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Mark Randall Arend
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Mark Arend’s Answers

286 total


  • What is post secondary support?

    I don't understand the post secondary support provisions in Washington? Is a parent responsible for paying just for tuition for a student or for cost of living as well? That is, if my children were living with my ex wife and attending college, w...

    Mark’s Answer

    "Postsecondary Support" is essentially an order to pay money to support your child after they've graduated from high school and are pursuing a college or trade school degree. Washington is in a minority of states that still allow such an order.

    When a Court decides on whether or not to enter such an order requiring parents to pay postsecondary support the Court considers a number of factors. Those factors can be found in RCW 26.19.090. The order requiring you to pay postsecondary support can include all of the costs to attend college or trade school, including transportation, room, board, books, personal expenses, etc. The orders are specific to each family's circumstances.

    An experienced family law attorney can help you understand your situation, particularly before an order is entered. Good luck.

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  • Can I ask or bring up modification in a support order if I file a contempt of court that has to do with the current CH S Order?

    I have an order of child support that is already been ordered. However, in this order Taxes have been split between the mother and I, Odd years the father and Even Years the mother. Nonetheless, the mother filed Taxes for a year she was not suppos...

    Mark’s Answer

    If the mother violated the order, take action. First, you might get a written agreement from her that you will claim the next two years to make up for her violation. Try to work it out first, but it appears that your "ex" is highly adverse and may not be reasonable, so she won't agree to anything. If she won't agree on a reasonable solution, then file for contempt.

    You can also involve the IRS by showing that the exemption was yours by Court order and the IRS should reject her filing. The IRS may help and they may not. The Court will help, for sure.

    If there are changes in your circumstances that warrant a child support modification take action immediately. All too often I see clients that should have modified their orders years ago and it has cost them thousands of dollars that are now lost forever.

    It would seem that your new Order of Child Support should include further restrictions, including signing an IRS "release of claim to exemptions" form for the non-claiming party in the "off" years. Good luck.

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  • Waiting for proposed child support modification from WA Prosecuting Attorney. My original decree was from another state

    and it does not have anything about secondary educational support. However, some friends who went through this told me that WA might include it in the new modification. What if I agree to the amount and everything else they said, except for openin...

    Mark’s Answer

    Even if there is a post-secondary support order entered that requires you to pay post-secondary expenses for your daughter, you will be able to pay the money directly to the education institution, the housing provider, or other provider directly. You rarely have to pay your "ex" directly. Part of the reason for that is to ensure the money goes to your child. Another part of that is because there are several requirements that your daughter has to meet and maintain to continue to receive the benefits of her parents paying for post-secondary education (be accepted to a college/trade school, maintain "good standing" with the institution, full time enrollment, finish before she's 23-years old,
    etc.).

    Washington is in the minority of states that continues to order post-secondary education support. The statute includes several factors that will impact the outcome of any Court proceeding and whether there will be a post-secondary education order. The Court almost always has the child contribute to their own expenses, too, and sometimes in a substantial way (i.e. 1/3 of total costs).

    An experienced family law attorney can help you understand the statute and your options. There may even be a good argument for stating that there will be no post-secondary support in your first Washington Order of Child Support. That way you won't be "forced" to pay, you can pay for your daughter's education because you want to. Good luck.

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  • What should you do if the court says you have to pay more money then you presently have

    Going through a Divorce of long standing. Made good money last year but business gone down hill since December. Working in Oil field i North Dakota. Companies closing , relocating, laying off, or just slowing down. Spouse wants more then I cu...

    Mark’s Answer

    Rest assured that if you show the Court "proof" of what you've written here you aren't going to have to pay more than you make. The Court prefers to develop Orders of Child Support from actual income. The Court will impute income is when a party is voluntarily under-employed or voluntarily unemployed. It seems to me that your employment has been effected involuntarily.

    Make sure to share all of your information with the Court and to provide written proof of what's going on, even if you have to ask your employer for a statement sworn under oath. It's worth doing because there is probably a lot of money at stake, right?

    If you already have an Order of Child Support then you may want to talk with an experienced family law attorney about your options in modifying the order.

    I know it may not seem like it at times, but the whole purpose of child support is to make sure that your child is sufficiently supported. The Washington State Child Support schedules, when calculated properly, are not unfair, I promise you. The Courts do not seek to find ways to put parents into financial crisis, either. The Courts will work with you to make sure your order is "fair and equitable" if you give them the right information to consider. Good luck.

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  • Health insurance Rembursement I'm being issued a check for over $5000 Under my mom medical how should the money be split?

    I had a baby a yr ago and my mom kept me on her insurance because it was cheaper to keep me on without me asking so I had a primary insurance from the state and secondary from my mom somehow when I had a baby they billed my mom insurance more then...

    Mark’s Answer

    The check is the result of a billing error. The money is the property of one or both of the insurance companies. If either you or your mother "cash" the check there will likely be legal action against you. Contact both insurance providers immediately to report the problem and avoid unnecessary legal proceedings that will distract you and your mother from taking care of your 1-year old. Good luck.

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  • Can I file an anti-harassment order against my ex for falsely reporting me to CPS?

    Can I file an anti-harassment order against my ex for falsely reporting me to CPS? It's an ongoing investigation, and the child involved is my moody, highly emotional 15 year old daughter. She went to live with him last year, I rarely see her and ...

    Mark’s Answer

    From what you've written here, you can't file an anti-harassment order against your "ex" for filing a CPs report. There's no way for you to know what your daughter told your "ex," either. The CPS report is likely to come back "unfounded."

    If this type of situation is developing over an annual IRS tax exemption then your Order of Child Support should spell out the schedule for each of you claiming exemptions for your daughter much more clearly.

    If your "ex" continues to file false reports, however, CPS will know that he cries "wolf," and his credibility will be shot with CPS and likely your Court. An experience family law attorney will be a great asset to you in your dealings with your "ex." Good luck.

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  • Visitation rights for my son?

    I currently live in Washington and the mother of my son, has out of no where taken him to Hawaii. We haven't established any visitation plans but I would like to know if it is still possible. My son is 10 months old and he left to HI last month. T...

    Mark’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Speak with a qualified attorney immediately. Time is of the essence because of jurisdictional issues related to the time your son spends continuously in Hawaii. This looks like child abduction and I'll bet it feels like child abduction to you. This is not a victimless crime! All of the research about this type of child abduction indicates that abduction by one parent is child abuse. Your son needs you and you need your son. It looks like you are in Tacoma, and to be sure Pierce County Superior Court will address the situation with respect to you son's best interests. Good luck.

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  • Is it illegal for a minor to ask another minor for nudes.

    is it illegal for a minor to ask another minor for nudes? So I was talking to this girl, who I didnt like. But she liked me alot. I was playing around with my friends this one night and asked her for nudes. But I wasnt really that serious. But sh...

    Mark’s Answer

    You should consult with an lawyer immediately. The situation you are describing is probably criminal and is incredibly serious. Speak with your parents about this immediately, too. Be sure to take responsibility for your actions. There may be a chance for you and your parents, and the girl and her parents to resolve the situation without going to Court, but don't take any chances. See a lawyer now.

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  • Is this child support situation fair?

    Original agreement with ex was 1000$ a month support for 2 kids he would provide insurance and have the children every other weekend. Since then he has dropped the insurance never sees them and dropped the support to 500$ a month. He is intentiona...

    Mark’s Answer

    From what you've written here it looks like you don't have an Order of Child Support signed by the Court. Your "agreement" with your "ex" is unenforceable. If you don't have an Order of Child Support I recommend you hire an experienced attorney to help you get one immediately. This issue warrants immediate action.

    On the other hand, If you have an Order of Child Support signed by the Court then your "ex" is in contempt of the order. I recommend you hire an experienced attorney to help you get an order for contempt and a judgment for payment as soon as you possibly can.

    Given the change in circumstances you wrote about here, I believe going to Court to pursue a modification is entirely appropriate. Good luck.

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  • Hi attorneys, I have question regarding preparing separation document. If I closed my personal saving account one to two month

    prior to preparing the documents , does my spouse attorney able to track back the $$$ as far as Community property?

    Mark’s Answer

    From what you've written, if your "personal savings account" was entirely personal and separate property during your marriage, then you can do anything with the account that you want before you and your spouse file any documents regarding separation or divorce. Remember, your spouse can do anything with their separate property, too.

    If you account was "community property" then that property is going to be fairly and equitably divided depending on your situation.

    In some cases, if bringing separate property into the property division for a legal separation or divorce makes the situation "fair and equitable," the Court can divide separate property of either spouse and give some, or all of it, to the other spouse. Maintain good records to show what your account was worth so there is no room for disagreement about value. Good luck.

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