Services by our Olympia Divorce Attorneys
Legal Services Page
Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage)- A divorce can be the most stressful and emotional event you will confront in your life. The uncertainty for you and your family’s future is not something to try and handle yourself. What will happen to my children? How is child support calculated? How do we divide up our property? What property is “community”, what property is “separate”? Will I lose my retirement? Will I have to pay spousal maintenance? Can I receive spousal maintenance? What happens if I have to move? These are just some of the many critical questions that need to be answered. Philip Kratz, a professional Olympia divorce attorney, will provide you the answers based upon his careful review of your individual situation and his experience in handling hundreds of divorces. Washington State is a “no-fault” divorce State. This means that the reasons you are now facing a divorce are not relevant to the Court. If it is shown that the marriage is “irretrievable broken” then the State can grant you a divorce. The court process can be very involved and confusing. Since the results of the divorce will affect you and your family forever, it is essential that the process be completed thoroughly and with careful consideration of all factors by an expert Olympia divorce lawyer.
Sometimes couples are having difficulty in their marriage, can no longer stay together, but are uncertain if a divorce is needed. A Legal Separation may be the answer. The process allows the parties to divide property and assets, establish a parenting plan for the children, and establish child support. At the end of the process the parties are granted a Decree of Legal Separation. The Decree provides that the parties are still legally married and may still take advantage of insurance coverage provided by the other party and may at some later time reconcile and remain married. If the marriage ultimately does fail, the Legal Separation can be converted to a Dissolution of Marriage at any time six month after the entry of the Decree of Legal Separation.
Most people have heard the term alimony. In Washington State the law provides for “Spousal Maintenance” to be considered at the courts discretion in a divorce proceeding. Spousal maintenance is meant to be interim financial support to a financially disadvantaged spouse. The courts considers many factors to determine if spousal maintenance is appropriate, how much spousal maintenance should be paid and how long it should be paid. Some factors taken into consideration in awarding spousal support are the length of the marriage, the financial resources and needs of each party, the couple’s standard of living during marriage, the health of each party, and one party’s need for job retraining and/or additional education. The Court is free to consider other factors. The financial future of both parties is often greatly impacted by the determination of the award of Spousal Maintenance. Therefore it is essential that you have the experience of Philip Kratz working for you.
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When a marriage or relationship ends and there are children involved the well-being of the children must be the primary focus of both parties. The court will determine which parent is the “primary residential parent”. This determination is critical because the time that the children spend with each parent is structured in a “parenting plan” after the court makes this determination. If custody of the children is an issue in your case, you must have as a strong, aggressive, advocate fighting for your parental rights. A divorce is a time when children need the emotional support of both parents. The children should not be drawn into the legal issues of custody, child support, or decision making. Philip Kratz will counsel you as to how to insulate the children from the court process and he will fight to make sure the other parent does not “use” the children against you.
The Laws of Washington require the court to consider many factors in custody cases. They include: the child’s relationship with each parent, which parent has taken greater responsibility for taking care of the child on a day-to-day basis, each parent’s ability to perform parenting functions, the child’s emotional needs and developmental level, the child’s relationship with siblings and other adults, the child’s schooling and other extracurricular activities, the wishes of the parents and, in cases of older children, the wishes of the child.
The issue of child custody may be present in Divorce, Legal Separation, Non-Parental Custody and Paternity case. Philip Kratz has 15 years experience of safeguarding children through these complex legal actions. Let him be your strong advocate when your children need it most.
Child Support Establishment/Modification
Washington law requires that both parents financially support their children. The amount of support is determined based upon the incomes of the parents. How the income is calculated and what deductions from income are allowed under the law is critical to determining an accurate child support amount. The payment of daycare expenses, school expenses, and some extracurricular expenses may also be considered as a financial obligation in addition to the basic child support amount. The law allows the court to consider granting deviations from the standard child support calculation based on certain factors such as: payment of child support for children from other relationships; expense of other children within your household for which you are legally financially responsible; and/or residential time with your children that exceeds a typical visitation schedule. It is critical that the calculation of incomes and consideration of any deviations be carefully explored and accurately reported to the court. Philip Kratz will ensure that your children receive the correct financial support that they deserve.
Child Support can be modified as parents’ incomes change, the children get older, the children graduate from high school and begin college, and/or every twenty four (24) months. The modification process requires the same careful considerations as establishing the initial child support. Philip Kratz will review the existing child support order and advise you as to how a modification will affect the child support calculations.
Washington law establishes that a man is presumed to be the father of a child if the man was married to the mother at the time the child was conceived. A man, who is a possible father, but not a presumed father, is an alleged father. In non-marital relationships the issue of establishing the paternity of the father often occurs when the parties separate or if the parties never resided together. Because Washington State requires both parents to financially support their children the accurate establishment of the father’s identity has lifelong financial implications. Additionally, the right to custody or visitation with the children will also be established though the paternity process. Philip Kratz knows the law, and will protect your parental rights.
Adoption can often be one of life’s happiest moments. Philip Kratz has the experience to assist prospective parents through the legal process of terminating the birth parents parental rights, transferring custody, changing the child’s name, and establishing new birth certificates. He has also helped many couples that have had trouble conceiving their own children through the legal issues associated with Artificial Reproductive Technologies (ART). Whether you use a Surrogate mother to carry your child, use sperm or egg donation, or use In-Vitro Fertilization procedures, there are legal contracts that must be accomplished to ensure and protect your parental rights. Philip Kratz will coordinate with the necessary doctors and medical facilities to ensure a seamless transition on the happy day when you leave the hospital with your new baby. These issue need to be handled by a professional attorney with experience in this unique area of law.
If you are charged with a criminal offense the last thing you should do is try to represent yourself. Being convicted or just being charged with a crime can have serious consequences. You need serious, aggressive, experienced legal representation to ensure that your civil rights are protected. Philip Kratz was a public defender for seven years and represented hundreds of defendants in multiple courts. He has also been called upon to function as a special prosecutor so he knows both sides of the criminal process. Additionally, Mr. Kratz routinely administers justice as a criminal pro-tem judge. This unique experience provides you with an attorney that knows how a prosecutor thinks and how a judge will rule.
Mr. Kratz handles the following type of criminal charges:
Assault and Domestic Violence
No Contact/Protection Order Violations
For more information about our services, call our Olympia attorneys today.