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11 Cards in this Set

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Jurisdiction - Obtaining a basic Decree of Dissolution
WA is a "no fault" state and either party need only assert that marriage is "irretrivably broken" to obtain Decree of Dissolution.

WA will have personal jurisdiction over a spouse who resided in WA during the marital relationship, regardless of subsequent departure.

90 day waiting period after filed and serviced.
Is spouse entitled to Temporary relief pending final dissoultion decree?
Either party may petition the court for temporary parenting plan, child support, maintenance and division of debts.

And Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO):
1)Temporary restraining order (imminent harm - molesting or disturbing)
2)Preliminary Injunction (removing child from jurisdiction of the court)
3)Domestic violence or antiharrassment protection order

IF the TRO(s) not complied with, court may impose contempt of court orders and violation of TRO may constitute a criminal offense.
Division of Property & Liabilities - Considerations

A. Valid pre-marital contract?

B. Special types of property:

1.Deferred Earnings

2.Professional Good will

3.Tort causes of action

4.Increase in value of SP due to contribution of community or labor

5.Tenancy in Common
All property, community & seperate, is before the court and divided in a just and equitabe manner.
The court may consider the character of the property, length of marriage and economic circumstances of the parties.(including awarding the family home to spouse with whom the children reside the majority of the time)

A. Any agremeent between the parties which divides property and debts is valid only if (1) fair on its face; (2) voluntary; and (3) opportunity to seek counsel.

B. Watch for:
1.Deferred Earnings – any income paid after marriage, but earned during the marriage = CP
•If earnings or unearned income from investments pay partly during marriage and part after, income will be prorated based on portion acquired during the marriage vs. portion acquired b/f marriage or after separation.

2.Professional Good will – is considered an asset which is subject division

3.Causes of Action -
(i)special damages from cause of action during marriage=CP
(ii) pain & suffering of an individual spouse = SP

4.Increase in value of SP due to contribution of CP or labor – Improvements to SP during marriage don’t change the character of the property but create an interest in the property based on the increased value attributable to the community funds/labor.
• Once community interest is established, the owner of the SP may reduce the interest based on any benefit received by the community from the improvements. [ex. a W contributes CP to H's SP & they move in there = receive rental value of the residence during the marriage; the value of having a place to live will offset the C interest]

5.Tenancy in Common – CP not actually divided (lost, hidden, forgotten) in Decree of Dissolution will be owned as tenants in common by the parties.
Severamce - a conveyance of a joint tenancy interest to an "outsider" converts that interest into a tenancy in common.
Spousal maintenance
Either spouse may be granted a maintenance order; it is based on what is just in light of need and ability to pay. WA favors "rehabilitative maintenance" for a period of time sufficient to allow the receiving spouse to obtain adequate education or employment skills.
Enforced through sanctions, including contempt
Statute of Frauds
A contract falling within the scope of the Statute of Frauds is void, unless it is in writing and signed by the party to be charged therein.
5 K's within the SOF:
1) Agreement that by its terms is not to be performed in 1 year from the making thereof
2) Promise to answer for the debt, default or misdoings of another person
3) Marriage
4) Promise by an executor or administrator to answer damages out of his own estate
5) Real Estate Purchase-Sale Agreement
Is there a Valid Marriage?

A. Common law marriage [meretricious relationship]

B. What is the effect of lack of Capacity? - Solemnization?

C. Declaration of Invalidity
[4 reasons]
A valid marriage requires capacity and solemnization.

A. "WA does not have any common law marriage (but it will recognize a common law marriage that was valid in another state)"
-Meretricious Relationship

B. A mariage is voidable when either party is incapable of consenting at the time of the marriage ceremony due to incapacity (minor <18 or insufficient understanding due to influence of alcohol or drugs). Consent should not be induced by force (duress) or fraud.
-If either party is under age 17, the marriage is void.
-If either party is age 17, the marriage is voidable.
-The court may grant a waiver of the age requirement.
-Note: for purposes of K law, a minor married to an adult, will be treated as an adult under the law.

Solemnization: Marriage is not void not its validity affected, if such marriage be consumated with a belief by either or both people married, that they have been lawfully joined in marriage.

C. "A declaration of invalidity may be sought based on (1)incapacity; (2) age of the parties; (3) force or fraud; or (4) a prior undisolved marriage.
The parties will ratify their marriage by continuing voluntarily cohabitating after any of the above cease."
Child Support

A. Step-Parent Obligation

B. End?

C. Enforcement
"WA has adopted mandatory child support schedules based on the income of each parent and ages of the children. Time spent with the children may be a reason to deviate from the schedule”

A. A step-parent is responsible for child support until a decree of dissolution is issued.

B. Ends at age 18 or Emancipation - WA may impose obligation for payment of higher education (college)

C. Enforcement - automatic wage assignment
Permanent Parenting Plan

(1)Standard & Content
(2)Standards for limitation

A. Rights of non-parties

(1) Parenting Plan - "The permanent parenting plan is drafted based on best interests of the child."
The Parenting Plan will determine (1)custody; (2)residential scheduling w/each parent; (3)any limitations on contact; (4)dispute resolution; and (5)decision making authority.”

-A similar temporary plan may be sought by one of the parents pending Dissolution

(2) Standards for limitation -(i)Mandatory limitations placed on contact with a child in event of severe abuse or neglect [i.e. no contact or unsupervised time with child]
(ii)Discretionary limitations will be placed on contact to protect child from less severe harm.

A. Rights of Non-parents -Visitation – a non-parent may petition the court for visitation rights only as a part of an ongoing legal action between the parents. A non-parent may not bring an independent action for visitation. (ex.grandparent's visitation rights)

B. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJEA) - applies if a child is taken across state lines; Uniform statute adopted in every state.
Modify Terms of the Decree of Dissolution:

(1)Division of Assets?

(2)Maintenance/Child Support/Parenting Plan?
(1) Property & Debt Division - cannot be changed

(2) Maintenance, Child Support, Parenting Plan - "modification allowed w/Substantial Changes in Circumstances; and modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child"
Costs & Attorney's Fees.
If the court, in its discretion, after considering the financial resources of both parties may order a party to pay a reasoanble amount for the cost to other party of maintaining or defending the suit & for reasonable attorney's fees in connection therein.
INcluding legal services & costs incurred prior ot the commencement of hte proceeding or enforcement or modification proceedings after entry of judgement.
Uniform Parentage Act

“How will X’s paternity status be determined?”
(1)The parent-child relationship is governed by the Uniform Parentage Act.

(2)There is a presumption of paternity if a child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after dissolution.

(3)Also presumed that a man is father of the child if he married child’s mother after the child’s birth and voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child and there is valid evidence of his assertion of paternity.

(4)Genetic testing may be used to establish paternity.