The Law Offices of Roe & Greene, PLLC
Vancouver, Washington Family Law Attorneys
360-719-2405

Our office is conveniently located at:

400 East Mill Plain Blvd
Suite 205
Vancouver, Washington 98660

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What is the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?

In a legal separation, you remain married to your spouse; all of your assets and debts are divided; and spousal maintenance and provisions concerning your children and their support are finalized.

In a divorce all issues are finalized when the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is entered with the court. You are no longer married.

For more information concerning a Legal Separation or Divorce, contact the experienced family law lawyers at Roe & Greene, PLLC.

We invite you to let the team at Roe & Greene, PLLC answer your specific questions about:

  • Collecting Social Security benefits earned by your spouse;
  • Dealing with issues when the spouses don’t believe in divorce due to religious beliefs;
  • Maintaining medical insurance coverage provided by the other spouse;
  • Eligibility for COBRA health insurance coverage.

How is Child Support Determined?

Generally child support is based on the Washington State Child Support Guidelines and Worksheets. Using these guidelines, the court determines the net incomes of the parties. Only certain deductions are allowed; Michael and Alison can explain these to you.

If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court will generally “impute,” or assign, an income to that parent. Factors used by the court to determine the amount of income to assign to a parent is specified by the Washington State Child Support Guidelines.

They Include: 

  1. Full-time earnings at the current rate of pay;
  2. Full-time earnings at the historical rate of pay based on reliable information, such as employment security department data;
  3. Full-time earnings at a past rate of pay where information is incomplete or sporadic;
  4. Full-time earnings at minimum wage in the jurisdiction where the parent resides if the parent has a recent history of minimum wage earnings, is recently coming off public assistance, general assistance-unemployable, supplemental security income, or disability, has recently been released from incarceration, or is a high school student;
  5. Median net monthly income of year-round full-time workers as derived from the United States Bureau of Census, current population reports, or such replacement report as published by the Bureau of Census.

Michael or Alison know which taxes, pension payments, union or professional dues, insurance premiums, retirement contributions, business expenses and self-employment taxes are allowed in determining a parent’s net income. Schedule a consultation to get focused answers to your specific questions.


Is There a Minimum Payment for Child Support?

The minimum amount of child support ordered by the court is $50 per month per child.


Who Covers a Child’s College Education?

Michael and Alison have extensive experience in negotiating college expense responsibilities. Reach out to them for solutions to your unique case involving college expenses support.


How Do Parenting Plan Modifications Work?

Parenting plan modifications can be complicated, so it’s important for you to know your rights before making or allowing any change in where your child or children live. At Roe & Greene, PLLC, we have family law experience and expertise designed to help you craft an effective strategy in making or preventing changes to your Parenting Plan.

Modifications may occur after a “Final Order Parenting Plan” has been entered with the court. If circumstances substantially change, either parent can request the court to modify the existing Parenting Plan. “Major modifications” may include a change to where the child(ren) reside most of the time. “Minor modifications” include those changes that adjust the Parenting Plan by up to twenty-four (24) days during the year.

Contact Alison or Michael for answers to protect all your rights related to parenting plan modifications.


Does My Child Get to Choose Which Parent to Live With?

It’s a common misconception that children who are at least 12 years old may decide which parent to live with. This isn’t true. In some cases, the court may consider the wishes and desires of a child with regard to an initial determination regarding a Parenting Plan, however, this is not part of the Washington state’s Parenting Plan modification statute.

However, in appropriate instances, judges do consider the preferences of older teenage children.


How Can Military Deployment Affect My Children and Parenting Plan?

Military issues can create a lot of questions for parents. What happens when a military parent is deployed out of state? What happens if that parent is the primary residential parent? What happens if the visiting parent is deployed?

A parent’s military duties don’t necessarily justify a permanent modification to a Parenting Plan. Most likely, a temporary change to the Parenting Plan will take place while the military parent is unable to provide parenting functions during their time away from home.

It’s equally important to know that the Washington State Legislature has enacted a provision Michael and Alison can explain to you. It allows the court to delegate some or all of a military parent’s residential time or visitation rights to a child’s family member – including a step-parent or someone else who has a close and substantial relationship to the minor.

If you or your child’s other parent is in the military and facing deployment, you need to protect your rights, and those of your child, by contacting one of the experienced family law attorneys at Roe & Greene, PLLC.


How Do I Handle a Relocation or Move With My Children?

In Washington state, if you are the parent with whom your children live for the majority of the time, there are some important court-required rules about what you need to do if you want to move – even if it’s just across town or to a different school district. There are a variety of legal notice requirements you must provide to the other parent. Failure to adhere to these notice requirements can have significant consequences.

At a minimum, you are required to provide the other parent with advance written notice of your intent to “relocate” or “move with the child(ren).” Depending on how far you plan to move, the advance notice provisions are different.

There is more to a relocation case than just providing written notice to the non-custodial parent. A court hearing is required if the non-custodial parent objects to your proposed relocation.

If you are considering relocating or moving with your children – or if you have received notice that the other parent plans to move – knowing your legal rights is vital to protecting the relationship you share with your children. Our experienced family law team at Roe & Greene, PLLC is ready with immediate help. Call us today at 360-719-2405.


How is My Spousal Support/Maintenance Set?

For starters, spousal support is not automatically granted in Washington state. The court first reviews each party’s “financial declaration,” which outlines monthly living expenses for both sides.

After that, the court may order support for an amount and set the length of time that maintenance is to be provided – without regard to any marital misconduct. To help the court make decisions about spousal support, relevant factors specified by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 26.09.090 must be considered.

These factors include, but are not limited to:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned to him or her, and his or her ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;
  2. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his or her skill, interests, style of life, and other attendant circumstances;
  3. The standard of living established;
  4. The duration of the marriage;
  5. The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
  6. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

At Roe & Greene, PLLC, Michael and Alison can assist you in determining whether the court will consider awarding spousal maintenance based on your specific case.