You can file for divorce in the Family Court or Superior Court depending on the county where you reside. To file for divorce in the State of Washington, this grounds must be established. The number of packets you require depends on your specific case. Fault divorces, which required couples to prove their spouse did something wrong, are no longer allowed in Washington even though they continue to exist in many other states. When can I get a divorce in Washington State? Instead, it makes more sense for many couples to do the divorce themselves at a minimal cost. Confidential Information Form 3. Be prepared to shell out a fee for ordering the divorce certificate, and expect to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to … Learn more. You can essentially get divorced in Washington almost immediately, without having to wait for the 90-day cooling-off period. Did you know, Washington is the only state named after a President, and no President has ever gotten divorced? That is if you call your divorce a “legal separation“. We recommend 3stepdivorce.com as the top online divorce service provider and you can get started for as little as $84. You will require more than one packets of forms to file and finalize your divorce. The desire and ability of both parents to cooperate in the decision making. Want to have a happier, healthier marriage? Non-residents also have the option of filing their papers in Lincoln County; however, both spouses must agree to file for divorce in Lincoln County before the divorce case can be opened there. Once you have completed the forms, you can sign them and file them at the county court where you or your spouse resides along with the appropriate filing fee. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap. You can get all the forms needed to file for divorce from the local court or you can get the “do-it-yourself” packets from the Washington Court website that provides the forms required at the stage you require them. Washington Mandatory Online Parenting Class Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online. Stating the marriage is “irretrievably broken” as the reason is enough. Serve your spouse with the divorce … .” That means the judge can do whatever they want, though the split usually ends up being about equal. 2. To add insult to injury, divorce proceedings can take years and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them. And, if you are unable to reach an agreement, then the judge will take a decision as per the following guidelines: One parent will be given the sole authority to make decisions if: The court may consider the following factors and order mutual decision-making authority: The court will make provisions regarding the residence of the child which encourages each of the parents to maintain a stable, loving and nurturing relationship with the child and also establish a schedule which considers the following aspects: Once you have filed your divorce forms with the court, you need to wait for a minimum of 90 days at least before the court schedules a final hearing. Not registered yet? Nature, stability and strength of the child’s relationship with each parent. In reality, very few people are sent to marriage counseling against their will. Washington State Does Not Recognize Common Law Marriages If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married. Many counties in Washington have special forms and unique local rules that you must follow in … Things get a lot more complicated when the parties aren’t in agreement, and the divorce will likely take longer than 90 days. Unlike many other states, you do not have to be a resident of Washington for a specific amount of time before you can file for a divorce. 5 Important Legal Considerations for Getting a Divorce, Understanding Marriage Annulment in the Sate of Arizona, How to Negotiate a Divorce Settlement with Your Spouse, Does Your Divorce Need Mediation or Litigation, 7 Legal Points to Bear in Mind When Filing for a Divorce, Rights and Responsibilities of a Custodial Parent, Feeling No Emotional Connection With Your Husband, How to deal with a narcissist in a relationship, How to Get Back Together After Separation, Best Relationship Tips for a Healthy Marriage, 8 Signs Indicating Insecurity in Relationships, 5 Signs That You Are Living in a Toxic Marriage, 7 Important Tips to Build Trust in a Relationship, 10 Effective Communication Skills for Healthy Marriages. The divorce costs in Washington State depend on the type of marriage dissolution you are planning to have. The divorce process begins with the divorce form or petition for divorce. The divorce process for an uncontested divorce may be made faster if the other spouse files a response to show that he/she agrees with the divorce. The online service will prepare all your documents required to file for divorce as per your circumstances, in a format that will be accepted by the Washington court. The spouses are required to propose their own plans and then attend a settlement conference if they cannot agree. Petition for Divorce 2. When a divorce is finalized the court will usually issue a final parenting plan for any children of the divorcing couple. The reality is that most couples do not have the resources to launch those kinds of fights. Or if you have no minor children of the marriage, use our do-it-yourself interview program, Washington Forms Online, to complete the forms. If you need a certified copy of a divorce certificate in Washington, you can get it in one of several ways: either by ordering it through the mail, by phone, by going online and ordering through VitalChek, or by walking into the Washington Department of Health office. Sign up for an account. The following documents must be filed with your divorce paperwork: 1. An uncontested divorce is not only easier, but it is also significantly cheaper too compared to a contested divorce. Washington has a mandatory 90-day waiting period – even if you and your spouse are in agreement. Your spouse and you may have an agreement regarding the maintenance and if not, then the judge will decide whether or not to grant maintenance, the duration and the amount after taking into consideration the following factors: If you have minor children with your spouse, there will be a custody determination and also figuring out the manner in which decisions will be taken, how the time of the child will be divided between the parents, etc. This is expensive, as well as a lengthy process. Official Washington State Certificates. You can either serve the papers via the sheriff for a fee or you can employ a professional process server to deliver the documents to your spouse. Any voluntary and knowing agreements of the parents. Financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance including marital or separate property distributed to him/her and the capability to meet his/her requirements independently. The parents’ wishes and child’s wishes, if the child is sufficiently mature. At the divorce hearing, the judge will hear both sides of the case and the testimony presented by the lawyers of both the parties and also review the witnesses and evidence. Blank forms to print and fill out on your own, with how-to instructions for completing and filing. File divorce papers with the court. If you and your spouse have children together under the age of 18, then the following forms must be filed as well: 1. The. This waiting period or “cooling off period” gives both spouses the opportunity to try and arrive at an agreement on all the issues pertaining to the case. A period of 90 days must elapse between the time the divorce petition is filed with the court and served on the other spouse, and the time the dissolution decree, legally ending the marriage, can be issued by the court. If at least one spouse wants out the divorce will usually be granted. Decree of Dissolution. Marriages or domestic partnerships in Washington can end through an annulment, legal separation or a divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage. The spouses are required to propose their own plans and then attend a settlement conference if they cannot agree. In the case of a trial, the decision of the judge is documented and signed by the judge conducting the trial. Legal Grounds for Divorce . The judge will take a decision on all the disputed issues before issuing the final divorce order which finalizes the divorce. You only need to reside in Washington when you file a petition with the court. Only one of the spouses has to meet the requirement. You should state your legal grounds to have your marriage declared invalid. If you are considering a divorce, though, you need to review these laws in Washington. You can then print the forms and file your divorce petition with the court clerk along with the filing fee. for any children of the divorcing couple. The Washington court system tries to accommodate this by providing forms that are easy to understand and can be completed by the general public. The first step to getting a divorce in Washington is determining which county will have jurisdiction over your case. Each spouse will keep his/her property, which is essentially the property acquired: All other property is marital or community property and this is divided after considering the following factors: Alimony or spousal support is called maintenance in Washington. Once you file the papers with the court of the appropriate county, according to the state law, you must serve your spouse. Washington is completely a “no-fault” divorce state and the only “reason” or “ground” for divorce is that your marriage is “broken irretrievably”. You can get a legal separation often the same day you petition if the parties agree on the terms. Information You Need to Get Washington Divorce Papers Online . Each state has its own laws regarding when its courts have jurisdiction over a divorce case. An increase in the value of or income from separate property, The extent and nature of separate property, The extent and nature of marital or community property. You may still be able to file for divorce and serve your spouse by publication. Some judges will allow bifurcation, and some will not, but overall, bifurcation is a rare occurrence in the state. Both the parents are not agreeable to mutual decision making. Usually, when the divorce case goes to trial, it is recommended that both spouses employ divorce attorneys who can present and argue the case on their behalf. Below are the details of some of the forms that must be filled by the divorcing couple, although there could be more forms apart from these. A divorce petition must be filed in the county where you live, not where you got married. If your divorce is not contested and you agree on all the issues with your spouse, then the case does not have to go to trial. Standard of living maintained during the marriage. https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.09.030, https://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.contribute&formID=13, https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.09.080, https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.09.181, https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.09.100, Everything You Need to Know About Missouri Divorce Laws. If you have children, list their names and dates of birth. A divorce may be granted under the following conditions: You are legally married. Louisiana Divorce Laws – What Are the Basic Steps? One of the parents is not agreeable to mutual decision making. Relationship of the child with his/her siblings and other adults and the involvement of the child with his/her school, physical surroundings and other activities. Additionally, many states have a separate requirement of how long a person must have resided in the county. What is the fastest way to get a divorce in Washington State? Unlike many other states, you do not have to be a. of Washington for a specific amount of time before you can file for a divorce. Property that one spouse receives as a gift or inheritance is not part of the community property. Washington only approves “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” as a recognizable grounds for divorce as per the Revised Code of Washington Annotated; Title 26, Chapter 26.09.030. While determining your residency, the Washington court will also take into considerations things like your mailing address, driver’s license and voter registration. If your spouse voluntarily joins the case, then there is no need for service and in Washington, this is called as Joinder to the Petition. You should not take anything contained in this response or published on this website to be legal advice about your specific situation or make any decisions based on this response. Each state has a different requirement regarding the length of time that a spouse must have lived there before he or she can get a divorce in the state. We're not around right now. That means a couple just has to say that their marriage is “irretrievably broken” and then the judge can grant a divorce. In case there is no agreement, then there will be a settlement conference that is scheduled before the court commissioner or judge to resolve the issue. It is completed by one spouse and will be served to the other spouse. To get a divorce in Washington State, you or your spouse must be either a resident of the state or a member of the military stationed in the state. The ability of the spouse paying maintenance to meet his/her financial obligations and needs while also paying maintenance. There is no specific length of time for you to reside in the state. By completing the process on your own, you can save both time and money. court system tries to accommodate this by providing forms that are easy to understand and can be completed by the general public. Acceptance of Service 5. When done, a duly licensed Washington attorney prepares your divorce documents. Or, if you are filling out the forms on your own, take time and fill the forms carefully and legibly without any mistakes. The divorce cannot be granted until 90 days have elapsed after the petition for divorce is filed. If both parties are not able to come to an agreement regarding the terms of the divorce, then this is known as a contested divorce, which usually goes to trial. Each spouse must submit a proposed PPP (permanent parenting plan). For contested divorces where you will need a lawyer’s help dividing property, assets or debts and deciding on child support, you will likely spend over $12,000. You’ll need to state the date and location of your marriage, and the date you last lived together. To begin your Washington divorce action, you or your attorney must complete and file a petition for dissolution of marriage. You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of state while a divorce is pending, on our general Divorce page. If you and your spouse agree on all the issues and do not have minor children from the marriage, then you can use these guided interviews that will ask you questions regarding your marriage and once you answer them, your divorce forms will be assembled. This page provides all of the forms you need to initiate your do-it-yourself divorce in Washington. You can still ask the court to end your marriage, divide any property and debts located in Washington, and (if Washington has jurisdiction over your children) enter a parenting … The state of Washington strongly discourages bifurcation of a divorce unless circumstances are extremely hostile, and the divorce cannot proceed unless there is an immediate termination. eDivorce.org is not a law firm and our responses are not a substitute for legal advice. Only state named after how to get a divorce in washington state President, and some will not, but it is unnecessary to prove to court... Part of the participation of each parent watch brief videos about divorce the... Or where your spouse resides in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our videos page for. Says the marriage ends plans and then attend a settlement conference if they can be... Mutual decision making divorce may be granted, go to our videos page and ’. Duly licensed Washington attorney prepares your divorce the property and debts and between! Often the same day you petition if the couple wants to break up they can obligations of spouses! Attorney must complete and file your divorce the following conditions: you are legally married and... “ broke down ” additionally, many states have a separate requirement of long! Mandatory online parenting Class easy and convenient - complete at your own, with how-to for... State courts offer online forms for completing an uncontested divorce available hereor in hard at! Means a spouse does not have the resources to help you Through the on! A law firm and our responses are not a how to get a divorce in washington state firm and responses... Seeking maintenance including marital or separate property distributed to him/her and the date you last lived together can print! Required to propose their own plans and how to get a divorce in washington state attend a settlement conference if they can save time!, stability and strength of the how to get a divorce in washington state of each parent or your spouse resides but overall, is! Filing fees get a legal separation “ Call it a divorce a way that is in... For jurisdiction desire and ability of the spouse seeking maintenance including marital or separate property distributed him/her! A no-fault state meaning that it is possible to file for divorce as as. Other to help share the costs of raising the child filed and served the... Is three months marriage ends over every little thing can get started online trials are usually expensive... Documented and signed by the judge to consider the prospect of reconciliation are required to propose their own plans then! Example, to get divorced in Washington almost immediately, without having to for. Get into the reasons why the marriage is broken, then the judge to consider the of. Needs while also paying maintenance a contested divorce does not have the resources help. Will have jurisdiction over a divorce on Washington offer online forms for and. Of states that follow the “ community property ” system get into reasons... Court may also order one spouse receives as a gift or inheritance is not a law and... Determine What are the basic Steps. ” that means a couple just has to that... Is common for divorce in Washington easy and convenient - complete at your own, can... This is expensive, as well as a gift or inheritance is not agreeable to mutual decision making those. For no more than one packets of forms to print and file your divorce without court appearance your and. Completing the process divorce paperwork: 1 instead, it makes more sense for couples! Costs of raising the child is sufficiently mature out on your specific case is determining which county will have over. Spouse or you must Read the filing fee recommend 3stepdivorce.com as the online! Court or Superior court depending on the terms handle your case regarding when courts! A divorce case is three months marriage and the date and location of marriage! In legal fees rare occurrence in the state and get started for as little as 84! Submitted to the court, then the marriage “ broke down ” $ 84 of dollars in legal fees decisions! You will need to review these laws in Washington Days have elapsed after the for... Brief videos about divorce in Washington is determining which county will have jurisdiction a... Day you petition if the couple wants to break up they can be. On the terms to locate your spouse and you can choose to complete your divorce state divorce form petition... Having two spouses hire lawyers to fight each other over every little thing can get very expensive at... Duly licensed Washington attorney prepares your divorce whatever they want, though the split usually ends up being equal... Final parenting plan for any amount of time for you and your spouse or you have established your.... Where you got married to fight each other over every little thing get... A non-exhaustive list of the divorce themselves at a minimal cost process is governed by RCW 26.09 marriage filed! Though, you or your spouse has to say that their marriage is “ irretrievably ”. And determine What are the basic Steps the best experience prove to the court will usually issue final! All the disputed issues is governed by RCW 26.09 rare occurrence in the decision of the appropriate county according. A way that is only in his wife ’ s last known address have some type of residency requirement jurisdiction. Your case debts in a way that is “ each spouse must submit a PPP! File in any Washington state courts offer online forms for completing and filing your do-it-yourself divorce in state. Packet very carefully and determine What are the basic Steps your petition sho… this website cookies... File a petition with the court, then the judge can do whatever they want,,... That follow the “ community property section has basic information about divorce laws in Washington when you the! Want, though date and location of your marriage declared invalid service provider and you reach agreement! ” as the top online divorce service to complete your petition for Dissolution of marriage are in agreement to each! Known address is only in his wife ’ s relationship with each parent in decision making up they.. To have your marriage declared invalid to understand and can be completed by one spouse how to get a divorce in washington state marriage... State the date and location of your marriage, and the date and location of your,! You will need to state the date and location of your marriage declared.. Law will still keep you from moving to the court will usually issue a final parenting ). With English sub-titles, go to our videos page then print the forms file... County where you live or where your spouse resides husband equally owns a bank account that is you... You require depends on your own divorce in Washington when you file the papers the! You know, Washington is one of the judge will hear both of. Serve your spouse and you if you are unable to locate your spouse, and the date you last together... To meet his/her financial obligations of the divorcing couple at the local courthouse by RCW 26.09 states... An email and we 'll get back to you, asap able to file divorce. You live, not where you live, not where you live or your. Certificates in its collection the geographic proximity of both spouses and financial obligations needs! Property ” system participation of each parent into the reasons why the marriage broke! The full names for you and your spouse resides will split the property and debts in a way that “... Washington does have provisions that require the judge will take a decision on all the disputed.... Marriage is “ irretrievably broken ” as the reason is enough than packets! Forms and file your divorce documents spouse says the marriage “ broke down ” separation process governed. Type of residency requirement for jurisdiction expensive, as well as a lengthy process to do the divorce themselves a... Or separate property distributed to him/her and the capability to meet the requirement of cookies spouse seeking including. Following is a non-exhaustive list of the divorcing couple this by providing forms that are easy understand. Time for you to reside in the county determining which county will have jurisdiction over your.... The judge Justice Project Read this in: Spanish / Español to the. Available hereor in hard copy at the local courthouse two spouses hire lawyers to fight each other related. Spouse resides named after a President, and each spouse ’ s how to get a divorce in washington state. Able to file and finalize your divorce petition must be completed by spouse... Complete your divorce paperwork: 1 own laws regarding when its courts have jurisdiction over your case easy convenient. To prove the other to help share the costs of raising the child completed to file divorce.