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Alan Scott Funk

Alan Funk’s Answers

79 total


  • Served with contempt, but not valid, now what?

    I have custody of my son and his mother left him with me about 3 years ago. She has been a non parent in his life for that time. She is currently not allowed to see our son from the final parenting plan. Her mother served me on mother's day with a...

    Alan’s Answer

    I was once told by a judge that there are many ways to skin a cat and contempt is only one option to enforce a court order. A contempt motion needs to be personally served on the party and because jail time is an option, a party that cannot afford an attorney may have a right to one.

    A contempt motion will need to state with particularity what action you took and how that violated a specific provision of the parenting plan.

    You will want to identify all of the other relevant provisions of the parenting plan that support your position. You'll also want to describe how she's been absent for three years, and how she has not complied with the prerequisites for visitation.

    It is possible that a judge will find that she should have visitation (if she proves that she has complied with all of the requirements for a visit - so be sure to provide the details to prove she hasn't).

    The court may impose sanctions on you if the court thinks you have intentionally violated the court order in bad faith. The court can impose sanctions on her if it appears that she brought the motion in bad faith.

    Good luck,

    Alan S. Funk
    Wechsler Becker, LLP

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  • I am pro-se. When am I permitted to "object" during a hearing?

    I am preparing for a "revision of a commissioner's ruling hearing" before a judge. This ruling was for a child support order for my daughter. My ex will be arguing that he will no longer be able to afford to fly our daughter to visit him during hi...

    Alan’s Answer

    You probably should not offer an objection to an argument. Instead, you should respond to the argument, point out that it is new and state the reasons why it is unfair to bring it up now.

    If you object during the other side's argument, the court will probably just view your objection as interruption. Judges NEVER like interruptions.

    If you really want to object, tell the judge that you have an objection at the very beginning of the hearing. The judge will probably tell you to address that in your response.

    Good luck,

    Alan Funk
    Wechsler Becker, LLP

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  • Is it ok for my ex to tell me that anything that happens while my son is with him is none of my business? Even where he is at?

    My ex and I were never married and split up about a year ago. We have a 4 year old. i can't afford a lawyer for a parenting plan so we don't have one. I let my ex see my son every other weekend and on Thursdays. But lately he has been telling me e...

    Alan’s Answer

    Refusal to provide a co-parent information is a common area of conflict. Relationship between parents range from very hostile to very cooperative. When parents cooperate in good faith, the children achieve better long-term outcomes, but if there's a history of domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse or mental health issues, good faith cooperation may not be possible.

    For example, when one parent is stalking the other, the other parent has a reason to withhold a romantic partner's address.

    Parents in high conflict often do best by keeping their lives separate. We call this parallel parenting;

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201309/parallel-parenting-after-divorce

    If that is how he approaches co-parenting with you, give some thought to why he chose this route. If your son is safe with him, this might make sense.

    If instead, your ex is just being a jerk, your son is not safe, then your son needs you to take action. Go to the courthouse and ask for help. They'll direct you to the right services.

    Good luck,

    -Alan S. Funk
    Wechsler Becker, LLP

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  • Will I need to pay spousal and how much?

    married 22 years. I make $140,000, she makes $47,000 both of us work fulltime. Me for 29 years, her for 10. Have about 1.5 million in equity. 645,000 in my 401k. I have worked at boeing 29 years, we have been married 22 years, kids are in coll...

    Alan’s Answer

    You make approximately $11,666 per month, gross. Your wife makes just under $4,000 per month. You have a long-term marriage. It is likely you will be required to pay spousal maintenance.

    If you pay $36,000 per year to her, you'll have $104,000 gross income. She'll have $83,000 gross income. While the dissolution is pending, she may argue that you should each have an equal share of the total income. Your combined income is $187,000. Half of that is $93,500. You'd need to pay her $46,500 per year to equalize incomes (or $3,875 per month). You may argue that your post-separation income should be considered your separate property and spousal maintenance should be based on need and ability to pay.

    I recommend you look at the statute to gather your best arguments to establish an appropriate amount for maintenance.

    The statute is found at:
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.09.090

    The factors are listed at the end of my response.

    With regard to property, the court will first consider dividing the community portion of the equity and pension on a 50/50 basis. Whether the court decides to award a disproportionate share of the property depends on many factors. I recommend you look at the statute that directs the court as to which factors to consider. That statute is found at http://app.leg.wa.gov/Rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.09.080. The factors are also summarized at the bottom of this answer.

    SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE
    (a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned to him or her, and his or her ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;

    (b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his or her skill, interests, style of life, and other attendant circumstances;

    (c) The standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership;

    (d) The duration of the marriage or domestic partnership;

    (e) The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance; and

    (f) The ability of the spouse or domestic partner from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse or domestic partner seeking maintenance.

    PROPERTY DIVISION

    Tthe court shall, without regard to misconduct, make such disposition of the property and the liabilities of the parties, either community or separate, as shall appear just and equitable after considering all relevant factors including, but not limited to:

    (1) The nature and extent of the community property;

    (2) The nature and extent of the separate property;

    (3) The duration of the marriage or domestic partnership; and

    (4) The economic circumstances of each spouse or domestic partner at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to a spouse or domestic partner with whom the children reside the majority of the time.

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  • In regards to a child support final order what should go in the findings of fact and

    conclusions of law?

    Alan’s Answer

    The Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law provide a basis for a Decree of Dissolution, Order for Child Support, Parenting Plan, and other final orders. If the Findings are entered by agreement, the court need not include a lot of detail. If the Findings are entered after trial, the court may include some specific information about how income was calculated, why the court deviated from the guideline amount (or why not), etc.

    The Child Support Order itself contains findings to justify entry of the order. The Decree contains findings to justify entry of the order as a final order.

    Look at the mandatory Findings of Fact form, as well as the mandatory Child Support Order form. They include the required language.

    The forms can be found at
    https://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.contribute&formID=13

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  • Non compliance from a pre trial conference hearing.

    boyfriend had a pre trial confrence to resolve the visitation issue his ex and him do not agree on. the judge verbally told the mother she needed to allow him to start seeing his daughter and stated it be wednesday and sunday for short periods of ...

    Alan’s Answer

    If the judge issued a court order, the order can be enforced. The judge may not have intended for the discussion at the pre-trial conference to constitute a court order.

    If the judge's comments were not in the form of a written order, a motion for temporary orders may be filed. At a hearing on temporary orders the court can enter a temporary parenting plan. That parenting plan will be in place pending further court order or trial. Your boyfriend need not retain counsel to address these issues, but working with an attorney could really help.

    Good luck.

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  • Sent a text message to my ex-husband regarding schedule. How long should I wait for a response back?

    My ex-husband and I live 5 hours apart and meet in a half way point every other weekend. Since it's holiday break, the kids spend half of the break with me and half with him. The weekends have gotten out of whack because of this so it would cause...

    Alan’s Answer

    There is not a strict rule for this type of communication. A good rule of thumb is: be reasonable. If court action becomes necessary, make sure you can print your text message. If you cannot print the text message, I recommend you send an email. You can always send a text message duplicating the email and/or notifying your ex to check email.

    You can also call to communicate about this issue and then follow up with an email confirming the discussion.

    You might consider switching to 1st 3rd (and 5th) weekends of the month to avoid confusion.

    Finally, if this continues to be a problem, you should review paragraph V. of the parenting plan. Most provide for dispute resolution through Mediation with notice by mail (or certified mail). A short letter stating,

    "I am invoking dispute resolution under paragraph V. of our parenting plan to resolve the ongoing dispute we have regarding communication, exchanges and scheduling". I will be contacting our agreed upon mediator to schedule a time if I do not have your agreement to respond to texts and emails regarding the children within 24 hours",

    might do the trick.

    Good luck,

    Alan Funk

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  • Am i legally married if my husbands name is spelled wrong?

    I recently found out that my husband used a fake id when we got married and his last name is spelled wrong. His last name is Venegas but on our marrage license its spelled Benegas, are we even married?

    Alan’s Answer

    A marriage is voidable under RCW 26.04.130 Voidable marriages. "When either party to a marriage shall be incapable of consenting thereto, for want of legal age or a sufficient understanding, or when the consent of either party shall be obtained by force or fraud, such marriage is voidable, but only at the suit of the party laboring under the disability, or upon whom the force or fraud is imposed."

    If you are competent to be married, intended to be married and believed you were married, the court will likely find the marriage is valid.

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  • My ex is a pedophile, registered sex offender, he is court to sex rehab, his counsler and himself are asking the court to make

    my son (he is almost 17) participate in therapy with him (the both of them together). My son is the one who found pics (hundreds) of young girls in various stages of undress and turned him in and was the main witness against him. Can the court m...

    Alan’s Answer

    The law limits contact between a person convicted of a sex offense and his minor children. The statute addressing the issue is convulted. Below are paraphrased sections of RCW 26.09.191.

    There is a presumption that a parent who has been convicted as an adult of a sex offense against a child poses a present danger to a child. Unless the parent rebuts this presumption, the court shall restrain the parent from contact with a child.
    If the court finds that the parent has met the burden of rebutting the presumption, the court may allow residential time with the child supervised by a neutral and independent adult and pursuant to an adequate plan for supervision of such residential time.

    A court shall not order unsupervised contact between the offending parent and a child of the offending parent who was sexually abused by that parent. A court may order unsupervised contact between the offending parent and a child who was not sexually abused by the parent after the presumption under (d) of this subsection has been rebutted and supervised residential time has occurred for at least two years with no further arrests or convictions of sex offenses involving children.

    The law contains many more details, but this remains a complex area of law. You should seek the assistance of an attorney.

    -Alan

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  • What is the procedure to retract a motion?

    My former wife and I shared physical custody of our children. Recently, I relocated to Texas because I was unable to find fulltime work in Washington State. I filed a NOTICE OF INTENDED RELOCATION OF CHILDREN with the court but, after conducting...

    Alan’s Answer

    Filing a Notice of Intent to Relocate does not schedule a hearing. If you also filed a motion, in King County, you call the clerk's office and inform them you want to strike the hearing. I expect Pierce County would be similar.

    If you had a shared custody arrangement, you should consult with an attorney to review the factors listed in RCW 26.09.520.

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