Phil Weinberg’s Assault/DV FAQ

1) What’s the difference between Assault and Battery? Many linguistic pedants try to use a strict definition of assault vs battery, saying Assault means to cause fear (such as swinging your fist at someone’s face, but stopping before actual contact is made) while Battery means to actually strike, (such as sneaking up behind someone, and … Read more

First 48 Hours AFTER a Felony Arrest

After a felony arrest contact a lawyer right away. Immediately. There will be a first appearance hearing in most cases right after your arrest or within a few days (a little longer if any drugs and thus lab tests are being done by the toxicology lab before the prosecutors determine how and with what to … Read more

Legal Separation

1) Does the state of Washington offer the option of legal separation, in lieu of an absolute divorce? Yes. If the filing party requests the court to decree a legal separation in lieu of an absolute divorce, the court shall enter the decree in that form, unless the other party objects and petitions for a decree … Read more

Grounds for Divorce

1) What is meant by “grounds for divorce”? A “ground” for divorce is a “reason” for divorce or Legal Separation. 2) What are the recognized grounds for divorce in Washington? The only legal grounds for divorce in the State of Washington is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. “Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage” is also … Read more

Division of Property

Washington is a Community Property state and generally, the rule is that if you earned it during the marriage it is owned as an undivided whole by both parties. However, the courts are given discretion in dividing property in a “fair and equitable” manner. This division of assets and liabilities needs to be done thoughtfully so … Read more

Child custody, visitation and support

1) What is child custody and visitation? “Child custody” refers to which parent will have legal custody of the children, that is, with whom the children will live, and makes major decisions for them, such as which school they will attend, their primary doctor, etc. “Visitation” is the topic of the non-custodial parent’s ability to visit/spend … Read more

Alimony, Spousal maintenance/support

1) What does the term “spousal support” (or, “alimony”) mean? “Spousal support” (sometimes called “alimony”) is money paid by one spouse to the other due to the payee spouse’s loss of the benefit of the payor spouse’s income due to the divorce. Alimony is supposed to help lessen the financial hardship that often accompanies divorce. … Read more