About Michael Atkins, West Seattle Attorney

Divorce affects more than the two spouses — children, friends, extended family, employers and neighbors will all experience changes to varying degrees.

The best time to see a family law attorney is before your situation worsens. I can advise you about the road ahead so that you can make clear and educated decisions about how to proceed.

Legal Separation

Contrary to popular belief, a Legal Separation is not the same as a physical separation (where one party moves out of the house). In fact, legally separated spouses can still reside under the same roof. A Legal Separation is a legal status similar to a “Dissolution of Marriage” (aka: Divorce, see below).

Legal Separations make sense for spouses who want to still be covered under the medical insurance of their spouse. Legal Separations require the same petition and summons as a Dissolution of Marriage and involve the same paperwork. Spouses must agree on assets, debts, parenting, support, etc. for a Legal Separation to be final. Unlike Divorces, a Legal Separation can be completed the same day it is filed if all parties are in agreement. A Divorce has a 90-day cooling off period.

Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage

Even the most amiable of divorces are going to take an emotional and financial toll on both parties. As your divorce attorney, my role is to help you get through it while ensuring all of your legal rights are protected. Among the many terms, I will negotiate:

  • Spousal support
  • How much per month?
  • How long until final payment?
  • Child support
  • How much per month?
  • How long until final payment?
  • Custody arrangements
  • Weekly/Monthly Schedules?
  • Holiday Schedules?
  • Milestones: Graduations, Birthdays, etc.?
  • Distribution of Physical Assets
  • Home, Investment Properties, Cars, Furnishings, Collections, Heirlooms, etc.?
  • Distribution of Financial Assets
  • Retirement Plans, Healthcare Savings Accounts, Investment Portfolios, etc.?

Parenting Plans & Child Custody Agreements

Long after the ink has dried and people have moved on with their lives, things change — and that can affect your child custody agreement (such as a relocation to a new city). If your life — or your ex-spouses life — changes, I can help re-negotiate your arrangements.

Family Law Mediation

The process of Mediation is a confidential process where I am a neutral third party, retained by both parties to provide assistance to help facilitate an agreement. Click below to read more about our mediation services.

So, let’s talk about your needs.

No obligation. No hassle. No charge.

Arrange your free consultation