Blog Category:
6/10/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

The recession is forcing divorced parents back to court to adjust or modify their child support obligations.  House values have declined, one parent may have been laid off from work, or day care costs and insurance increase, all of which have  increased a backlog in the family court calendars.

In this Star Tribune news article, Minnesota State courts spokesman John Kostouros said 5,380 parents filed for child support adjustments in the first quarter of 2009, up from 4,912 during the same period a year ago.  Nationally, the American Academy of Matrimonial lawyers has reported that 39 percent of the nation's top divorce attorneys cite an increase in modifications being made to child support payments.


Locally, in the Seattle, Bellevue, Washington area, we are getting more and more calls about adjusting child support and petitioning for modification of child support.  If you find yourself in an unexpected financial situation where you might need to change your support obligation, call us at the Andrew Kim Law Firm and speak with a child support attorney who can tell you what your options are.



Category: Child Support

5/3/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Divorce filings in Sacramento County, California have decreased from 2007 to 2008 and further in the beginning of 2009.  Sacramento divorce attorney Hal Bartholomew, president-elect of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers' Northern California chapter says that "Most divorce lawyers across the country are seeing a drop in new-client calls."

The financial crisis has caused troubled couples to think twice about going through with a divorce or find ways to reduce the costs such as trying to go without hiring a divorce attorney, using mediation instead of litigating through the courts.  In some situations, couples are getting divorced but staying in the same house.  Many people simply can't afford to divorce in the current economic climate. The process itself can be expensive and combined with decreased home values and loss of equity, huge stock market losses, and credit card debt have given rise to a need for great creativity in splitting the finances.

Often now there is no more equity in the house and there's less money in the 401(k) so one option is to defer the sale of the house to a later date and as as result, there are more cases where the divorcing parties remain at the same address.

Another effect of the bad economy is that people are trying to work things out and so the demand for counselors is way up.  It's definitely cheaper to go to counseling than to a divorce attorney.


The Bellevue divorce attorney at Andrew Kim Law Firm provides information to men and women about the divorce process so they can make an informed decision about whether to seek marriage counseling, wait it out, or proceed forward with filing for a divorce.  For a free initial consultation, call us at 1-800-636-3676.



Category: Divorce

4/19/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Breaking up in a down real estate market is hard to do.  In most divorce cases, the house is the largest asset to be split between husband and wife and typically, one party relied on the share of the equity in the home awarded as part of the property division to get a fresh start in life.  Now, in the current market, you're lucky if you have any equity in the home.


The recession and bad real estate market has claimed another victim:  those going through a divorce.  We used to fight about who gets to keep the house and now we fight about who gets stuck with the dead cow.  One side effect of the decline in real estate, is that couples are deciding to stay together longer or even make arrangements to live in the same household after divorce sharing the expenses because neither can afford maintain the house on their own.  The husband may live on one floor and the wife on the other not unlike the movie "War of the Roses" where the house is divided by a big white line.  The family home has become a toxic asset.


The flip side of this where one spouse has the financial means to keep the house.  For example:

Josh Kaufman and his wife bought a 6,500-square-foot house outside Cleveland on 5-½ acres that was worth $1.5 million at the market's height.  When they divorced in June, Kaufman knew his wife could not afford to carry the home. The longer the divorce process continued, the more the house depreciated. By the time he assumed the house, its appraised value was half what the couple had put into it; he did not pay her anything for her share.  "From a negotiating standpoint we knew that she couldn't afford to stay in it," Kaufman said. "It appeared as an opportunity to turn the negative situation around. There was no emotion involved. It was a business decision on what made most financial sense. It wasn't an attempt to take advantage of someone."  Still, his lawyer, Andrew Zashin, said, "He bought this house at a bargain-basement price."



Whether the above scenario applies to you or not, you should consult with an experienced Bellevue, Seattle, Washington divorce attorney to provide you with the information you need to make a well informed decision. 

Call the Andrew Kim Law Firm at (425) 289-1990 for a free initial consultation.



Category: Divorce

4/19/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Child custody cases are always difficult but when you add an international abduction by one of the parents into the mix, then the matter is complicated ten fold.  Take the case of the father David Goldman who has been fighting for years to get his now 8 year old son Sean back from Brazil where his mother had taken him in 2004.

Sean's mother moved from New Jersey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil without his father's consent and has grown into an international custody dispute with political overtones.  Both the U.S. and Brazil governments consider the decision of Goldman's wife, Bruna Bianchi to move Sean to Brazil a violation of The Hague Abduction Convention, an international treaty that seeks to determine whether children have been wrongfully removed from their country of habitual residence.

The U.S. State Department and the Brazilian government authority that deals with the treaty have called for the return of Sean to the United States.  But the case remains in federal court in Brazil awaiting a ruling on whether the treaty has been violated.  Brazil is has the fifth most number of international child custody cases after Mexico, India, Japan, and Canada that the State Department works on.

The twist in this case is that the mother Bianchi died in August 2008 when she was giving birth to another baby from her new husband and lawyer Joao Paulo Lins e Silva, who is a member of a prominent Brazilian family of lawyers and judges.  A state court judge in Rio de Janeiro granted temporary custody of Sean to Lins e Silva who has an army of 70 lawyers working on his behalf on this custody case.  The deck seems stacked against Sean's biological dad David Goldman but he has not given up the fight.  "I'm just trying to bring my son home," he said.

The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC handles divorce and family law cases involving child custody, child support, and other family laws matters.  If you would like to speak with a Bellevue, Seattle, Washington divorce or child custody attorney, call us at 1-800-636-3676 for a free case evaluation.



Category: Child Custody

4/19/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Child visitation and Skype.  You may have heard of this tool available on the web called Skype, free phone and video services through the computer.  Well, the Journal of Law and Family Studies reported that a handful of states have adopted “virtual visitation” laws, authorizing judges to include e-mail, instant messaging, Web cams and other evolving tools of the internet to keep non-custodial parents in touch with their children. 

Utah and four other states have adopted such statutes, and seven more have legislation awaiting approval.  The Utah law came about when Michael Gough, the divorced father of a 4-year-old, set up an in-courtroom demonstration of Skype, the Internet-based video phone service, and asked the judge to require his ex-wife to allow him to use it to speak with his child.

Gough said, “Before starting virtual visitation, when I spoke with my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, our telephone calls lasted only an average of 5 minutes. Now, during video calls, they last an average of 15 minutes and have gone on for as long as 45 minutes.”

Australian family courts have signed on to the trend and have used Skype in other ways such as video court appearance by the parties.  Technology is here to stay and the availability of Skype as a tool to keep distant parents in touch with their children is probably a benefit to the parent/child relationship when in person visits are not possible.


The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC has offices in Bellevue and Tacoma, Washington.  Please call a Bellevue child visitation attorney to discuss your child custody issue today.  Our toll free phone number is 1-800-636-3676.



Category: Child Custody

4/15/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Mel Gibson's wife of 28 years filed for divorce Monday, citing "irreconcilable differences" in Los Angeles Superior Court.  Robyn Gibson is asking for joint custody of their 10 year old son.  The other six children are 18 or older.

Robyn is seeking jewelry and earnings and assets she accrued after the couple separated, and a share of the money and assets Mel Gibson, 53, has earned during his nearly three decades as a Hollywood hitmaker which is a huge fortune estimated to be somewhere near one billion dollars.  She also wants spousal support and her attorney's fees to paid.

In response, Mel Gibson does not want to pay spousal support and is seeking that attorneys' fees be paid out of the couple's joint property.  The couple were married in June 1980.  Since there was no pre-nuptial agreement signed, Robyn stands to receive the largest divorce settlement in history.


The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC represents both men and women in divorce cases in Bellevue, Seattle, and other cities on the Eastside of King County including Redmond, Issaquah, Sammamish, and Kirkland.  Call an experienced Bellevue divorce attorney at (425) 289-1990 or toll free at 1-800-636-3676.



Category: Divorce

4/15/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Talk about a deadbeat dad not paying child support.  42 year old Thomas Frazier from Flint, Michigan reportedly owes more than $530,000 in unpaid child support for 14 children from 13 different women.  Court records say he hasn't made a support payment in six years.

Frazier is currently at the Genesee County Jail and could be held for 90 days unless he pays $27,900 which may be hard to do since he is unemployed.  He claims only three of the children are his.  So not only do we have a case of a lot of back child support owed but there's a question of paternity as well.

A Bellevue child support attorney at the Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC can help you with child support, child custody, parenting plan, or paternity issues.  So, give us a call at 1-800-636-3676 for a free initial consultation.



Category: Child Support

4/11/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

49 year old Dr. Richard Batista from Ronkonkoma, New York was married to Dawnell Batista and they had three children now ages 14, 11 and 8. 

His wife needed a kidney transplant and so Dr. Batista gave her one of his, even though their marriage was on the rocks at that time.  "My first priority was to save her life," Batista said. "The second bonus was to turn the marriage around."

After Dawnell Batista filed for a divorce, Dr. Batista changed his mind and wanted his kidney back as part of his property settlement demand or the value of that kidney which he estimated to be worth $1.5 million.

It is highly unlikely if not impossible according to medical ethicists that the husband will either get his kidney back or get money for it.  First and foremost, said Robert Veatch, a medical ethicist at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics, "it's illegal for an organ to be exchanged for anything of value." Organs in the United States may not be bought or sold. Donating an organ is a gift and legally "when you give something, you can't get it back," he said.

Nor can you assign a subsequent monetary value to an organ. There's nothing later (you can get) in terms of compensation if you regret your gift.


The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC handles divorce cases involving property disputes, although nothing quite as strange as this one in Seattle, Bellevue, and all Eastside cities of King County, Washington.  Call us at (425) 289-1990 for an initial free consultation.



Category: Divorce

4/11/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

A Saudi man in Iraq has set a legal precedent by divorcing his wife by text message.  He informed his wife that she was no longer his spouse.  Simple as that.  He then followed up with a telephone call to two of his relatives to confirm the split.  A court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah finalized the divorce.  Simple as that. 

Saudi Arabia practices a strict form of Islamic Sharia law, under which the law a man can divorce his wife by simply saying "I divorce you" three times.  Kind of like Dorothy in "Wizard of Oz", click your heels three times and your wish will come true.

If it were only that simple.  Of course it's not.  A divorce can be straight forward if it's uncontested and there are no children involved but it can also be very complex with division of property disputes, child custody and support issues, spousal support, etc.

The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC can help guide you through the maze of legal issues and define a clear path to reach your goals in a divorce case.  Call us in the Seattle and Bellevue areas at (425) 289-1990 or toll free at 1-800-636-3676 for a free initial consultation with a divorce attorney. 



Category: Divorce

4/8/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Vermont has become the fourth state in the country to recognize same sex marriages.  The state legislature came up with enough votes to override Governor Jim Douglas' veto.  This comes right on the heals of ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court stating that marriage cannot exclude gays.  Connecticut and Massachusetts also allow gay marriage as a result of court decisions. 

At least three other states are in different stages of considering same sex marriages and these are New Hampshire, Maine and New Jersey.  Here in the state of Washington, the state Supreme Court upheld Washington state law which limits marriage to a man and a woman.  However, we have a domestic partnership law that extends many benefits of marriage to same sex couples.  A bill that is currently pending in the state Senate would expand those benefits to even further to everything short of being "married".

This information was provided by the Bellevue office of Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC where we represent husbands and wives in divorce and family law matters.  For a free initial consultation, please call (425) 289-1990 or 1-800-636-3676.



Category: General

4/8/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

Interesting article about a recent divorce fair in London where divorce lawyers, counselors, lifestyle coaches and even astrologists get together with the idea of making the divorce process a little easier.

The fair, called the "Starting Over Show" took place at a cozy hotel in the seaside resort town of Brighton, England.  The objective of the event was to focus on the positive, starting with a warming cup of tea and a chunk of homemade cake.  Live music, play areas for children, and other exhibitors offering everything from psychics healing minds and bodies, chocolate, art appreciation vacations, debt counselors and mediators.

Perhaps people going through a divorce could benefit from the positive environment, help and support from such a fair just like those who go to wedding fairs to find out things they need to know about tying the knot.   But it remains to be seen whether such an event will catch on here in the states.

This information was provided by the Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC located in Bellevue, Washington.  We offer compassionate legal services to those going through a difficult time in their lives whether in a divorce, child custody dispute, child support, parenting plan, or issues of domestic violence.

Call us at (425) 289-1990 to talk about your case.  The initial phone consultation is free.



Category: Divorce

3/22/2009
Andrew Kim
Comments (0)

This is the first in a series of future blogs that will be written about current divorce and family law issues in the State of Washington and elsewhere.  The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC with offices in Bellevue and Tacoma is dedicated to providing the highest quality legal advice and representation in divorce and family law matters.

The design and content of this new web site will assist you in finding helpful information to answer your questions.  If you have further questions, please call us at (425) 289-1990 in Bellevue and (253) 682-2000 in Tacoma.



Category: General

Name *

Phone *

Email *

Tell us more *


Bellevue Office
11900 NE 1st Street
Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 289-1990
Fax: (425) 289-1991
Get Directions

Offices

Bellevue Office
11900 NE 1st Street
Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 289-1990
Fax: (425) 289-1991

FAQs

Divorce

view all