Services

The Law Offices of Ivan Culbertson can offer the following services:

Divorce
Equitable Division of Property and Liabilities
Child Custody and Relocation
Child Support
Spousal Maintenance/Alimony
Mediation and Arbitration
Non Parental Custody
Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements
Post-Secondary Educational Support
International Child Custody and Abduction
Domestic Partnerships and Unmarried Couples

Divorce

Whether you are contemplating filing for divorce in Washington State or have just been served with divorce papers, your choice of legal representation can be one of the most significant decisions you make. The Law Office of Ivan Culbertson is here to help you. Together we will find a way to navigate the challenges of your particular divorce case (or “dissolution” case as it is known in Washington State).

Spousal Maintenance/Alimony

Once referred to exclusively as alimony, it is now more commonly called Spousal Maintenance or Spousal Support. Spousal Support is money paid by one spouse to the other either during the divorce process or after. Who receives spousal support or whether it is available is at the discretion of the court. RCW 26.09.090 lists the non-exclusive factors that a court must consider when evaluating a petition for spousal maintenance. The award of maintenance will depend on the specific facts of each individual case.

The Law Office of Ivan Culbertson can help you understand what to expect during the process, so you can fully understand your individual situation.

Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements

Relationship agreements can help couples plan their financial affairs and provide some peace of mind to couples.  This is particularly beneficial to couples that are marrying and who each have their own children from prior relationships. A relationship agreement can also be beneficial when one or both parties have significant pre-existing obligations, businesses or other separate property.

The parties to a marriage or domestic partnership, in order to promote the amicable settlement of disputes attendant upon their separation or upon the filing of a petition for dissolution of their marriage may enter into a written Separation Contract. A Separation Contract may provide for the maintenance of either of them, the disposition of any property owned by both or either of them, the parenting plan and support for their children and the release of each other from all obligations except that expressed in the contract.

Equitable Division of Property and Liabilities

When it comes to dividing up property and liabilities, does it feel like you’ve hit a wall? That’s where the Law Office of Ivan Culbertson can help.

Child Support

You may need to go into court to establish or modify a child support arrangement unless both parents can come to an agreement on their own. Child support arrangements can be very confusing, so it may be wise to consult with a lawyer experienced in family law to make sure your interests are protected in child support situations and that is where the Law Office of Ivan Culbertson can help.

Child Custody and Relocation

The Washington State statutes do not specifically refer to ” child custody” in the context of a divorce between two parents. The Washington State statutes instead refer to “Parenting Plans” and “Parental Decision-Making.”  However you label the topic, it can have life-altering consequences for the families involved. The best interests of the child control when determining a parenting plan. The best interests of the child may change dramatically due to substantial changes in the circumstances of the parents and the children over time. There are times when a parenting plan modification is the only way to resolve the situation.The courts will need to make a determination as to whether the substantial change of circumstances may require a modified parenting plan. We live in a mobile society. It is not uncommon that a party wants to relocate the children either during a divorce or following a divorce. This often results in a relocation action to modify the existing parenting plan. The trial court must consider each of the eleven specific factors listed in RCW 26.09.520 and document its findings in the Findings of Fact.   Some states do not consider an out of state move to be a sufficient change of circumstances requiring an update, while others do.

Obtain legal assistance early on before the situation becomes complicated during the relocation process.

Non Parental Custody

Families are complex. People are complex. Life has ups and downs. Sometimes people other than a child’s parents may have to intercede to obtain custody, including relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close family friends.  There are specific procedures that must be followed by people seeking non-parental custody. The Law Office of Ivan Culbertson can help you discover what your options are in seeking custody.

Mediation and Arbitration

Most divorces are finalized as the result of an agreement between the spouses. Many couples can finalize their divorces satisfactorily solely within the parameters of the legal system. Some couples prefer to turn to mediation and arbitration.  The Law Office of Ivan Culbertson will help you decide which approach is right for you.

International Child Custody and Abduction

Working through international laws when it comes to child custody and abduction can be an extremely complicated landscape to navigate. That’s where the Law Office of Ivan Culbertson can help.

Domestic Partnerships and Unmarried Couples

Unmarried couples  who register as “Domestic Partners” have most of the same rights and obligations of  married couples. Not all unmarried couples elect to register as domestic partners. That does not necessarily mean that these couples have no legal recourse if they separate. When an unmarried couple lives together for a significant period of time, they may have formed a “committed, intimate relationship” or “meretricious relationship,” which, in Washington, gives each of them rights to property, similar to rights enjoyed by married couples. Contact the Law Office of Ivan Culbertson today for more information.

Post-Secondary Educational Support

In Washington State, child support orders can legally bind a parent to provide child support for post-secondary school and costs. In compelling circumstances and if the petition is filed before support terminates (while the child is a minor), the court may modify a child support order to create a post-majority support obligation that was not included in the original order.

The amount a parent is required to contribute to post-secondary education expenses is at the discretion of the court. When deciding issues of post-secondary educational support, the court must consider the following non-exclusive factors: age of the child; the child’s needs; the expectations of the parties for their children when the parents were together; the child’s prospects, desires, aptitudes, abilities or disabilities; the nature of the post-secondary education sought; and the parents’ level of education, standard of living, and current and future resources. Also to be considered are the amount and type of support that the child would have been afforded if the parents had stayed together. Contact the Law Office of Ivan Culbertson for a consultation today.