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Divorce with Far-Sighted Perspective

 We know, on a deep level, what divorce does to you. This is the second biggest life stressor for a reason. What will become of your financial future? How will you get your kids through this unscathed? And what just happened to all your carefully laid plans, hopes, and dreams? You are going through a huge worldview shift. A mind-bending, life-altering event you’ve likely never experienced before—or even wanted to imagine.

Your advocate and guide to this complicated, confusing process, DuBois Levias Law Group is here to get you through this. We focus on the end result from the very beginning. This doesn’t just mean your final settlement. We help you shape a clear and hopeful new vision for your future that takes you, your kids, and the long-term wellbeing of your entire redesigned family into account.


Whether you’ve made the decision, or your partner wants to file for divorce, this is a disorienting time for everyone involved. When you’re entering this new arena, you need to see yourself in a powerful way—above the fray. This is not solely about what you want in the end, it’s about who you want to be in this process.

Build your support team now. This might include your friends, your family, a therapist, a spiritual advisor. Avoid those with overt hostility towards your ex. Choose people who can help you see the bigger picture. This includes a divorce lawyer who echoes your philosophy on the process.

Divorce Prep

Where is your divorce venue? If you live in Seattle or Bellevue, you’ll likely file in King County. All the papers filed in court are called “pleadings.” Washington state has required forms that must be used as pleadings in all divorce cases.

This includes the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage, usually filed with other mandatory documents. This must be properly served to the opposing party with confirmation to the court. The opposing party then officially files a Response to the Petition within a set amount of time.

When these documents have been filed and both parties have been served, the court has jurisdiction over your case. It now has the power to enter orders that must be followed by all parties.

Temporary Orders & Time Period

The “in between”—after the filing and before the final divorce settlement—is often dubbed “the temporary time period.” For some separating couples, this could take a few months. For others, a year plus.

It’s important to craft what your life is going to look like during this period. How will bills get paid? Who will live in the house? What will happen with the kids? Temporary agreements or court orders can help resolve short-term issues while you’re waiting to finalize your divorce.

Pinpoint what kind of divorce you might be facing. Even if you want an amicable divorce, the attitude of your ex might turn it into a high conflict one.

The Divorce Firm You Choose Now Shapes a Lifetime.

Our firm represents both men and women in equal measure. Women-owned and led by an elite team of female attorneys, we have an empathetic and practical understanding of the many subtle nuances of family law dynamics. We’re especially adept at translating the everyday realities of family life into legal frameworks that judges stand behind. Fierce and compassionate, we rise to any occasion, even complicated and high-conflict cases, while educating you on the way.

An amicable divorce takes a measured approach to reach mutual agreements without heading to court at every turn. It’s more cost-effective and private than airing your dirty laundry in court. Avoiding conflict does not mean compromising fairness. But keep in mind it takes two to tango, if your soon-to-be-ex is volatile, or just a high-conflict personality, you will more than likely end up in a high-conflict divorce.

Learn More About Amicable Divorce

This is a very specific legal process and type of divorce resolution. You and your soon-to-be-ex mutually agree to sign a contract that says you will not go to court. Instead, you resolve to deal with this in a collaborative way by engaging a team of professionals and experts. But if this effort fails, you can always fall back on a more traditional legal approach.

Learn More About Collaborative Divorce

You keep trying to work things out, but everything seems to be getting worse. If contentious times in court now look like an inevitability, you probably have a high-conflict case on your hands. High-conflict divorces boil down to high-conflict personalities.

Learn More About High-Conflict Divorce

Mediation gives you an alternative path to court involvement that shares costs and elevates your control over the outcome of your divorce. Our representation allows for more creative problem-solving and mutually beneficial outcomes that go beyond the rigid confines of the court. All cases in King County must go to mediation before the parties are even allowed to step inside a courtroom. And the vast majority of cases settle in mediation. But if parties are unsuccessful in mediation, the courthouse awaits.

Learn More About Mediation Representation

Legalese Defined: Temporary Agreements or Court Orders

The best way to maintain stability during the temporary time period is to enter into an agreement or court order. You could sign off on an agreed temporary order in writing with a cooperative soon-to-be-ex partner. Or you go to court and let the court commissioner make the decision for you.

Common Divorce Mistakes

What are the most common mistakes I need to look out for?

After practicing family law in Washington State for all these years, we have noticed some common divorce mistakes people make. As you can tell, many of these mistakes have life-long consequences. We think you might be interested in this list just in case you recognize yourself or your situation:

  1. Unrealistic Financial Expectations

    There is no question that your financial life is about to change dramatically. One household is about to be split in two. Your lifestyle will not remain the same. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. It is critical that you recognize this fact and begin planning accordingly.

  2. Not Having a Full Picture of Your Finances

    You cannot even begin to make decisions about dividing up assets until you know each and every asset that you and your spouse own. And the same goes for debt. A complete financial inventory is essential. In addition to a list of assets and debts, you must know exactly how much money both you and your spouse earned over the past several years.

    One of the biggest red flags we see is when someone comes in and says “My husband/wife says s/he will be fair. S/he says there is no reason for me to get an attorney. All a lawyer will do is charge up a bunch of fees.” People who come to our office and tell us this are usually the spouse or partner who has no idea about family finances, even including how much money their spouse makes. You must learn everything about your finances.


  3. Relying on Friends and Family for Legal and Financial Advice

    We all have friends, family and neighbors who have gone through a divorce. While that may make them great people to look to for emotional support, it does not make them experts on the legal, custody and financial issues in your divorce. Every divorce is unique and you must gather a group of seasoned experts around you. In addition to a family law attorney, you may need a financial planning expert, a CPA, a parenting expert, and/or some kind of counselor or therapist. Look to the experts for your financial and legal advice.

  4. Focusing on the Present and Not on Your Financial Future

    It doesn’t matter how much you love your brand new SUV. It is almost always best to take an appreciating asset in a divorce rather than a car or other asset that will lose value over time. At settlement time, be sure you are properly advised about what asset is most financially sound for your future. And contrary to popular belief, keeping the family home that you can’t afford in the long term can frequently be a poor decision.

  5. Not Considering the Tax Ramifications of Asset Distribution

    One of the biggest landmines in dividing assets in a divorce is the tax consequences of the distribution. For instance, two stock portfolios may have the same value, but upon closer inspection by a CPA, one may have significant capital gains taxes associated with it. Or what about the capital gains associated with the family home? You must be aware of the important tax issues that accompany every asset.

  6. Failing to Realize How Long it May Take to Re-enter the Workforce

    Many people give up careers when they marry and have children. Don’t assume that you can easily re-enter the workforce. A vocational expert can be an invaluable member of your divorce team. They can assess your workforce readiness, and present this information to a mediator or a judge if necessary. Without a vocational expert, you have no way to prove that you need a meaningful maintenance (alimony) package.

  7. Making Emotional Decisions Without Taking the Time to Understand the Implications of the Decision

    One thing is certain in almost all divorce situations: you will want to get it over as quickly as possible. Sometimes a quick resolution is possible, but when the case becomes contentious, one spouse will often bully the other. Don’t let your spouse’s threats intimidate you into making a quick decision that isn’t right for you and your children. On the other end of the spectrum is the desire for revenge, which inevitably drags out the process, costing you money and creating unnecessary stress. Do not fall into this trap. Get the support you need so that you do not let your emotions blind your ability to make good decisions for you and your children.

  8. Failing to Employ an Effective Divorce Strategy

    Obviously, you have a lot at stake in your divorce. Your financial future hangs on your ability to make good, well-reasoned decisions. You can trust our team to provide you with the education you need. Without good solid information, you will not be able to make the decisions that will impact you for the rest of your life.

  9. Discussing “Adult Matters” With the Children

    As impossible as it may seem, this is the time for you to put your anger and resentment aside. Every single expert report you will ever read will tell you emphatically that your children should not be included in decisions about child custody, parenting plans, child support or any feelings you may have towards the other parent. This divorce is between the parents. It will do nothing but damage your children to drag them into the divorce process.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.