mediation: To have or not to have legal counsel?

There are a few ways to get through the divorce process. In the state of Washington, mediation is something that courts want to see couples try before they turn to litigation. Mediation involves each party meeting in a neutral location with a neutral third party to negotiate settlement terms. While it is possible to go through the entire mediation and divorce process without the assistance of legal counsel, doing so is not necessarily advised.

Those who choose to go through mediation without the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney on their side chance walking away from their marriages with settlement terms that do not serve their best interests. A mediator can answer a lot of one's questions and can make sure each party is aware of state laws regarding specific issues, but he or she is prohibited from siding with either party or assisting one side achieve a better settlement. This is why one might wish to have legal counsel present at mediation sessions or, at least, have an attorney review any proposed terms before one signs off on them. Attorney involvement can be as much as one feels is necessary.

Electronic wills -- the good and the bad

Living in a digital world, moving from paper to electronic documents seems to be a natural progression. There are times when doing so, however, may not sit quite right with some people. Electronic wills are a good example here, and there are those in Washington and elsewhere who can make a case for or against allowing them.

Currently, only two states have laws allowing E-wills -- Washington is not one of them. At least two other states are considering adjusting their laws to allow for them. Many experts believe that it is only a matter of time before all states will approve the use of E-wills.

Will your anger toward your ex affect child custody issues?

One of the greatest concerns for divorcing parents is often protecting their children from the tension, squabbles and other negative things that can occur during this difficult time. You may be among those Washington parents who try to keep your children insulated from your marital struggles, but when it comes to custody matters, it may be impossible to protect them entirely.

You may hope that you and your ex could co-parent civilly and place the needs of your children ahead of your personal conflicts and hurt feelings. While you may be willing to take the high road, what can you do when you simply cannot stand to be around your ex?

Is a "strategic" divorce worth it?

Marriage can be a great thing, but there are times when it can do a real number on a couple's financial situation. For this reason, more couples in Washington and elsewhere are considering "strategic" divorce. This is where they purposely end their marriage for tax and other monetary benefits. Is doing this worth it?

Whether it is worth it all comes down to potential savings versus potential losses. No one would do it if it only helped them save a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars per year. People file for strategic divorce because it will save them thousands upon thousands of dollars in the years to come.

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
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