Family Law Practice Areas

To View Practice Areas in Family Law Please Select from the menu on the right.  You may also view family law topics on our blog.

Ten Tips for Successful Family Law Declaration Drafting

Ten Tips for Successful Family Law Declaration Drafting Many aspects of family law litigation are decided based on declarations of parties and witnesses.  These documents are sworn statements that are relied upon almost exclusively by the bench in the critical first stages of family law cases, both in entering ex parte orders and the temporary […]

How to Save Money In Divorce

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Divorce 1. Choose your Divorce Attorney carefully The best way to get feedback on an attorney is to get a referral. Ask your friends and colleagues for input on local attorneys. If you don’t have a referral, many family law attorneys offer free consultations. Meet with your prospective […]

Tips for Preparing for Mediation

Tips for Preparing for Mediation In most counties, some form of dispute resolution is required before your trial date. The most common form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is mediation. Although some mediations take place with all parties in the same room, most mediators prefer to have the parties separated in two separate rooms and […]

Tips For Attending Family Court

Five Tips For Attending Family Court Everyone gets nervous about going to court, even attorneys and sometimes even judges. In my experience, knowing what to expect helps people prepare for any stressful situation.  Whether you are attending court with your attorney, or appearing on your own behalf, here are a few tips to help make […]

How to File for Divorce in Washington

How to File for Divorce in Washington State: If you want to file for divorce, there are several important steps.  Call today (206) 728-8000 to get a free phone consultation from our attorneys to help you take the steps required to protect your interests. 1.) Hire a divorce attorney licensed to practice in Washington state. […]

Dividing the Military Pension: The Ten Year Rule

When someone is married to a service member, the question of dividing the service member’s pension comes up in divorce cases.  Often the non-service member spouse is told that they are not entitled to any portion of the military pension if they were not married to the service member for 10 years which overlap with […]

Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Overview

If you are a military service member, you may be entitled to a “stay of proceedings” under the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  A “stay of proceedings” simply means a “delay.”  In other words, while you are serving in the military, if your ability to defend or prosecute the lawsuit is materially affected by […]

Published Court of Appeals Case for Child Relocation

Successful Child Relocation Appeal 101 Wn. App. 13 1 P.3d 600 101 Wn. App. 13, MARRIAGE OF CHRISTEL [No. 41836-0-I. Division One. June 5, 2000.] In the Matter of the Marriage of TEENA CHRISTEL, Appellant, and JOHN BLANCHARD, Respondent. 14 Stella L. Pitts (of Russell & Pitts, P.L.L.C.); and Philip Tsai, for appellant. Cynthia Whitaker; […]

Petition for De Facto Parent

Emily Tsai Court of Appeals Case in Washington State In the matter of the parentage of J.A.B. 191 P.3d 71 (WA 2008) Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1. August 25, 2008 Appeal from the Superior Court, King County, Steven Gonzalez, J. 72 Robert Henry, Cliffwood, NJ, Emily Jennifer Tsai, Tsai Law Company PLLC, Seattle, Counsel […]

Spousal Maintenance, Undifferentiated Support, and Recapture Rule

Spousal Maintenance:  An award of spousal support or spousal maintenance (i.e. alimony) is taxable income to the individual who receives the support pursuant to I.R.C section 71(a).  Also, the person who is paying the support receives a tax deduction under I.R.C section 215.  To qualify as spousal maintenance all of the following requirements must be […]

Spousal Maintenance, How Much And For How Long?

Spousal Maintenance, How Much And For How Long? Philip Tsai, partner at Tsai Law Company spoke at the October 7, 2011 annual King County Bar Association Hot Topic CLE to talk about “Issues that can send your case to trial or How to maximize your chances of settling.”  This article is part one for Spousal Maintenance.  If you would like to view the […]

WA Supreme Court – Third Party Child Custody

Attorney Philip Tsai argued a third party child custody case to the Washington supreme court in Olympia, Washington on 10/25/2016.  The argument discusses if Grandparents should get child custody when the biological father is fit and willing.  View the video at http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2016101022.  The audio file is available here.        

Fox News Interview with Trisha Conlon and Todd DeVallance

Tsai Law Company Attorney Todd DeVallance and Trisha Conlon were interviewed by Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson on August 4th, 2011 to discuss the heated child custody dispute involving a woman who killed her own children. Including commentary from the interview. Gretchen Carlson Comments: “How could a woman, I don’t care if she was […]

KOMO TV 4 w/ Trisha Conlon and Todd DeVallance of Tsai Law Company

KOMO TV 4 News in Seattle, Washington sat down with Trisha Conlon and Todd DeVallance of Tsai Law Company to discuss the case of a woman on Vashon Island who killed her children 20 years ago and is now living with Trisha’s children.  Attorney Todd DeVallance tells viewers, “Kristine Cushing acknowledges and admits to killing […]

King 5 TV Reports Trish Conlon Child Custody Case

On August 25th, King 5 TV reports on the Trish Conlon Case.  Trish is trying to keep her kids away from a woman who killed her own children.  Tsai Law Company’s Todd DeVallance talks about how he would like to have an evaluation done and how an investigation should be conducted to make sure Trish […]

Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 in Divorce

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 (Act) generally works to allow tax payers to exclude cancelled debt from income owed on their principal residence.  Qualified principal residence indebtedness is any mortgage a person took out to buy, build or substantially improve the person’s main home.  After the real estate bubble burst, many homeowners found […]

Tax Implications of Marital Assets and Division of Property

A. Property Settlement Award Not Taxable. A property settlement award or transfer of property between spouses incident to a divorce is not subject to taxation under I.R.C Section 1041.  It may be beneficial for the parties to reach an agreement that does not divide all of the assets, but instead awards one of the parties a lump […]

Divorce and Transfers from Retirement Accounts

A. ERISA Qualified Plans. Normally, there is no tax consequence associated with the transfer of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governed retirement account between spouses incident to a divorce, provided the transfer is effectuated through the proper instrument and the account is not being liquidated.  A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a domestic relations order that […]

Tax Implications of Divorce in WA – IRS Publication 504

While there are many facets to the practice of family law, the divorce practitioner should be aware of tax implications associated with the treatment of property and debt division, spousal maintenance, child support, and attorney’s fees.  It is important to be versed enough in the area of tax law to properly advise clients the ramifications […]

Innocent Spouse Relief – Form 8857

Innocent Spouse Relief, Form 8857. There may be circumstances that your client can seek relief from the payment of income tax, interest and penalties by claiming “Innocent Spouse”.  To file this claim, your client needs to fill out IRS Form 8857.  Your client is not responsible to calculate the amount of tax that may be relieved […]

Deductible Costs of Divorce, Gift Tax, and Student Loans

GIFTS AND LOANS Exceptions to Gift Tax and Property Settlements: Generally, there is no federal gift tax on transfers of property between spouses.  (See IRC Section 1041).  However, the transfer of property between spouses must qualify under one of the following exceptions: (1) it is made in settlement of marital support rights[1]; (2) it qualifies for the marital […]

Common Tax Issues in Divorce

1. Married filing jointly: Married taxpayers may elect to file a joint return or file as married persons filing separately.   A husband and wife can file a joint tax return provided that a final decree of dissolution or decree of legal separation has not been filed on the last day of the tax year.  Special rules […]

Who Can Claim a Child as a Dependency Exemption in Divorce

Who Can Claim a Child as a Dependency Exemption: The dependency exemption for a child will be awarded to the parent who has physical custody of the child for the greater number of overnights during the calendar year. If the child spends an equal amount of time with both parents, the parent with the higher […]

Child Dependency Exemption in Divorce

There are numerous tax issues that may arise as a result of divorce. It is highly recommended that clients seek the advice of a qualified CPA regarding taxable events pursuant to a divorce. The purpose of this article is to address commonly asked questions regarding the child dependency exemption. Can my former spouse and I […]

Itemized Deductions and Mortgage Interest in Divorce

Itemized Deductions: Another common tax question in divorce is which spouse is able to claim the itemized deductions when the divorce is complete.  It is always a good idea to address these issues in the settlement agreement and divorce decree so everyone is clear who will be claiming which deductions.  Also, depending on whether you […]

Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 in Divorce

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 (Act) generally works to allow tax payers to exclude cancelled debt from income owed on their principal residence.  Qualified principal residence indebtedness is any mortgage a person took out to buy, build or substantially improve the person’s main home.  After the real estate bubble burst, many homeowners found […]

Tax Implications of Marital Assets and Division of Property

A. Property Settlement Award Not Taxable. A property settlement award or transfer of property between spouses incident to a divorce is not subject to taxation under I.R.C Section 1041.  It may be beneficial for the parties to reach an agreement that does not divide all of the assets, but instead awards one of the parties a lump […]

Divorce and Transfers from Retirement Accounts

A. ERISA Qualified Plans. Normally, there is no tax consequence associated with the transfer of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governed retirement account between spouses incident to a divorce, provided the transfer is effectuated through the proper instrument and the account is not being liquidated.  A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a domestic relations order that […]

Tax Implications of Divorce in WA – IRS Publication 504

While there are many facets to the practice of family law, the divorce practitioner should be aware of tax implications associated with the treatment of property and debt division, spousal maintenance, child support, and attorney’s fees.  It is important to be versed enough in the area of tax law to properly advise clients the ramifications […]

Innocent Spouse Relief – Form 8857

Innocent Spouse Relief, Form 8857. There may be circumstances that your client can seek relief from the payment of income tax, interest and penalties by claiming “Innocent Spouse”.  To file this claim, your client needs to fill out IRS Form 8857.  Your client is not responsible to calculate the amount of tax that may be relieved […]

Deductible Costs of Divorce, Gift Tax, and Student Loans

GIFTS AND LOANS Exceptions to Gift Tax and Property Settlements: Generally, there is no federal gift tax on transfers of property between spouses.  (See IRC Section 1041).  However, the transfer of property between spouses must qualify under one of the following exceptions: (1) it is made in settlement of marital support rights[1]; (2) it qualifies for the marital […]

Common Tax Issues in Divorce

1. Married filing jointly: Married taxpayers may elect to file a joint return or file as married persons filing separately.   A husband and wife can file a joint tax return provided that a final decree of dissolution or decree of legal separation has not been filed on the last day of the tax year.  Special rules […]

Who Can Claim a Child as a Dependency Exemption in Divorce

Who Can Claim a Child as a Dependency Exemption: The dependency exemption for a child will be awarded to the parent who has physical custody of the child for the greater number of overnights during the calendar year. If the child spends an equal amount of time with both parents, the parent with the higher […]

Child Dependency Exemption in Divorce

There are numerous tax issues that may arise as a result of divorce. It is highly recommended that clients seek the advice of a qualified CPA regarding taxable events pursuant to a divorce. The purpose of this article is to address commonly asked questions regarding the child dependency exemption. Can my former spouse and I […]

Itemized Deductions and Mortgage Interest in Divorce

Itemized Deductions: Another common tax question in divorce is which spouse is able to claim the itemized deductions when the divorce is complete.  It is always a good idea to address these issues in the settlement agreement and divorce decree so everyone is clear who will be claiming which deductions.  Also, depending on whether you […]