Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Family Law Section’ Category


Social Security and the 10-Year Marriage Rule

Social Security benefits may not be on clients’ minds when getting divorced, but one critical timing mistake could cost them a bundle.

divorceSocial Security retirement benefits may not be the first thing on your clients’ minds when they are getting divorced, especially if they are younger. The right to Social Security benefits is a federal entitlement not affected by state law, and rarely discussed much during divorce. But one critical timing mistake could cost your client a bundle down the road. Read more »


Religious Freedom Includes Right to Believe in Sanctity of Gay Marriage

WSBA Board of Governors President Anthony Gipe responds to member comments on gay marriage.

Close up of rainbow-colored stained glass

I normally use my blog posts to discuss and expand on my guest writers and the topics they are discussing. However, the June article that Barb Rhoads-Weaver and I co-wrote in NWLawyer prompted a couple of letters to the editor that I would like to respond to instead. Read more »


Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct – Your Comments Are Needed


Hands typing on computer
Give us your feedback on the proposed RPC amendments.

Hands typing on computer

Washington state is making national news with the introduction of Limited License Legal Technicians. Washington will be the first U.S. jurisdiction to license legal technicians, but a number of states are already studying Washington’s model for possible adoption. Legal technicians are authorized to provide legal advice within the limited scope described in Regulation 2 of the APR 28 Appendix. Read more »


The Cost of Education: Post-Secondary Support in Family Law

How rising tuition costs affect post-secondary educational support.

The issue of post-secondary support is a hot topic in family law. Over the past five to ten years, tuition has skyrocketed nationally, but particularly in Washington. Here, it increased 67.3% in the five years before 2012. For the 2013 UW class, tuition had increased 82 percent over the prior four years.

Read more »


“Can I Testify via Skype?” Using Videoconferencing Technology to Enhance Remote Witness Testimony

Skype in the courtroom
Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of Skype testimony.

Skype in the courtroom“Can I testify via Skype?”

This great question was first posed to us by an international family law client two years ago. While it seemed like a basic inquiry to our client, it took two years to arrive at a definitive answer. The Court of Appeals would only offer guidance once the same case was appealed, on the basis that the trial court abused its discretion when Skype testimony was ultimately allowed. On Feb. 20, 2014, the Court of Appeals Division II issued a decision upholding the use of Skype in Marriage of Swaka. (Marriage of Swaka, 319 P.3d 69 (2014))

We have long supported the use of court calls and witness testimony by phone, but what about Skype, or a similar program that allows for the contemporaneous transmission of testimony without losing the ability for the court to observe the physical attributes, mannerisms, and body language of a witness? What if we could save litigants and witnesses the cost and burden of long-distance travel and increase the information available to the court? Read more »