Divorce Process in Washington State

The truth about Washington State divorce is that it is really two completely different events.

One is an emotional end to a relationship, the other is a technical termination of a legal status in a Washington court. Each of these two sides of divorce deserve the proper effort and time to resolve. You must make a lot of decisions that will affect you and your family for a long time.

What you do now will affect you financially, and it will change your family dynamics forever.

The Road Traveled in a Typical Dissolution of Marriage can be Winding.

We know that navigating the Divorce Process in Washington State is a challenge. To help, we’ve created this easy-to-follow infographic that maps each turn and straightaway on the Divorce Highway. You can find more detailed information about How to File for Divorce here; as well as information on what to do if Your Wife Files for Divorce by clicking here.

The Divorce Process in Washington State

This is the road traveled in a “typical” Dissolution of Marriage.

Washington State Divorce Process (Infographic)

1) Determine Jurisdiction

Determines in which state and county court you can file for a divorce. It is usually the county in which one of the parties resides.

2) Identify the Parties

The parties to the divorce are the husband and the wife, the Petitioner and the Respondent.

2a) The Petitioner

The party who starts the divorce by filing and serving the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

2b) The Respondent

The other spouse who was served with the Petition and files a Response.

3) Service of Documents

Having the Petition handed to the Petitioner’s spouse.

4) Filing a Response

The document stating what the Respondent wants in the divorce.

5) Establishing Temporary Orders

You may file a motion with the court requesting a Temporary Order to control child custodyvisitationchild supportspousal support(alimony), possession of property, and payment of bills.

6) Required Parent Education Classes

All divorcing parents of minor children must attend a parenting education course within 60 days of the service of the petition.

7) Discovery Phase

This phase is several legal processes by which you both obtain information from, and provide information to, your spouse about issues raised.

Related ArticleWhy Do I Need an Attorney?

8) Participate in Mediation

A formal negotiation to resolve the disputed issues in the divorce with the assistance of a professional mediator before going to trial.

9) Move Forward with a Trial

If you are unable to resolve all issues in your divorce, you will have to go to trial and have a judge decide the issues for you.

10) Coming to a Settlement

If you and your spouse resolve all issues prior to trial, you can settle your case. You will present a written settlement agreement to the court. If approved, your divorce will be finalized without a trial.

Final Documents

The Parenting Plan

States the residential care (child custody/visitation and support.)

The Decree of Dissolution of Marriage

This is the final document that sets forth all of the terms and details of the divorce through settlement or court order.

Divorce is Emotionally Difficult

Understand the Multiple Aspects of Your Divorce

You’re likely experiencing a wide range of feelings, including anger, guilt, sadness, loss, apprehension, and concern about the future.

As the process continues, you may feel upset and wronged by the actions of your spouse. This is human nature. Compared to your emotional state, the legal process for a Washington State divorce may seem dry and uncaring. While it may be difficult, it’s important not to resolve the emotional impact of divorce through the legal process. The emotional pain of divorce will fade in time, while the legal requirements of your divorce will be in effect for years or even decades to come.

In the eyes of the court, Washington State divorce is a technical procedure which terminates the current legal relationship of the parties.

This termination is accomplished through a series of steps, many of which involve providing large amounts of information to the court. The numerous steps may seem complex and confusing. Especially considering how little paperwork is required to get married, the documentation required to get divorced can seem overwhelming.

Having a knowledgeable and understanding Washington divorce attorney will make all the difference.

As your ally in the divorce procedure, your attorney will guide you through the legal steps. Even when emotions are running high, your lawyer will make it easier to keep a clear head and make tough decisions.

To have someone on your side in your divorce, call us today at (360) 866-7393. Divorce Lawyers For Men™ attorneys will listen to you, explain the legal process to you, and work with you to develop a game plan to achieve your goals.

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