Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is the legal process of severing a marriage contract, which is overseen by a court of law in the state in which one or both of the divorcing spouses live. Washington is one of only a handful of states that follow the “community property” system. The first step to getting a divorce in Washington is determining which county will have jurisdiction over your case. The facts about divorce in Washington. It is common for divorce in Washington to take up to 6 months or longer. You can essentially get divorced in Washington almost immediately, without having to wait for the 90-day cooling-off period. Property that one spouse receives as a gift or inheritance is not part of the community property. You may file in any Washington State county where you or your spouse resides. Want to have a happier, healthier marriage? 6. To file for divorce in the State of Washington, this grounds must be established. Acceptance of Service 5. You only need to be a resident of Washington on the day you file the petition for legal separation and may file in the Superior Court of any county in the state. Discount Divorce Bookstore Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce … 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. Both the parents are not agreeable to mutual decision making. 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. Any voluntary and knowing agreements of the parents. Enforceable Agreement. Divorces don’t happen overnight. 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. Or if you have no minor children of the marriage, use our do-it-yourself interview program, Washington Forms Online, to complete the forms. This online service was created in Washington to save you time and money. Your petition should list the full names for you and your spouse, and each spouse’s last known address. The desire and ability of both parents to cooperate in the decision making. At divorce, the court will split the property and debts in a way that is “just and equitable.”  That means the judge can do whatever they want, though the split usually ends up being about equal. You only need to reside in Washington when you file a petition with the court. Washington does not let couples to assign blame or get into the reasons why the marriage “broke down”. The Washington court system tries to accommodate this by providing forms that are easy to understand and can be completed by the general public. When done, a duly licensed Washington attorney prepares your divorce documents. court system tries to accommodate this by providing forms that are easy to understand and can be completed by the general public. Or, if you are filling out the forms on your own, take time and fill the forms carefully and legibly without any mistakes. 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 legal separation process is governed by RCW 26.09 . Summons 4. 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. If you and your spouse have children together under the age of 18, then the following forms must be filed as well: 1. Standard of living maintained during the marriage. You should state your legal grounds to have your marriage declared invalid. Washington Mandatory Online Parenting Class Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online. Below are the four basic steps in getting an uncontested divorce in Washington State: Complete divorce forms. We're not around right now. 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. You can make use of an online divorce service to complete your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage for a divorce in Washington. 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 … You need to answer questions about your marriage and the online service will prepare the divorce documents for you. File divorce papers with the court. Age, emotional and physical condition of both spouses and financial obligations of the spouse seeking maintenance. In reality, very few people are sent to marriage counseling against their will. However, if your spouse and you cannot come to an agreement on any of the issues, then the case becomes contested and will go to court. Louisiana Divorce Laws – What Are the Basic Steps? Additionally, many states have a separate requirement of how long a person must have resided in the county. That is if you call your divorce a “legal separation“. We can help you with: In order to prove your residency, you must have your permanent home in Washington and should demonstrate the intent to make it your primary home. 2. 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. Learn more. Vital Records in Washington State Births Deaths Divorces Marriages. 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. 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. Once you file the papers with the court of the appropriate county, according to the state law, you must serve your spouse. It is completed by one spouse and will be served to the other spouse. Washington is a no-fault state and one spouse or the other only needs to claim that a marriage is “irretrievably broken” to start the divorce process. You can then print the forms and file your divorce petition with the court clerk along with the filing fee. You will require more than one packets of forms to file and finalize your divorce. Or… Washington has a mandatory 90-day waiting period – even if you and your spouse are in agreement. Washington is a no-fault state meaning that it is unnecessary to prove to the court which spouse caused the divorce. Unlike most other states, there are no residency requirements to initiate a divorce on Washington. You can also publish the notice of the divorce in your local newspaper if you are unable to locate your spouse. The reality is that most couples do not have the resources to launch those kinds of fights. A divorce may be granted under the following conditions: You are legally married. If you have children, list their names and dates of birth. Get the divorce forms needed for your state and get started online. If your spouse and you agree on all the terms and conditions of the divorce like division of property and debts, alimony and child custody and support, then you qualify for an uncontested divorce. When a divorce is finalized the court will usually issue a final parenting plan for any children of the divorcing couple. Property that one spouse receives as a gift or inheritance is not part of the community property. for any children of the divorcing couple. This basically just means that if the couple wants to break up they can. 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. 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. To begin your Washington divorce action, you or your attorney must complete and file a petition for dissolution of marriage. 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. Each state has its own laws regarding when its courts have jurisdiction over a divorce case. Information You Need to Get Washington Divorce Papers Online . What is the fastest way to get a divorce in Washington State? If at least one spouse wants out the divorce will usually be granted. To add insult to injury, divorce proceedings can take years and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. Things get a lot more complicated when the parties aren’t in agreement, and the divorce will likely take longer than 90 days. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and 7. Official Washington State Certificates. That means a spouse does not have to prove the other spouse did anything wrong to get a divorce. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily: 1. 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. When the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is signed by the court, then the marriage ends. 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. 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. The spouses are required to propose their own plans and then attend a settlement conference if they cannot agree. We recommend 3stepdivorce.com as the top online divorce service provider and you can get started for as little as $84. Blank forms to print and fill out on your own, with how-to instructions for completing and filing. .”  That means the judge can do whatever they want, though the split usually ends up being about equal. The only legal grounds for a divorce in the state of Washington is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Not registered yet? But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap. You can file for divorce as long as your spouse or … She estimates an inexpensive divorce … Technically, a divorce in Washington State can be finalized 90 days after the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed and is signed by both spouses (or is signed by one spouse and served to the other spouse). Washington State is a no-fault state. If your spouse and you have agreed on some of the issues but not all of them and you want to work together to resolve the issues peacefully and efficiently, then you can consider mediation to try and work out the disputed issues. eDivorce.org is not a law firm and our responses are not a substitute for legal advice. The parents’ wishes and child’s wishes, if the child is sufficiently mature. Washington State Does Not Recognize Common Law Marriages Instead, it makes more sense for many couples to do the divorce themselves at a minimal cost. You can get a legal separation often the same day you petition if the parties agree on the terms. All states have some type of residency requirement for jurisdiction. Each spouse must submit a proposed PPP (permanent parenting plan). by Samuel K. Darling, Divorce at Family Law Lawyer at Genesis Law Firm. That means a couple just has to say that their marriage is “irretrievably broken” and then the judge can grant a divorce. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Washington does have provisions that require the judge to consider the prospect of reconciliation. WASHINGTON DIVORCE REQUIREMENTS Either your spouse or you must be a resident of Washington to file for divorce in the state for any amount of time. 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. 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. Marriage registration date and place. To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page. This section has basic information about divorce laws in Washington. The spouses are required to propose their own plans and then attend a settlement conference if they cannot agree. The. This article attempts to provide some basic information on the legal separation process, and why some people choose it over divorce. 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. Serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Washington State imposes a 90-day waiting period, sometimes called a “cooling off period,” on all divorces. The geographic proximity of both parents to each other, related to timely decision making. Question: Who will get the house in my divorce?Answer: Though Washington State’s laws make the outcome difficult to predict, there are guidelines judges keep in mind. This page provides all of the forms you need to initiate your do-it-yourself divorce in Washington. In the case of dissolution of marriage, the property and debts and divided between your spouse and you. Some judges will allow bifurcation, and some will not, but overall, bifurcation is a rare occurrence in the state. Marriages or domestic partnerships in Washington can end through an annulment, legal separation or a divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage. Usually, most of the divorce cases get settled before they go to trial and often, both spouses attend mediation and resolve their issues. You may then print and file your divorce petition with the court. Having two spouses hire lawyers to fight each other over every little thing can get very expensive. Did you know, Washington is the only state named after a President, and no President has ever gotten divorced? 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. 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. The other spouse’s authority is limited due to refusal or abandonment to perform the parenting functions, history of domestic violence or abuse of the child. Your petition sho… The price tag however, is on a wide sliding scale, determined by how long the process takes, how complicated the paperwork is and your home state. This is expensive, as well as a lengthy process. The divorce cannot be granted until 90 days have elapsed after the petition for divorce is filed. History of the participation of each parent in decision making. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them. 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. Only one of the spouses has to meet the requirement. Using an online divorce service can help to save you time and money. 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. You may still be able to file for divorce and serve your spouse by publication. In Washington, you need to file a document called a “Petition for Declaration Concerning Validity” in the superior court of the county where either you or your spouse lives. The judge will hear both sides of the case and take decisions regarding the various disputed issues. Legal Grounds for Divorce . In the case of a trial, the decision of the judge is documented and signed by the judge conducting the trial. Local county court requirements affect how you’ll handle your case. There is no specific length of time for you to reside in the state. 10) You Can Be Done In Less Than 90 Days If You Don’t Call It a Divorce. Each parent’s past and future performance of the parenting functions, including if one parent has taken a greater level of responsibility for the day-to-day parenting functions. Decree of Dissolution. If your divorce is not complicated and is an uncontested one, then you have the option of a DIY divorce if you don’t want to employ the services of a divorce lawyer. 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. Washington law does not require a period of legal separation for a divorce and doesn't set a residency requirement for a specified length of time. 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. Stipulated Agreement 6. The law will still keep you from moving to the state and immediately getting a divorce, though. The number of packets you require depends on your specific case. If everything is calm, cool, collected, and agreed, the process has 3 steps: file, wait 90 days, and finalize. The clock begins when the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed and served to the non-filing spouse. When can I get a divorce in Washington State? 2. Either your spouse or you must be a resident of Washington to file for divorce in the state for any amount of time. The following documents must be filed with your divorce paperwork: 1. 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. You can file for divorce in the Family Court or Superior Court depending on the county where you reside. In most cases you can choose to complete your divorce without court appearance. And, the marriage does not end until the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is signed by the judge. There is a minimum waiting period of 3 months from the date the divorce petition is filed with the court and served on your spouse and before the court can finalize your divorce. However, many Washington counties have given the vital records they collected to the Washington State Archives.The Archives has begun to put many of the vital records in their collection up on their Digital Archives site. FINALIZING YOUR DIVORCE IN WASHINGTON, Coping with divorce during the COVID-19 pandemic, How to File for Legal Separation in Oregon, How to File for Legal Separation in New Hampshire, How to File for Legal Separation in Massachusetts, How to File for Legal Separation in Maryland. The settlement agreement document is submitted to the court in writing in a settlement case for approval and signature of the judge. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. DIY Divorce Papers (Slower & Least Costly), Online Divorce Services (Fastest & Inexpensive), Attorney Divorce Trial (Longer & Expensive), STEP 6: 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. 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