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5/3/2009
Andrew Kim
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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
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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

4/15/2009
Andrew Kim
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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

4/11/2009
Andrew Kim
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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
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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
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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

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

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