Family Law​​​​​​​

Family law includes the most important areas of your life, your relationships with your spouse, intimate partner, children and extended family. 

At Yale Lewis Law, we deliver sound legal advice on these issues when you need it most.




Our Services
Compassionate and Tactical Legal Advice

Family Law

Family Law

Family Law is about the most important relationships in your life: divorce, committed intimate relationships, maintenance, alimony, parenting plans, and child support.


We can help you reconfigure your relationship with your spouse in a way that minimizes collateral damage to your children and your other relationships. We can help you preserve your assets, sanity, and
peace of mind.

Mediated Divorce

Mediated Divorce

A mediated divorce is about getting divorced in a manner that conserves your financial and emotional resources and allows you to maintain a relationship with your spouse.

If you and your spouse are on speaking terms, trust each other, and can remain cordial in the same room together, you are a candidate for a mediated divorce.

Indian Law

Indian Law

Indian law is about the intersection of federal, state, and tribal law. If you are a tribal member, or if you are a non-tribal member dealing with an Indian tribe, you have an Indian law issue.

We appear regularly in tribal courts throughout western Washington. We have particular expertise in areas of Indian law that intersect with areas of family law, for example,  custody of Indian children and the Indian Child Welfare Act.




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Contracts With Indian Tribes

Enforcing a construction contract or other agreement with an Indian Tribe is not a simple state-law contract matter. A boilerplate construction contract with an Indian Tribe will probably not be enforceable in state, federal, or even tribal court. Therefore, if the project goes south, you will probably be without a remedy.

The solution to this problem is to negotiate a contract that specifically addresses jurisdiction and sovereign immunity long before any dispute arises. One way to address these issues is to stipulate to arbitration. The arbitrator, or, at least, the organization or business providing the arbitrator, should be specified. The scope of the arbitrator’s powers should also be specified. This contract, including the arbitration clause, would need to be ratified by a resolution from the Tribal Council.

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Parenting Plans


The parenting plan is a blueprint for how the parties will raise the child from the effective date of the plan through to completion of high school. It includes details such as where the child will spend each day of each vacation in any given year, how the child's doctor will be selected, and the number and type of extra-curricular activities in which the child shall participate in any period of time.

​​​​​​​Split Custody May Be the Future, But It Is Not Necessarily the Present

Washington courts have traditionally been hostile to split custody or
50 / 50 residential schedules. However, in 2007, the Washington Legislature took a small but significant step towards split custody.   

Under the revised statute the court may order the child to spend substantially equal intervals of time in each household where it is in the best interest of the child. This change has probably made courts more willing to order split custody over time.

In practice, at least in the foreseeable future, courts are probably not going to award 50/50 custody when the child is under school age and if there is a history of conflict. On the other hand, they probably will award 50/50 custody if the child is in 1st grade or older and there is a history of shared parenting. The courts will almost certainly award 50/50 custody if both parents are in agreement.

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Prenuptial Agreements


A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenup (or an antenuptial agreement), is a contract between two people contemplating marriage to each other. The standard prenup focuses on how the couple's assets will be distributed in the event of divorce. Prenups are commonly used where one party enters the marriage with significantly more assets than the other and wishes to retain those assets in the event of a divorce. A prenup may also be helpful where one party expects a large sum of money in the future and the other party did not contribute to that expectation.  Finally, a prenup may help protect one party's interest in the other party's future revenue-generating potential.

To be valid, each party to the prenup must fully disclose all assets before signing the prenup, be represented by independent legal counsel (or knowingly waive their right to independent counsel), and most importantly, not be under duress or undue influence. To ensure fairness and to adhere to an absence of undue influence, or perception thereof, it is best to have the prenup signed long before the wedding date.

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The Premier Family and Indian Law Attorney In Seattle

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Mr. Lewis received his B.A. in literary studies, cum laude, with honors, from Middlebury College, Vermont, his M.S. in journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York, and his J.D. from the University of Washington. During law school, he was on law review and published two law review articles, one of which took first place in the annual writing competition sponsored by the American Indian Law Review.

Mr. Lewis is a father and a native son. Mr. Lewis grew up on Bainbridge Island. He spent most of his twenties in Vermont, Alaska, Maine, New York, and Idaho before finally settling down back in Seattle. During those years, he was engaged primarily in commercial fishing, commercial diving, and journalism. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, rock climbing, and mountaineering in the North Cascades
and beyond. 

Mr. Lewis has been litigating family and Indian law. Mr. Lewis has been litigating family and Indian law matters for over 15 years. He appears regularly on the family law motions calendar in King County, in addition to other superior courts and tribal courts in Western Washington. He tries up to three cases per year and also conducts multiple mediations and arbitrations. He also handles appeals.

Mr. Lewis has been admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, USDC W. Dist. Wash., USDC E. Dist. Wash., and most of the tribal bars in the State of Washington. Mr. Lewis is a sole practitioner. As such, he is able to carefully select his clients and devote his attention to a small book of business at any one time. 

The Most Frequent Answer Is "It Depends..."

In this video we begin our Frequently Asked Question series and cover the following topics:

What should I look for in a Family Attorney? |  What is involved in an Office Consultation? |  Do You offer a free consultation? 

In this video we continue our Frequently Asked Question series and cover the following topics:

What is the difference between a retainer and an advanced fee deposit?

What is an uncontested divorce?

What is it going to cost you?

In this video we continue our Frequently Asked Question series and cover the following topics:

What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

How do I know I need a Guardian Ad Litem?

In this video, we discuss what the meaning of Pro Se divorce is and what that means for you and your family.

In this Video, we discuss if a Child can Testify against a Spouse, and the processes involved with doing that.

In this video, we discuss the Relocation Act and some details related to relocating.

In this video, we discuss if the judge will favor the party that is not lying and the exceptions related to that.

In this video, we answer questions and discuss topics including:

What do I do when the other party is in contempt?
Do I need a parenting plan?

In this video, we answer questions and discuss topics including:

How can I get a 50/50 Parenting Plan?
How do you calculate Child Support?

In this video, we answer frequently asked questions and discuss topics including the difference between Separate Property and Community Property.

In this video, we answer frequently asked questions and discuss topics including if your stock options are considered salary, and do you count your stock options as income or as an asset?

In this video, we answer frequently asked questions and discuss topics including an explanation of hearsay, and what to do if you suspect your spouse is lying.

Can my spouse and I work-out the basic property / debt distribution, parenting / support issue ourselves and then hire one attorney to do the paperwork for both of us? It Depends...

Occasionally we facilitate an uncontested divorce, meaning that we work with both parties to determine the parties' assets / liabilities and suggest a fair and equitable distribution. We then prepare and file the documents.

We undertake this role only if both parties agree to meet with me together and they call me independently to confirm the appointment. In the event that this process doesn't work and the parties lawyer-up we are ethically unable to represent either party.

Do I need an Attorney for a Divorce? It Depends...

If you have no assets , you trust your soon-to-be ex, and you have sufficient time, then you probably don't need an attorney. If, however, you have any of the following: significant liabilities, dependents, real property, pension income, significant investments and/or a business an attorney is highly recommended.

When dividing assets in a divorce, there are many variables that come into play. 


Having an attorney is not only advisable to achieve an optimal outcome, it can pay dividends when relationships, confidence and self-esteem are frayed and in jeopardy. Using an attorney can often spare undue hurt and preclude long-standing acrimony.​​​​​​​

If my spouse and I want to get divorced ourselves, how do we do it? It Depends...

We have developed a comprehensive list of the steps to assist in this process. The process requires you to visit the Washington State Courts website and download the correct forms. In a nutshell, you would fill out the forms. If you are able to complete the requisite steps and correctly file them, congratulations, you are now divorced.

The process can be daunting because it is uncharted territory for most of us and the terrain is emotionally-charged.

Whether you are inclined to go it alone or not, call us first and we will get you started on the right path.


Schedule Your Free Consultation Today:


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Check out Mr. Lewis’ proposed ordinance implementing the green new deal in Seattle.


PETITION: PASS HB 2515 - Click the link below to sign today


Below are PowerPoint Presentations to inform you on various topics including:

Compassionate & Tactical Representation

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