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Mark Randall Arend
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Mark Arend’s Answers

292 total


  • If this ends up going to court what are my chances of getting 50/50 shared custody? What are my rights?

    I'm a man in the middle of a divorce. My wife left. We have a 12 year old girl. I went to a collaborative divorce atty and had a 50/50 custody weekly parenting plan written up. We both signed it . We also have been doing weekly custody since she ...

    Mark’s Answer

    From the information you provided, you need to consult with a qualified family law attorney right away. There appears to have been a huge breakdown in the collaborative agreement you reached. That breakdown appears to be in bad faith by your "ex"; particularly considering that your "ex" signed a collaborative agreement and is supposed to be working WITH the agreement rather than against it.

    It also appears there are several things that have begun to work against you that you can stop with a qualified family law attorney. It's important you stop the negatives now rather than later. Don't wait. Good luck.

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  • Is it possible to get child support

    My child is 18. Child support was ordered when newborn and alleged father was never found. Last seen on crime stoppers.

    Mark’s Answer

    From the information you provided, it appears that the alleged father may owe all of the child support to the time your child turned 18-years old or graduated from high school; typically, whichever was later. That is probably a lot of money and this issue is very important to you and your child.

    In Washington, you are entitled to collect child support for 10 years after your child turned 18-years old. If you file for and obtain a judgment for the amount owed, that judgment can earn interest. There is also the very real possibility that your judgment will collectable be for up to another 10 years beyond that.

    A qualified family law attorney can help you understand your rights in collecting past due child support. Good luck.

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  • My parenting plan lists the children with me every day of the week month year but says joint decision making.

    So my ex moved out of the country over 3 years ago and has had no contact with the children. When I originally filed my parenting plan during the divorce he signed off on being there or being apart of it. Not knowing what I was doing at the time I...

    Mark’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    From the information you provided, you can file court actions to change your parenting plan and the names of your kids. Keep in mind that you will have to properly "serve" your "ex" with each court action. That means your "ex" will be (and should be) fully aware of what you are doing.

    Given that your "ex" has not seen the kids in 4 years and he has not parenting plan providing time with the kids for him, you can rest assured that he isn't going to show up and demand time with the kids. He, too, would have to file to modify your parenting plan. After this long, he'd undoubtedly be required to successfully complete a program of "reunification counselling in order to spend time with your kids.

    Often times, name changes are an indication of desire to adopt. As with the court actions above, you can file an adoption action with the Courts. That will require "service," too.

    A qualified family law attorney can be a tremendous asset to you in discussing all of your options before you move forward. Good luck.

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  • How do I get a back ground check on someone that lives with my kids.

    I have custody of my kids they visit their dad on weekends he just got a new job and move to guys from his new job into the home I asked to get a background check and he refuses custody of my kids they visit there dad on weekends he just got a new...

    Mark’s Answer

    From the information you provided, you should do something about this immediately. You should know the background of anyone providing care for your kids. The kids' "dad" should willingly provide information about these people, including full names and birthdays. If he won't, seek a court order making him provide the information before he sees the kids again. Don't wait. Do it right away.

    For the background checks, if you know the full names and birthdays of the people in question, you can check the Washington State Court records online, or you can hire an attorney with access to the Judicial Information System. You can also check their Washington State Court records history.You can pay a fee to the Washington State Patrol and get a report on each person, too.

    Good luck.

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  • How do they divide a house in their joint name and fully paid off ..how do they put this in separation agreement.

    A couple has a house in their joint name and its fully paid off which has equity of about 120k ...they are considering divorce but can not sell the house immediately and divide half equity each...they agree to split half but at present house is no...

    Mark’s Answer

    From the information you provided, it's likely that the value of the house will be split equally for both people. There are a number of requirements in "dividing" the value of the house upon divorce, separation, or in the future; too many to describe here, but it's not complex. A good family law lawyer can explain your options quickly and effectively and probably help you reach a written agreement when you're ready. Good luck.

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  • What can I do to get my license released from child support suspension?

    My license was suspended for child support, I have been working for the costodial parent in Leiu of support payment. I cannot seem to get ahold of support officer and it has been over a week. When I talked to him last he said I would have to sign...

    Mark’s Answer

    I am so sorry that you are going through such tough times.

    The Order of Child Support requires that you make your payments and have proof of your payments. If you are "working" for the custodial parent in lieu of payments you must be able to show written proof of the agreement to do so and the value you two have agreed upon so that the "amount" of payments can be clearly shown to DCS. It is expected that both you and the custodial parent sign something about the agreement to make it "official."

    The only reasonable ways to remove your license restrictions are to pay the debt or sign the statute of limitations waiver. That means that DCS can collect child support beyond the normal 10 years limit after the youngest child turns 18 years old. Work closely with your DCS representative to establish good communications and a good working relationship. At times, this can go a long way to helping you with your situation.

    If you are homeless and are working for the motel you live in to pay your rent, it would appear that you may want to modify your future child support payments. There will be considerations of your employment status (voluntarily underemployed, etc.), but you may be able to lower your monthly amount.

    Good luck.

    By the way, you should have a similar written agreement with your "landlord" for the work you are doing for them, too. That may seriously impact your rights as a "tenant" later on.

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  • 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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