Law Offices of Susan Millican O'Brian & Associates, P.S. Law Offices of Susan Millican O'Brian & Associates, P.S.

Your Family Is Important To Us

Redmond: 425-296-2778

Bellevue: 425-505-4006

Redmond Divorce Law Blog

An overview of the evolution of laws against spousal abuse

Domestic violence has long been a problem in Washington just as it has been in the rest of America. Beatings and other threatening behavior in the home have been a well-known social ill since at least the 17th century when the Massachusetts Body of Laws and Liberties attempted to protect women from domestic violence in 1641. Unfortunately, the issue has persisted up until the present day, affecting both wives and husbands. However, since the last half of the 20th century, there has been a concerted effort on many fronts to confront this dilemma and prevent further occurrences.

A pivotal moment in the modern view of domestic violence came in 1979 when the U.S. Surgeon General Julius B. Richmond identified spousal abuse as one of the primary ills affecting America. This was followed up 15 years later when the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law in 1994. This landmark legislation, in addition to providing funds to train half a million law enforcement personnel in dealing with domestic violence, established the National Domestic Violence Hotline that allows those in dire predicaments to reach out for help.

Basketball star in custody and paternity dispute

Washington state fans of basketball may have heard about the recent custody issues surrounding the Pacers All-Star, Paul George. The mother of a young child asserts that George is the father, and, depending on the outcome of a scientific paternity test, they may both sue for sole custody of the infant.

The mother has already filed for sole child custody, citing George's demanding travel schedule as part of a professional basketball team as being detrimental to the child. George has sought additional testing to buttress the findings of the prenatal paternity test, but he has already issued statements to the effect that, if the second and more rigorous test reveals him to be the father, then he plans to "embrace" the opportunity and seek sole custody of the infant as well.

The uses of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

Washington residents may have heard that Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, recently finalized divorce proceedings with his wife. According to information that was recently discovered in the former couple's postnuptial agreement, Spitzer was required to pay his wife $7.5 million and transfer ownership of their home to her. He is also obligated to pay her $240,000 annually and offer her a $100,000 stipend that she can donate to charity every year.

The terms of the agreement serve as an example of how powerful postnuptial and prenuptial agreements can be. The documents typically outline the terms of a divorce, and they often include considerations for spousal maintenance, the division of marital propertyand custody arrangements if minor children are involved. The language of the agreements often helps couples avoid court intervention and property division based on state laws. With exceptionally high divorce rates, especially for those who are in second and third marriages, individuals who are considering marriage might be interested in drafting such a document.

Reminder: Big changes for Domestic Partnerships

Don't forget - as of June 30, 2014, your domestic partnership will be automatically converted to a marriage unless you do something affirmatively.  Please contact us at 425 869-8067 for an immediate consult.

Domestic Partnership Conversion to Marriage

On June 30, 2014, many Washington state-registered domestic partnerships will be converted into marriage.   If either party is at least 62 years of age, or if there is a pending court case for dissolution, legal separation or declaration of invalidity, those partnerships will not be automatically converted into marriage on June 30th.  Partners not wishing to automatically become married on June 30 must file appropirate paperwork in superior court no later than June 27, 2014

Financial tips to consider during divorce

If you're getting divorced, you are probably worried about how it will affect your current finances and future financial goals. Divorce negotiations can seem very scary, especially if you don't know what to do to prepare for your divorce proceedings. 

What should you do before going into property division and settlement negotiations? The first thing you should do is collect your financial documents. This includes bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, mortgage documents and other financial accounts. You should also be aware of any debts that are considered marital debt. 

Getting through a deposition in a child custody case

Washington residents going through a divorce may have to give a deposition as part of the process. High asset divorces where much is at stake for the parties typically involve depositions, and often those involving custody disputes do also.

Your deposition will likely take place in your attorney's office conference room, at the court reporter's office or another location agreed upon by the parties. Your lawyer will be present while you answer opposing counsel's questions truthfully under oath. Below are a few tips to help you get through your deposition while making a favorable impression on the court.

Co-parenting tips for divorced parents

Co-parenting with your ex after getting divorced can be complicated. Even if you get along with your ex, raising a child after the divorce can be difficult. Parents face many challenges after getting divorced, but one of the hardest things may be trying to co-parent with your ex. 

Being able to co-parent effectively with your ex is very important, but it can be difficult for many people to move past the hurt feelings and arguments that led to the divorce. Despite the challenges, parents and children will benefit from successful co-parenting. 

Baby boomers' divorce rate highest in nation

The divorce rate in the United States is much higher for older couples than other generations. A new study found that baby boomers, individuals born between 1946 and 1964, have the highest divorce rate in the country. The study by Bowling Green State University found that the divorce rate for couples age 50 and older doubled in the last 20 years. 

Many baby boomer couples getting divorced have been married for many years, some for several decades. After being married for so long, why are older couples deciding to call it quits? Researchers said there are numerous factors that have contributed to the increase in divorces among older couples. Some of the reasons include an increase in life expectancy, greater acceptance of divorce, and the kids have grown up and moved out of the house. 

Assessment of Washington marriages could lead to divorce

Examining a relationship closely can reveal a great deal about what the solution to a problem may be. In some cases, simply discussing the issues and coming to a compromise can make a great deal of difference for Washington couples. In other cases, the issues may be too great to overcome and divorce is the reasonable option. However, it is important to remember to first assess the situation.

When a couple is faced with a great deal of stress, it may appear that their issues may never be resolved. This situation does not have to remain this way, and if the time is taken to address the stress and emotional turmoil of certain aspects of a relationship, solutions may be found more easily than expected. When the energy is focused more on the specific issue at hand, such as financial difficulties, as opposed to the emotions attached to the issues, a marriage could potentially be salvageable.

FindLaw Network

Community Involvement

"Empathy is patiently and sincerely seeing the world through the other person's eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime." Albert Einstein

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
  • FPCBellevue
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Jubilee Reach Center
  • Jubilee Reach Heart to Home Thrift Store
  • NFA National Fibromyalgia Association
  • Seattle Children's Hospital
  • Seattle Union Gospel Mission
  • Seattle University School of Law
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
  • World Vision
  • YMCA
Cambridge Who's Who Collaborative Practice Resolving Disputes Respectfully
King County Collaborative Law ABA American Bar Association Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice Washington State Bar Association BBB Accredited Business

Office Location

7525 166th Ave NE
Suite D230
Redmond, WA 98052
Redmond Line: 425-296-2778
Bellevue Line: 425-505-4006
Fax: 425-869-74444
Map & Directions