Bellevue Divorce Lawyer
Divorce Lawyers for Men is an experienced team of family law attorneys who understand the special challenges of divorce – and we have a local office located right here in Bellevue.
Bellevue divorce lawyer
Unfortunately, many men going through a divorce feel like the system is stacked against them. For instance, men in Washington are not always given equal consideration in custody matters, though they have every right to be.
That is why it is vital that you hire an experienced local Bellevue divorce lawyer who is dedicated to protecting your best interests during the process. When you turn to Divorce Lawyers for Men, that is exactly what you will find.
Why do I need a lawyer?
Some people enter the divorce process believing they can handle the proceedings without an attorney. While you are not required to have a lawyer, it is in your best interest to have one because the outcome of a divorce can have long-term implications, and an experienced Bellevue divorce lawyer can help you secure the best possible outcome.
Your lawyer can help make sure the documents accurately reflect the terms of your agreement and that they are clear and free of room for misinterpretation. Plus, they will handle all the paperwork associated with the divorce, freeing up your time to focus on moving forward with the next chapter of your life.
Our team gets the legal results men want and need
Our Bellevue divorce lawyers know that men in Washington are not always given equal consideration for custody, even though they should be.
They can also often end up paying excessive child and spousal support, have been ordered to pay more than their fair share of the debts, and are awarded less than their fair share of the property — especially when they are unrepresented and their spouse’s counsel is taking advantage of that.
We pride ourselves on fighting for men’s rights during and after divorce, in modification actions, paternity actions, and in creating parenting plans. We use our experience in combination with the applicable law to ensure that our clients are not taken advantage of by the system.
Whether you are initiating a divorce or responding to one, we invite you to reach out to our team at (360) 866-7393 to find out how we can help you.
Costs in a divorce
Many factors can influence the cost of a divorce, including the complexity of the issues involved and how much time is needed to reach an agreement. Common expenses involved with divorce include:
- Attorney fees
- Court filing fees
- Service of process fees
- Assessment, appraisal, and valuation costs
- Mediation and/or counseling fees
- Deposition costs
- Travel expenses
At Divorce Lawyers for Men, we understand that divorce can be expensive. That is why we strive to keep costs as low as possible by providing quality legal services at a fair price.
Contested or uncontested divorce is the greatest factor affecting costs
Another way we help keep our client’s costs low is by exploring both contested and uncontested divorce options. Uncontested divorces are generally less expensive than contested ones as they typically involve fewer court appearances and less of your attorney’s time.
Though the parties must still negotiate an agreement, your attorney or a skilled mediator can help facilitate a process that is faster and less expensive than trial. When we begin working on your case, we will determine if an uncontested divorce is possible, and if it is, we will work to ensure that the agreement is fair.
Sometimes a contested divorce is necessary, so when that is deemed the appropriate path, together we can explore the possibility of utilizing other alternative dispute resolution processes before proceeding with trial. If we must go forward with trial, we will ensure that you have all the supporting evidence and testimony you need for a successful and fair outcome.
Who pays attorney’s fees and costs?
If you are concerned about the financial burden of a divorce, it is important to understand who pays for what. Generally, each spouse is responsible for paying their own attorney fees and costs. However, in some scenarios the court can order that one spouse pay part of the other’s attorney’s fees.
When making a need-based attorney’s fees order, the court looks at each party’s financial ability to pay their own fees from their income or assets, and their financial obligations might also be considered. A fee order might also be made due to bad conduct such as lying, filing frivolous documents or motions, or engaging in overly litigious behavior.
Being ordered to pay your ex-spouse’s attorney fees can greatly increase the cost of your divorce. If the court considers awarding attorney fees to your ex-spouse, our team will explore all possible options for reducing the award or waiving it altogether. Alternatively, if we believe you may be entitled to an attorney fee award, we will build a strong case in your favor.
Legal separation vs. divorce
Washington gives couples the option to pursue a legal separation instead of a divorce. A legal separation is similar to a divorce in that the parties will enter into a legally binding agreement addressing the terms of their separation such as property division, child custody, and support.
If you are considering a legal separation instead of a divorce, we can help you weigh the pros and cons of both options so you can make an informed decision.
Differences between legal separation and divorce
The primary difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that a legal separation doesn’t end the marriage which means they cannot remarry unless and until they get a divorce. Instead, it is a way for couples to part ways, while remaining legally married and still maintain benefits such as the ability to stay on a health insurance plan or to claim certain tax benefits.
Legal separation can also be faster than a divorce since it does not have the 90-day waiting period that Washington law mandates for divorces.
Right to conversion
After a legal separation is finalized, the agreement can be easily converted to a divorce if either spouse decides they want to legally end the marriage. The conversion cannot be done until at least six months after the Decree of Legal Separation was entered. However, the parties’ agreement can require a waiting period longer than six months.
For example, if their agreement requires a longer waiting period before the marriage can be dissolved due to health insurance benefits or similar matters, then the conversion cannot take place until that time frame has passed.
Neither spouse needs the other’s consent to convert their legal separation into a divorce because it is a matter of right. The conversion process is very simple and results in a court order renaming the legal separation decree to a divorce decree (dissolution) and their marital status is dissolved.
Divorce process in Washington State
The divorce process in Washington starts when one spouse (the petitioner) files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court in their county of residence. This form outlines the terms of the divorce and must be served on the other spouse (the respondent).
If the divorce is uncontested, meaning the spouses agree on all terms, the respondent may file a response, or they can sign an acknowledgment that they received the paperwork. After the agreement is drafted, the court will review it and all other necessary paperwork, then a Decree of Dissolution will be issued.
A contested divorce will be more complex because the respondent disputes the terms of the divorce. In these cases, a trial will likely be scheduled well in advance. In the meantime, both spouses (and their attorneys) may participate in negotiations to try to devise a marital settlement agreement.
If they are successful in those endeavors, the agreement will be submitted to the court for approval. If not, a judge will decide all matters at trial. After a final resolution is reached — either through negotiations or trial — the court issues a Decree of Dissolution finalizing the divorce.
On both contested and uncontested divorces, there is a three-month waiting period between when the petition is filed and served and when the decree can be issued.
Decree of dissolution
This document confirms the divorce is finalized and outlines all rights and duties of both parties concerning the divorce. The decree terminates the marriage and may include terms regarding parenting plans, child support, alimony or spousal support, and the division of marital assets and debts.
If you have reached an agreement with your spouse with the assistance of attorneys, your divorce attorney in Washington State will carefully review the entire agreement with you to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities before entering into the agreement.
If you and your spouse have children, a parenting plan will be part of your final divorce documents. This plan outlines in detail how custody and visitation are shared and will include a detailed schedule of when the children will be with each parent. Other details that may be included are:
- How holidays and other special dates will be handled
- How decisions regarding the children’s medical and educational needs will be made
- How both parents will communicate about the children
- How emergencies will be handled
- How extended family members and friends will be involved in the children’s lives
- How the children’s discipline will be handled
- Rules regarding the relocation of either parent
Why choose Divorce Lawyers for Men
Men deserve an equal opportunity to protect their rights and interests during a divorce, that is why Divorce Lawyers for Men focuses exclusively on representing men in divorce proceedings.
We are committed to combating antiquated biases and stereotypes about a man’s role in divorce and as a parent. We are not just one law firm — we are a network of professionals who share our founders’ dedication to protecting the rights of fathers and husbands.
The difference in quality that this provides cannot be overstated. If you are ready to begin taking back your power in the divorce process, give us a call today at (360) 866-7393 to schedule a consultation.
Local Communities Our King County Office Serves:
We serve the following areas in and around Bellevue: Bellevue, Moorland, Highlands, Norwood Village, Woodridge, Northwest Bellevue, Factoria, Hilltop, Somerset, Newport Hills, Northeast Bellevue, West Lake Sammamish, Cougar Hills, Robinswood, Lake Hills, Eastgate.