Relevant Articles

Relevant Articles

By Truitt and Lyons, Attorneys 15 Aug, 2017

A stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption. Obviously, there are many reasons why a step-parent may want to adopt a child. In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent essentially steps into the legal shoes of the biological mother or father and becomes fully responsible for his or her spouse’s child. After the adoption is completed, the relinquishing parent no longer has any rights or responsibilities for the child, including visitation or future child support payments. In Washington State, past-due child support is not extinguished by an adoption.

Adoptions are governed by state law. In addition, in Washington State, the practice varies somewhat from county to county. The procedure is easiest when the natural parent is willing to voluntarily consent to the adoption. A post-placement report must be procured by the petitioning step-parent. The post-placement report is a basic study to ensure that the adoption is in the child’s best interest. The placement report provider must be approved by the court. If the natural parent does not consent to adoption, it is still possible to proceed with the adoption depending on the circumstances.

If you would like to discuss a possible adoption case or another legal matter with us, please call us at 360-675-9310.

By Richard 10 Mar, 2017
Many people think or hope that, due to the fact they have waited so long to get a hearing in front of a judge, they are finally going to be granted benefits after the hearing.    However, a significant number of cases are denied after a hearing.    Even very good and well-documented cases may not initially succeed at the hearing level.    Your case may be assigned to a judge who simply grants relatively few claims.    Or, the judge (who does not know you personally) may decide that you are not credible for any variety of reasons.    Opinions from psychologists or doctors that support your claim may be rejected.    However, this does not mean these bases for rejecting your claim cannot be reversed on appeal.    Fortunately, the hearing in front of an administrative law judge is not the end of the line.    If you do not win your hearing, you may appeal to the Appeals Council.    If you do not succeed there, you can file a case in Federal District Court in the district you live in.   

The Social Security Administration recognizes that judges make mistakes and thus has created all of these layers of appeal.    It is essential to have a lawyer involved due to the complexities of appeals.    The Appeals Council and Federal District Court appeals involve writing legal briefs that challenge the administrative law judge’s decision.    The key to success in most cases is to keep appealing adverse decisions until benefits are granted.   
If you find this post helpful and you would like to discuss your Social Security Disability case at no charge, please contact our office.
By Richard 10 Mar, 2017
What is “no fault” divorce?    “No fault divorce” means that people can file for divorce without having to show wrongdoing by the other party (such as adultery, desertion, cruelty, etc.).    California was the first state to institute “no fault” divorce laws in 1970.    Washington State adopted “no fault” divorce legislation in 1973.    Presently, all states have adopted “no fault” divorce laws.    Only some states still retain the option of “fault divorce.”    The bottom line is the Washington State is a strictly “no fault” state.    Some people are not aware of this, either because of their experience in another state, family history of divorce a long time ago, etc.    Some people can be disappointed in the no-fault divorce process because they feel that they were wronged by the other party and want their mistreatment to be aired in a legal forum.    However, in a “no fault” divorce system, the intent is to avoid mixing morality with law.    Instead, the focus is on dissolving the marriage at the request of the petitioner.   

The Court will have the task of splitting property equitably, awarding maintenance and child support if necessary, deciding on a parenting plan that is in the best interests of the children, etc.    Although alleged misdeeds of either spouse may be raised in court documents, they are usually not relevant to the ultimate outcome, with a few exceptions.    Obviously, certain behaviors may be relevant in a custody battle or to prove that a party has genuinely wasted assets. 

If you would like to speak with an attorney at our office about a divorce or other family law matter, please contact us.
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