The Process of Divorce in Washington State
Learn the Steps to Ending a Marriage in Washington
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.
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The Divorce Process in Washington State
This is the road traveled in a “typical” Dissolution of Marriage.
For detailed descriptions and step-by-step instructions visit our Washington Divorce Process page.
For Military Divorce information visit the Military Divorce section of our website.
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
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
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 Article: Why 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.
The Parenting Plan
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.
More Helpful Divorce Resources
Free Family Law and Divorce Guides, Checklists, & Walk-throughs!
You may be interested in checking out these other Free Divorce Resources from Divorce Lawyers for Men:
- 27-page Divorce Guide for Men
- Common Problems vs. DLFM Solutions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 11 Rules for Surviving Divorce Video
- How to Save Money on Divorce Checklist
- Locate a DLFM Office Near You
- Contact Divorce Lawyers for Men