These days, divorce is a fact of life, with divorce rates increasing throughout the years. Now, 40 to 50% of marriages end in couples splitting. According to an American Community Survey, Washington ranks No. 10 in the number of divorces for 2018.
Reasons for divorce range from adultery or drug and alcohol addiction to a lack of commitment. Once a couple decides to part ways, the process may take time and patience. Although there are avenues to keep a divorce from becoming heated, some cases cannot get away from going to court. The following may be the three most contested issues in divorce cases:
- Child custody and support
Child custody and support may be one of the most contentious issues. Parents want their children to continue receiving the same stability as if they were still together. Problems may arise when deciding who gets custody and how much parenting time each parent receives. For child support, Washington has guidelines for determining the total support. Complications may occur if one parent does not have the income to pay the required amount.
- Spousal support
The court uses several factors to decide the amount of alimony a spouse receives. The goal is to provide the spouse with less financial stability the opportunity to continue meeting her or his standard of living. The person paying support may disagree with the court’s decision by stating he or she cannot pay because there is a change in employment or wants to go back to school.
- Division of assets and property
Washington is a community property state, which means the court may split everything equally. Each spouse must disclose all assets. When a spouse hides or wastes marital assets, the other spouse may not receive his or her entitlement. Sometimes, one spouse may handle all the finances. Finding money may be a challenge. The husband or wife may discover discrepancies when going through income tax returns or financial statements. Lying on a financial declaration is perjury.