Monica Kaup Cary
Bellevue, Washington Seattle, Washington
(425) 278-9542 (206) 547-1486
|Areas of Practice|
Family Law Collaborative Law Wills & Estate Planning
While I do still occasionally take clients in Seattle, these days, you’ll mostly find me in our Bellevue-Redmond office.
My practice focuses on complex custody litigation, mediation, relationship agreements including marital agreements and cohabitation agreements, and estate planning for couples, individuals, and blended families. I began working with Amanda DuBois in 2004 and became a named partner in 2010. I am so proud of our robust, brilliant, hard-working, and big-hearted team.
I believe families rarely belong in the courtroom. You just can’t go wrong investing in the possibility of a peaceful resolution, but be prepared because the courtroom may be unavoidable. And, don’t underestimate outsmarting your opponent by thinking rationally, logically, and outside the box.
When I was going through a divorce, I found solace in these words. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou
In the courtroom, there are strategies that work and ones that don’t. I’ve been fortunate to experience the courtroom in a variety of settings. Prior to moving to Seattle, I was a judicial clerk to the Honorable Elizabeth Welch, Presiding Family Court Judge in Portland, Oregon. From 2013-2018, I was honored to serve as a Commissioner Pro Tempore in King County Superior Court. (Translation: I was a “sub” for sitting commissioners). As part of my Pro Tem work, I read an enormous amount of paperwork, analyzed each party’s requests, and sometimes lost sleep grappling with the sheer weight of the responsibility entrusted in me to make decisions about other people’s children and money. The imprint left from my experience on the bench has forever enhanced my own advocacy skills as well as provided me a deep appreciation of our excellent group of Family Court Commissioners in King County.
In addition, I am the 2018 Co-Chair of the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee. Along with other area attorneys, I volunteer my time and our firm’s resources to evaluate attorneys and sitting judges seeking appointment to the District Court, Superior Court, Court of Appeals, and Washington Supreme Court.
Volunteer work is a core value of mine. My parents immigrated to the United States from India. In addition to the standard academic stuff, my father instilled in me an unfailing work ethic and commitment to public service. I began regularly volunteering when I was fourteen years old (my older daughter did the same) and I don’t recall a time in my life when I stopped volunteering. Prior to attending law school, I volunteered with Americorps VISTA (the domestic Peace Corps). I was paid a small stipend and was assigned to work in Seattle with FamilyWorks, a family resource center and food bank in the Fremont/Wallingford area. I helped create an Employment Resource Center for customers of the food bank. I recruited workshop volunteers for the family resource center where they offered free workshops for adults and children on topics ranging from bookbinding, photography and cooking to intercultural parenting classes. During law school, I volunteered in a Senior Center where I participated in a “buddy” program for an elderly woman who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
For the past several years, I have served as a volunteer divorce mediator with the King County Superior Court. I am also a regular volunteer with legal clinics at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, the City of Seattle, and the South Asian Bar Association. In addition to my individual pro bono cases, I serve as the family law mentor for API Chaya which provides me the opportunity to work with young lawyers and law students assisting immigrant women in the Seattle area. I am also the Co-Director of the South Asian Bar Alliance of Washington for 2018. Finally, as part of my estate planning practice, I am a frequent volunteer with the Washington First Responder’s Will Clinic which assists local police officers, firefighters, and law enforcement with pro bono estate planning. I am honored to have been selected to the 2019-2020 Board.
My career highlights include the successful return of a child who had been kidnapped overseas, obtaining a phased-in 50/50 parenting plan at trial for the father of an infant, negotiating multi-million dollar asset divisions, and assisting several elderly couples in resolving their divorces quickly and without court intervention. Highlights of my estate planning and probate career include volunteer efforts with the Washington First Responder’s Clinic, assisting new parents with their estate plan, and making it easier for busy adults to safely maximize the independence of their elderly parents. In addition, I feel privileged to have been chosen by my peers as a Super Lawyers Rising Star five years in a row (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). The Rising Stars designation is given to only 2.5% of the lawyers in the state of Washington.
Some little known facts about me – I am a sucker for letterpress stationery. My mom’s killer biryani will bring me to my knees. I detest having to wait for permission to kiss the elusive cheeks of my daughters. I make a mean lamb curry that even my predominantly vegetarian husband will eat. I believe divorce was a gift to me, my ex, and our daughter. I found love, a blended family, and a crazy sweet dog after divorce, and I believe love is awaiting every one of my clients.
Areas of Practice
- Family Law
- Collaborative Law
- Wills & Estate Planning
- Oregon, 2001
- Washington, 2003
- Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law, Portland, Oregon
- J.D. 2001
- Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- B.A. 1997
- Major: Government, Women’s Studies
Classes and Seminars
- Panelist, Bridging the Gap Judges Panel, King County Bar Association, May 17, 2018
- International Aspects of Parenting Plans – Virtual Visitation, King County Bar Association Family Law Section, April 3, 2010
- Family Law Litigation Basics, Washington State Association for Justice, August 1, 2007
- Co-Author, South Asians in 2007 – Take Another Look, Washington State Bar Journal
- Board Member (elect), Washington First Responder’s Will Clinic, 2019 – 2020
- Commissioner Pro Tempore, King County Family Court, 2013 – 2018
- Co-Chair, Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee (JAJEC), 2018
- Co-Director, South Asian Bar Alliance of Washington, 2018
- Supervising Attorney, Family Legal Law Intern, API Chaya, 2013 – present
- Volunteer Mediator, King County Volunteer Settlement Conferences, 2011 – present
- Volunteer, First Responder’s Will Clinic, 2012 – present
- Volunteer, Middle Eastern Law Association Clinic, present
- Volunteer, South Asian Bar Association Clinic, present
- Volunteer, Kinship Care Solutions Programs (past)
- Volunteer, Advocates for Immigrant Justice (past)
- Volunteer, Latina/o Bar Association Clinic, (past)
- Volunteer, Americorps VISTA (past)
- Volunteer, King County Prosecutor’s Office (past)
- Volunteer, Seattle University’s Access to Justice Institute (past)
- Volunteer, King County Bar Association’s Self Help Plus (past)
- South Asian Bar Association, Washington, Board Member, Secretary (past)
- API Chaya, Member
- King County Bar Association, Member
- Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
- Washington State Bar Association, Probate and Real Property Law Section, Member
- Washington State Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Member
- South Asian Bar Association of Washington, Board Member (past)
- South Asian Bar Alliance of Washington, 2018 Co-Director
Prior Professional Experience
- Hon. Elizabeth Welch, Presiding Family Court Judge, Portland, Oregon, Judicial Clerk
- Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
Honors and Awards
- Super Lawyers Rising Stars: 2011 – 2015