Questions Answered by Marjorie Simmons

Q: Is my wife in titled to half of my pension after only 4 years of marriage.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Washington on
Answered on Dec 18, 2017
Marjorie Simmons' answer
Money earned from employment during marriage is community property in Washington, including deferred compensation like pensions and 401ks. Non-community property states often consider money earned during marriage to belong to both parties too. The part of a retirement account that is divisible at divorce is the part that was earned during marriage. So if a marriage is short, the divisible part will be smaller than if the marriage is long.

Most retirement plans require qualified domestic...

Q: My ex husband is retiring from his job to avoid paying maintenance. If he gets another job is he still retired?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Washington on
Answered on Oct 17, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
If your decree orders maintenance he is required to pay it, and voluntary unemployment will not exempt him from that obligation.

Do you have a QDRO (order for dividing retirement assets) already made? If not, you should do this right away, because your options are severely limited if he retires before you have a QDRO in place.

Q: I hired a mover to move me from OR to WA. He disappeared and took my $600 deposit. Where can I file a lawsuit?

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Small Claims for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
How vexing an experience for you that must be. You'll want to read the UTC's page on movers at: http://www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/movers/Pages/default.aspx. Movers must be licensed. Call them to make a complaint at 888-333-WUTC (9882) and see their moving publications at http://www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/Pages/moverpublications.aspx.

Q: Can my neighbor claim adverse possession to 6 in of land inside my property line, but on the outside of a fence I built?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
The state law governing adverse possession is at RCW 7.38 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.28&full=true). Generally, to make such a claim they must have been actually possessing the land in an open, notorious fashion, in good faith, under a claim of right for a period of 7 years, while paying taxes on it and making permanent improvements. If you start your fence move and they sue under a claim of adverse possession, you'll need an attorney who has a practice in real property law....

Q: What is the statute of, definition of and other limitations around legal malpractice in WA State?

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
There is no statute of limitation on legal malpractice. The definition can depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of your case, but there are things you can expect from your lawyer, at minimum, like working within the confines of the legal ethics rules. See the section on what to expect from your lawyer in the pamphlet at http://www.wsba.org/~/media/Files/News_Events/Publications/Consumer%20Info%20Pamphlets/Consulting%20a%20Lawyer%200211.ashx, and call the Washington State Bar...

Q: School van stopping at railroad crossings.

2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
The state superintendent of public instruction adopts and enforces rules not inconsistent with the state statutes to govern the design, marking, and mode of operation of all school buses owned and operated by any school district or privately owned and operated under contract or otherwise with any school district in Washington for the transportation of school children. (RCW 46.61.380) The Washington State Patrol Commercial Vehicles Division has the Commercial Vehicle Guide at...

Q: No will. One of the three children has passed. Does the spouse or her 2 adult children get her part?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
Generally, in Washington the spouse will inherit things before adult children, but not always. If there are financial accounts that are of the "payable on death" (POD) type, those accounts will have a directive to pay a particular person on the death of the account holder, and the same for life insurance beneficiaries, without regard to a will. You can find some general information at the King County Law Library online site: http://www.kcll.org/guides/probate-law-guide, and at Washington Law...

Q: Can Rainbow pattern dice be copyrighted?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
A copyright springs into being automatically when a work is created in a tangible form, however, registering the copyright with the U.S. Copyright office gives the copyright holder more rights to pursue a remedy if the copyright is infringed by others. You may want to read the general FAQ (frequently asked questions) about copyrights:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html.

Q: A collection agency tried to coerce me into acknowledging a debt when I requested validation. Do I have any recourse?

1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Consumer Law for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
You may benefit by reading the article on debtors' rights re collections at the Washington Law Help website:

http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/debtors-rights-dealing-with-collection-agenci.

The website also has other articles on debtors' rights.

Q: [ got a 20 day notice of termination of tenancy for no other reason butt spite what are my rights I have no rental

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
You might find the tenants' rights articles at Washington Law Help to be informative: http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/housing/tenants-rights.

Q: Need to prepare for court hearing concerning a new parenting plan to get my son back full custody.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
You can start or continue learning about parenting plans at http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/family-law/parenting-plans-residential-time

In King county you can call 211 to reach the Northwest Justice Project where you may find additional help. Visit the court's website to determine any court-specific rules that will apply to your hearing, and visit the courthouse to find your way around. Make yourself a list of the most important considerations to you, in view of what you learn...

Q: Have 1.5 weeks to get ready for a hearing to get my son back, FULL custody. How can I be prepared to win this case?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Washington on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
What a difficult situation for you. Each county has some kind of legal aid program, one that organizes for others in the state is the Northwest Justice Project (https://nwjustice.org/). You can call their CLEAR Hotline at 1-888-201-1014

(M-F 9:15 am to 12:15 pm) to see if pro bono (free) legal help is available to you, and you could start/continue self-educating by reading the materials at http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/search?q=child+custody. Good luck.

Q: This issue pertains to tenant landlord law and the questions and situation are explained under more information

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Washington on
Answered on Aug 25, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
Do you have a copy of what was signed? What does the fine print say? It sounds as if your former roommate may have had the expectation that you would contribute to the rent payment when the two of you entered into the rental arrangement. If so and if she would not have leased the apartment otherwise, she might not be able to afford the rent on her own, which would mean she may have to move because you moved out, and which may affect her child's ability to attend a particular school. You might...

Q: will I be able to sue the bank or the car place for allowing someone to purchase a car without checking if it was me?

1 Answer | Asked in Identity Theft and Consumer Law for Washington on
Answered on Aug 25, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
What an aggravating experience you've had. In your position I would first put a freeze on my credit reports (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs) and then speak with an attorney who focuses on consumer law. Many will offer a free initial consult, and some will take this type of case on a contingent fee basis, meaning they charge no fee unless they recover a judgment in your favor.

Q: My boyfriend and I are breaking up. He is the one who originally purchased the dog. Am I at risk of losing my companion?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Washington on
Answered on Aug 25, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
From your description it sounds as if you are the dog's primary provider. Have you tallied what each of you has paid for her acquisition and care, including time spent, to see where the two of you stand with regard to financial outlays on her behalf? The two of you might benefit from a mediation, which is much less formal than a court proceeding, but can help people solve disagreements. Many counties in Washington have mediation providers who charge very small fees or even none at all. For an...

Q: Will a judge order joint custody with no exchange of money in a self lititgated divorce? All issues are agreed upon

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Civil Litigation and Divorce for South Carolina on
Answered on Aug 25, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
Maybe. The legal standard is what's in the best interest of the child. You can call the SC Bar and ask for a referral to an attorney in your county, then call them. If they agree to a short and free consultation, you can pose the question and perhaps get more information.

Q: How do I find out if my daughter's father is divorced from his wife ?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Washington on
Answered on Aug 25, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
You can search the MI courts website for case filings:

http://courts.mi.gov/opinions_orders/case_search/Pages/default.aspx

Q: My husband recently moved out (17 year marriage) and we do not know what direction we will go(below)

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Washington on
Answered on Aug 25, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
Possibly, especially with regard to retirement accounts. If either of you have retirement accounts, you should do QDROs now and not wait for the dissolution proceeding. A QDRO is a qualified domestic relations order that splits a retirement account. Most retirement plans have strict rules on splitting accounts, and if you do not attend to this right away, you risk losing your part of the marital portion of your benefits. QDROs are not do-it-yourself affairs, so see an attorney right away for...

Q: How old do you have to be to own a dog in Washington state???

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Washington on
Answered on Jul 15, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
That's a really good question, and the answer depends on different factors. In general, to be able to enter into contracts in Washington, you must be 18 years old or older (an "adult"), and not under some other legal constraint. Things like pet licenses and veterinary care services contracts require one to be an adult (because you have to be able to sign contracts), so unless there is an adult who could take over that responsibility for you, you would have a hard time doing things that require...

Q: My roomate dropped my cat at a shelter as found. Without my knowledge. Is this against the law. He didn't like cat.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Washington on
Answered on Jul 15, 2016
Marjorie Simmons' answer
In Washington it is a gross misdemeanor (crime) to take or conceal pets: RCW 9.08.070 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.08.070). Animal cruelty is different and is also covered by state laws in RCW 16.52 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=16.52)

It may also be a violation of your lease, check your lease agreement.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.