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Robert N. Getz

Everett Legal Issues Blog

What can be learned from the Pitt-Jolie child custody case?

Every year, numerous married couples in Washington and elsewhere decide to call it quits. There is nothing wrong with divorce, as it allows both parties to move forward in their lives. Divorce can be difficult for children, though, and the courts will do everything possible to ensure child custody arrangements are created that will serve the best interests of the kids.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie decided to end their marriage late in 2016. Their divorce has yet to be finalized, but child custody arrangements have been put in place. Jolie currently enjoys sole custody, while Pitt has visitation rights -- which is a fairly common arrangement in family law circles. According to a recent report, their custody plan may be changed if Jolie does not do more to promote a stronger parent/child bond between Pitt and his kids. What can be learned from this case?

Probate and the DIY will

Washington residents who want to ensure that their assets and beneficiaries are protected in the event of their deaths have a lot to do to make sure it is done. It would be nice to believe that a do-it-yourself will would be sufficient. However, at the end of the day, such a will may not hold up in probate.

There are a lot of times that jumping on the DIY bandwagon is a good thing. When it comes to any type of estate planning, this may be a good time to pass. DIY estate planning products are very basic. They do not take into account state laws; they only cover the necessary federal laws.

Is mediation mandatory when going through the divorce process?

You are ready to get a divorce and know that you and your spouse are not going to agree on much. You just want to take your case to court but keep hearing about having to try mediation. Is mediation mandatory in Washington?

Mediation is where a couple meets with a neutral third party to try and work out a divorce settlement. It can work even if the couple has children or complex assets. It will only work if each party is willing to talk things through and be open to negotiation. In the state of Washington, yes, mediation is generally mandatory in contested divorce cases.

Can I get a sole child custody order?

Getting a divorce? Have children to consider? Wondering if sole child custody is an option? It may or may not be for some Washington residents. 

What is sole custody? This is where only one parent achieves custody of his or her children. The other parent may or may not be granted visitation rights. It all depends on the family circumstances. There are times when the non-custodial parent will not achieve any level of visitation -- such as if domestic violence and/or substance abuse are noted issues.

4 steps parents can take to make probate easier

As soon as people become parents, their priorities change. Instead of thinking about what they want and need, they start thinking about what their child wants and needs. This goal of protecting children is a lifelong one. In fact, it doesn't end when a parent passes away.

Having an estate plan in place can help parents protect their children (and grandchildren and great-grandchildren) in several ways. For instance, taking the time to create an estate plan can make the probate process a little easier. Below, we explain how parents can do this.

Avoid these social media mistakes if you want an amicable split

People turn to social media for many reasons: to laugh, learn, feel good, share or get support. And whether we realize it or not, we reveal a great deal of personal details on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, even when messages disappear or when we set profiles to private. 

With this in mind, people going through a divorce would be wise use caution when it comes to using social media. This can be especially true if you want to avoid courtroom battles. Below, we list some important things to avoid on social media if you want your divorce to go as smoothly as possible.

What divorce cases are right for mediation?

What's your idea of divorce? Chances are you have heard a horror story from a friend or family member. While it is true that divorce can be a stressful experience no matter your situation, it doesn't have to involve high-stakes disagreements, drawn-out court appearances or argumentative lawyers. Instead, mediation is one option couples can pursue as a method of alternative dispute resolution in divorce.

What is mediation and is it right for you? Let's look at the mediation process and what situations might be right to pursue it.

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