How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask xavierjd Your Own Question
xavierjd, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  20 yrs exp. in divorce, custody, visitation & support .
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
xavierjd is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Washington State. Boyfriend is married with 2 teens. Left wife

This answer was rated:

Washington State. Boyfriend is married with 2 teens. Left wife b4 ever knew me. He states that if his wife found out about us that she could cause him problems. What can she do? Can she legally do anything to me? He in 40's; me 30's. He told me reason for leaving. He is poor; so am I. Below poverty line right now. He does give her money for the kids. She works.
Thank you for using It will be my pleasure to assist you today.

Are your boyfriend and his wife divorced?

Where do the teens live?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Boyfriend not divorces. Teens live at home with mother. Home is a rental as I can tell through real estate records. I have not asked him.

Hi Carrie,

Thanks for the information. I want to look up a few things for you. I will be back asap with an answer for you. It may take some time, but I will be back just as soon as I can.

Thanks for your patience.
Hi Carrie,

There really isn't anything that she can do to you. That is because Washington is NOT a "fault" based state. Fault isn't a basis for divorce. So that means that because your boyfriend moved in with you prior to a divorce, it really doesn't matter and won't change the outcome of the divorce. The sooner the divorce is filed, the better it may be for your boyfriend. It may be that he is giving his wife MORE support for the boys than is necessary! And, in most cases, support ends at age 18 or upon graduation from high school, whichever is later.

Below is a short education regarding how a divorce procedure starts, how property is divided, etc. It may help your boyfriend make a decision as to when he should file for divorce.

The only legal grounds for a divorce in the state of Washington is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If one party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition and the prospects for reconciliation and shall:
  • Make a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken and enter a decree of dissolution of the marriage.
  • At the request of either party or on its own motion, transfer the cause to the family court, refer them to another counseling service of their choice, and request a report back from the counseling service within sixty days, or continue the matter for not more than sixty days for hearing.

[Based on Washington State Revised Code - Title 26 - Chapter 26.09.030]



The parties to a marriage, in order to promote the amicable settlement of disputes attendant upon their legal separation or upon the filing of a petition for dissolution of their marriage, a decree of legal separation, or declaration of invalidity of their marriage, may enter into a written separation contract providing for the maintenance of either of them, the disposition of any property owned by both or either of them, the parenting plan and support for their children and for the release of each other from all obligation except that expressed in the contract. [Based on Washington State Revised Code - Title 26 - Chapter 26.09.070]



In any proceeding under this chapter, the matter may be set for mediation of the contested issues before or concurrent with the setting of the matter for hearing. The purpose of the mediation proceeding shall be to reduce acrimony which may exist between the parties and to develop an agreement assuring the child's close and continuing contact with both parents after the marriage is dissolved. The mediator shall use his or her best efforts to effect a settlement of the dispute. [Based on Washington State Revised Code - Title 26 - Chapter 26.09.015]



Washington state is a community property state, meaning that property and debts acquired during the marriage shall be split equally, unless the parties reach an agreement independent of a court ruling. Should the matter be decided by the court, the following factors will be taken into consideration:

  • The nature and extent of the community property.
  • The nature and extent of the separate property.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to a spouse with whom the children reside the majority of the time.

Alimony may be ordered for either spouse in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including but not limited to:

  • The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned in the settlement agreement, and the ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his skill, interests, style of life, and other attendant circumstances;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
  • The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

[Based on Washington State Revised Code - Title 26 - Chapter 26.09.090]

SPOUSE'S NAME: Upon request of a party whose marriage is dissolved or declared invalid, the court shall order a former name restored or the court may, in its discretion, order a change to another name. [Based on Washington State Revised Code - Title 26 - Chapter 26.09.150]

Washington uses the "Income Shares" model to determine the level of child support to be paid. This means that the combination of both parents income is used to determine the basic child support obligation. The provisions for determining child support and reasons for deviation from the standard calculation shall be applied in the same manner by the court, presiding officers, and reviewing officers. An order for child support shall be supported by written findings of fact upon which the support determination is based and shall include reasons for any deviation from the standard calculation and reasons for denial of a party's request for deviation from the standard calculation. The court shall enter written findings of fact in all cases whether or not the court:


  • Sets the support at the presumptive amount, for combined monthly net incomes below five thousand dollars.
  • Sets the support at an advisory amount, for combined monthly net incomes between five thousand and seven thousand dollars.
  • Deviates from the presumptive or advisory amounts.

Worksheets in the form developed by the administrative office of the courts shall be completed under penalty of perjury and filed in every proceeding in which child support is determined. The court shall review the worksheets and the order setting support for the adequacy of the reasons set forth for any deviation or denial of any request for deviation and for the adequacy of the amount of support ordered. Each order shall state the amount of child support calculated using the standard calculation and the amount of child support actually ordered. Worksheets shall be attached to the decree or order or if filed separately shall be initialed or signed by the judge and filed with the order.

In entering or modifying a support order under this chapter, the court shall require either or both parents to maintain or provide health insurance coverage, for any child named in the order if:

  • Coverage that can be extended to cover the child is or becomes available to that parent through employment or is union-related.
  • The cost of such coverage does not exceed twenty-five percent of the obligated parent's basic child support obligation.

I hope you find this information useful.




My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it as "excellent" or in another positive manner. That is the only way that I can get credit for answering the question.

Thank you for your business!



xavierjd and 6 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Carrie,

Thank you so much for the "excellent service" rating! It is greatly appreciated and I am glad that you found the information useful.

If you have future questions, you can specifically request me by name as the expert.

Thanks again,


Related Family Law Questions