Family Law Resources
Local & General Family Law Resources
What is Collaborative Practice?
From the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
Family-Centered Parenting Plan: Keeping Kids Central, Not Caught in the Middle co-authored by Elise Buie and Karen Bonnell, 2018.
The Co-Parents' Handbook: Raising Well-Adjusted, Resilient, and Resourceful Kids in a Two-Home Family from Little Ones to Young Adults
Amazon. By Karen Bonnell with Kristin Little, 2014.
The Intelligent Divorce
A Family Stabilization Course, by Dr. Mark Banschick's
What Does Love Have to Do With It? A Prenuptial Resource
By Jerome H. Poliacoff
Free or Reduced Cost Legal Assistance:
Columbia Legal Services
Columbia Legal Services (CLR) is a nonprofit law firm that protects and defends the legal and human rights of low-income people.
Divorce in Washington Guide
Offered 2nd Wednesday of every month from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the King County Law Library, which is located on the 6th Floor of the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. The class is FREE. No pre-registration is needed.
Domestic Violence Family Law Clinic
One-hour free consultation with a volunteer attorney. Priority is given to abuse victims and cases involving danger.
Eastside Legal Assistance Program
East and north King County residents only. Free 30-minute consultation with a volunteer attorney for legal advice.
Family Law Support Division – King County Prosecuting Attorney
Assistance with paternity actions for people who do not have an affidavit/acknowledgement of paternity, and reviewing child support orders for those who have received, or are receiving, public assistance.
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child AbductionThe Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return.
King County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
Thirty-minute consultation and referral to an attorney for legal representation and referrals to attorneys providing self help legal services.
King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Clinics
Free 30-minute consultation with a volunteer attorney. Legal advice only (no legal representation).
King County Bar Association: Self-Help Program
Workshops on divorce, child support modification and parenting plan modification for a sliding scale fee, depending on income. Class includes preparation of pleadings, class instruction, and consultation with an attorney manager. King County residents only.
King County Family Law FacilitatorsThe Family Law Facilitator Program at King County Superior Court provides information and referrals to family law litigants who are not represented by attorneys.
Legal information, referrals, and self help legal materials.
Northwest Justice Project
Provides free civil (non-criminal) legal services to low-income residents of King County. Interpreters are provided to those who do not speak English or who are hearing impaired. Help is available in the following areas: family law (for domestic violence survivors), housing law, consumer law, education, public benefits, and in some limited circumstances, immigration. Please note that case acceptance is dependent on office priorities, staff availability, and the merit of each case. Services, especially representation by an attorney, may not be available even if all case criteria are met. The following organizations provide free or reduced cost legal assistance.
Washington DSHS – Division of Child Support
Information on administrative child support orders and court orders of child support.
Hundreds of free legal education materials available for viewing and downloading.
Comprehensive List of Documents to
Gather in Preparation for Divorce
- Your current driver's license
- Social security cards for you, your spouse, and all children.
- Children's birth certificates
- Immunization and naturalization papers
Divorce Related Legal Documents:
- Any pertinent or related correspondence from your spouse or his/her attorney
- Any legal documents from previous issues related to this divorce.
- Any previous divorce, alimony, child support and child custody agreements (if this is not your first divorce)
- Any pre-nuptual or post-nuptual agreements.
- Domestic partnership or dissolution documents
- Domestic Violence or restraining orders.
- The three most recent pay-stubs for you and your spouse.
- Social Security statement for both parties
- Offer letters if starting a new job soon and employment contracts for current jobs.
- Individual and business income tax returns for the past 3-5 years (state and federal)
- W-2 statements for the past 3-5 years for both parties
Financial Records of Assests: please provide us with your statements for the last three years:
- Bank statements for all accounts (joint and individual) for the past three years
- Investment accounts including stock, bond, and mutual statements
- Annuities, 529 college saving plans, or statements from other investment instruments
- Stock options
Retirement Savings Accounts and Information: (current statement institution, balance, beneficiary, and outstanding loans).
- 401(k) and other retirement funds
- IRA's (contributory and non-contributory)
Residential and Commercial Property owned by you and/or your spouse: It is helpful if you prepare a list with the address, use (residence, commercial, investment), owner(s), outstanding mortgage and any other loans against the property. We realize you may not have documents for properties owned solely in your spouse's name but they will factor into your settlement agreements so please place them on the list. Please include copies of deeds as well as all mortgage and loan statements for the past three years.
- Primary Residence (including a list of who is currently occupying the property)
- Rental/investment properties (including rent roll and/or financial statements for last three years and copies of leases).
- Vacation homes
- Time shares (based on points, weeks, or other conditions)
- Commercial property (including current tenets and leases).
- List of property owned by each party prior to marriage
- Information on any outstanding tax liens
- Insurance documents related to each property
List of substantial personal property: pictures are beneficial. Also please indicate if the item was obtained during the marriage (gift or joint purchase) or which spouse brought it into the marriage.
- Collectible items including: antiques, stamps, coins, baseball cards, artwork
- Personal items such as jewelry, computers, clothing and furs.
- Any vehicles you or your spouse own outright including cars and boats.
Other financial documents:
- Location and contents of any safety deposit boxes.
- Rental agreement if you currently rent your primary residence or vacation home.
- Explanations of any inheritance received during the marriage (including from whom and date).
- Any current or future interest from trusts and details regarding conditions.
- Paperwork for any loans you have co-signed for others but are currently not the direct payor.
- Auto Insurance- carrier name, policy number, vehicles covered, insured, term period
- Health insurance information for each spouse and children
- Living wills, Powers of Attorney, Advance Healthcare Directives, and Healthcare Proxies
- Information on any outstanding medical bills for either spouse or children.
If you and/or your spouse own any (or multiple business) either together or jointly:
- Business partnership agreements, shareholder agreements
- Tax returns for the last three years (local, federal, and state)
- Business profit and loss statements/balance sheets
- Lists of Business' Assets and Debts
- Rental agreement or deed from where the business is located.
Bills and Debts (include lender, three years of statements, current balance, and payment information:
- Credit card statements (individual for either spouse and joint cards)
- Outstanding personal loans for each spouse (school, debt consolidation)
- Vehicle leases
- Outstanding debt due to the IRS with payment schedule.
- Utility bills paid monthly
- Utility bills paid at other times of the year (sewer, water)
- Monthly household budget
- Educational expenses including tuition and tutors
- Medical/mental heathcare (including prescription medications)
- Extra-curricular activities
Estate Planning Documents (policy, carrier, insured persons, beneficiaries, and current and long-term cash values).
- Life insurance
- Long Term Care insurance
- Disability insurance