my wife and I are getting a divorce after 16 years. we have agreed on everything but dont know where to go on the child support. she wants joint custody, i do not. i want full custody but to make things easier im trying to work with her. under washington state law who has to pay child support. she makes around 95k i make 65k. we have 2 school age kids. she travels at least one week a month sometimes 2 weeks. shes away weekends. what is most likely to happen if i agree to joint custody? secondly we are 13 months into a chapter 13. i dont know if we can continue the plan if we get a divorce? is legal seperation a possibility.
Family Law Attorney
Washington does not recognize the concept of "joint custody," even when the parties agree. 50-50 shared residential time is sometimes allowed where the parties have established a history of parental cooperation, and the children have adjusted to this schedule (e.g., both mom and dad live close to the school). The courts do not simply adopt a parenting plan just because the parties agree to it. If a 50-50 plan were allowed by the court and one parent makes a lot more money than the other, it is likely that the high earner would pay some support to the other. Your case sounds like a classic case where a mediator or two good collaborative attorneys might be able to negotiate a reasonable solution which the court would accept. This would save both you and your wife a lot of money, reduce the kids' anxiety, and increase the chance of a smoother road in the years ahead.
DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I will tackle a couple of the other questions you asked.
You should check with your bankruptcy attorney to ask how your Chapter 13 plan might affect your dissolution action.
A legal separation has very little difference from a dissolution action in dividing assets and debts. Choosing a legal separation instead of a dissolution is unlikely to make any difference with your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.