Meredith McKell Graff’s Answers

Meredith McKell Graff

Vancouver Family Law Attorney.

Contributor Level 10
  1. If my daughter calls my fiance her "DAD" & now her biological father wants in her life after 5 years, how do I fight it?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    You may want to ask the court to appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate (talking to you, the child, the father, the fiance, and other people who could provide relevant information) report to the court with a recommendation. Unless the bio dad is willing to sign consent to step parent adoption, you are stuck with him. He may end up with a long process of reintegration into the child's life, little steps at a time, but until he terminates his parental rights in a step parent adoption case,...

  2. Can an employer force you to add them to your own malpractice insurance?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    I think you need to talk to an employment attorney because this does not sound right. If you are a salaried employee it might make a difference between that and an independent contractor.

  3. What's the best way to guarantee regular Spousal Support from a commission only income?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    You and he should average his pay over one or two years to get a realistic view of his average commission based pay. Then, set spousal support based on the average pay. Then, in flush months, he should set aside money in a bank account to supplement his support payments to you in lean months. You and he may want to also agree to review his pay every twelve months to ensure the average you calculated does not get too far out of whack for the period during which he is paying you spousal support.

  4. What are my options against employer who will not pay support they have collected on time - Ex won't do anything about it!

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    You have your answer from DSHS. The state has a budget shortfall and many state departments are being cut back. Child Support Enforcement has indicated to you that you can seek private collection if you are not happy with their collection services. You may want to talk to an attorney to find out how to set this up when you have had a wage garnishment order through the state. You will likely have to set up another form of garnishment--bank account, perhaps.

  5. Wanted to know about laws on dshs about med coverage they had me get for my son and its not geting used

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    Washington requires parents who can get health insurance through their employer for 25% or less of their basic child support obligation under line 7 of the child support calculation (see worksheet) to provide it for the child. It sounds like neither you nor your ex are able to get insurance for your child/ren through employers. This is why the state is requiring you to provide Washington Basic Health for your child. Recently the child support laws were changed in WA due to federal pressure to...

  6. Im setting up a Memorial fund at a bank for a family member

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    I am assuming the memorial fund is for family members of a deceased family member. First, talk to an attorney about creating a memorial trust for the surviving family members. If the family has hired an attorney to help with probate, the same attorney can do this also. How the trust is written depends on whether the memorial fund is for a minor (child) or an adult. The social security number of the primary family member who benefits from the trust would the the SSN used. This is not...

  7. Can a 15 year old girl move in with her Mom's ex-husband who was the child's step-father for most of her life?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    The step father will need to hire an attorney to do a Washington Non-Parental Custody action for your sister. This is in the family court and it includes an order for child support against the parents (they have a legal duty to financially support your child). It may also include a residential schedule if the court believes it is in the child's best interests to have regular contact with the parents, even on a supervised basis. The Non-Parental Custody action is better than guardianship...

  8. I am married with 2 kids and live in WA, USA and want to move out to Canada with my boyfriend.

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    Washington will have jurisdiction over your children for six months after you move. I do not practice in Canada so I cannot tell you whether it would be better for you to bring your divorce there than in Washington. However, if you were in my office, I would tell you to do it here and get it done with so you could move in peace with the issues resolved. Washington community property law considers all property acquired during the marriage community. You and the other party are always free...

  9. If I owned a my house before getting married and my new husband used my equity to add on will he get 1/2 of the entire equity or

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    2. Shawn B Alexander
    2 lawyer answers

    This is an issue that requires some digging and mathematics. The amount of the net equity at the time you married him would be your separate property. You should see if you can determine what the fair market value was at the time you married him. That will help you a lot. Next, you need a fair market valuation now that the house has been remodeled with a particular question of how much value did the remodel add to the value of the home? Usually, the total value, less the mortgage, less...

  10. Should I file for an emergency order or contempt if the other parent is not sending the child to school?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Meredith McKell Graff
    1 lawyer answer

    Yes, you need a motion and declaration for ex parte restraining order and order to show cause, an ex parte restraining order and order to show cause (do not get confused with the "order on show cause"--that is for after your court hearing that is scheduled on the order to show cause), and a declaration that tells in more detail what is going on. You can find state court forms on the state court website, www.courts.wa.gov.

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