Thank you for clarifying that.
As you are the primary custodial parent
now anyway, maintaining primary custody should not be difficult.
However, because the state of Washington is a "no fault" divorce state, that means that either party can file for divorce without providing proof of a specific cause, such as adultery. All that needs to be alleged in the divorce petition is that the marriage
is "irretrievably broken." And, because adultery isn't taken into consideration in a divorce, it does not impact the parenting plan
or your divorce settlement.
In other words, because WA is a no-fault state, you can not use his seeking of prostitutes as a reason to divorce him, or as a reason that you should have custody. But as I suggested, as you are the primary parent now anyway, that is unlikely to change. The fact that you are a permanent resident and not a citizen yet makes absolutely no difference either.
When you file for divorce, you will want to ask that the court allow you and your child to live in the Marital Home, and that your husband move out. You will do this at the Temporary Hearing.
In order to force your spouse to relocate from the marital home, or to pay support either for yourself or your children, it will be necessary for you to file for divorce. After doing that, you will want to ask the court to set what is known as a Temporary Hearing. A temporary hearing is a court proceeding held soon after the filing of a divorce action and allows the parties to ask the court to issue orders affecting the other party that will remain in effect, typically until at least the time of the divorce decree.
At that hearing you may ask the judge to order your spouse to move from the marital home, to grant you primary residential custody of the children if there are any of your marriage that are minors, as well as for an order that your spouse pay you both child support, and spousal support/alimony, until at least the entry of the divorce decree.
This is a very critical hearing to ask for. This hearing is not automatic, and if your do not request it, it may never be held. Another important thing to consider is having a local Family Law attorney assist you at this hearing. What occurs at the Temporary Hearing often signals what will happen after the divorce, both in terms of child custody and child support as well as spousal support. It is important for your future that you do well at the Temporary Hearing.
Presuming that you are the primary caretaker of your child, you can expect that the judge will make the temporary order such that you and the child will remain in the home and your husband moves out---this is pretty common and is really in the best interests of the children.
In terms of child support, with one child, you can expect the court to award you approximately 20% of your spouse's monthly income.
Based on the number of years you have been married, and based on the presumed difference in your respective incomes, it is likely that you will qualify for spousal support, for at least a number of years.
Issues the court will generally look at in determining spousal support include:
1.The present respective incomes of the parties;
2.The education levels and earning capacities of the parties;
3.The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties;
4.The duration of the marriage;
5. Whether either party will be caring for children of the marriage;
6. The standard of living established during the marriage.
While the amount of spousal support you might be awarded can be virtually impossible to determine based on the facts you have provided, when spousal support is awarded in similar situations it generally amounts to 15% to 25% of the higher earning spouse's income. The duration of spousal support often runs approximately 50% the number of years of the marriage. In long term marriages of 10 years and longer, spousal support can be made permanent by the court---terminating usually on the remarriage of the receiving party or upon their cohabitation with a new partner.
You will want to have a local Family Law attorney assist you with the divorce process. Generally in a matter of about a month, you can file the divorce and have the Temporary Hearing so that your support can be started as well.
You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
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I wish you the best in 2013,