Everett Divorce Lawyer
We are an experienced team of family law attorneys who understand the special challenges men face in divorce – and we have a local office located right here in Everett.
Location: 2727 Oakes Ave #201
Everett, WA 98201
Experienced Everett divorce attorneys
Divorce can often be the best option for couples who are unable to reconcile their differences. However, that does not make the process any less difficult. As a man, it can sometimes feel like the deck is stacked against you. That is where a Washington state divorce attorney in Everett comes in.
With a dedicated legal team on your side, you can have confidence that your best interests will be taken into account during negotiations. When you trust Divorce Lawyers for Men with your case, you are backed by a team of knowledgeable divorce attorneys who are committed to your success.
An Everett divorce attorney gets the results that men want and need
Our Everett divorce lawyers know that men in Washington are not always given equal consideration for custody, can often end up paying excessive child and spousal support, have been ordered to pay more than their fair share of the debts, and have been awarded less than their fair share of the property.
We fight for men’s rights during and after divorce, in creating parenting plans, in paternity actions, and in support issues. As a full-service family law firm, we provide service for all relevant divorce and family law practice areas.
Local communities our Everett office serves
Our Everett office serves clients all over Snohomish County, including the cities of Everett, Cathcart, Martha Lake, North Marysville, Mukilteo, Northwest Snohomish, Marysville, and West Lake Steven.
Men in these areas have trusted us to help them protect their rights and fight for the best possible outcome for many years, and we are here to do the same for you.
Cost of divorce
A variety of elements determine the cost of a divorce, including how intricate the issues are, how long it takes for both parties to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, or if a trial is necessary. The final costs can vary greatly based on the specifics of your case.
Depending on your unique circumstances, any of the following expenses could be included in the cost of your divorce:
- Attorney fees
- Filing fees with the court
- Mediation costs
- Appraisal, assessment, or forensic accounting services
- Process server fees
- Court reporter fees
- Deposition costs
- Expert witness fees
While divorce is viewed as something that is notoriously expensive, our team works hard to ensure that you get the most value for your dollar. We take the time to understand your circumstances and develop a strategy to help you obtain optimal results for the lowest possible cost.
Contested or uncontested divorce is the greatest factor affecting costs
An uncontested divorce is one where the parties have agreed on all applicable issues such as the division of assets and debts, spousal support, child support, and child custody.
When both parties struggle to agree on even one issue, they will likely need to hash out their differences before a judge, requiring more court appearances, more legal representation, and more expenses as a result.
One of the ways we keep costs low for our clients is by keeping the divorce process as uncontested as possible. We use our negotiation skills and work collaboratively with the other party in hopes that a fair settlement can be reached without resorting to expensive court proceedings.
We understand that not all cases can be resolved in this manner, but we explore this option whenever the circumstances allow.
Who pays costs and attorney fees?
It is ultimately up to the court to decide who will pay for costs and attorney fees unless the parties agree that one spouse will voluntarily contribute to the other’s fees.
Generally, each party is responsible for the costs they incur, but there are some exceptions. For example, if one spouse has a much higher income or access to more resources than the other, the court may order that party to pay a portion or all of the expenses associated with the divorce.
The court may also consider each party’s conduct and character when determining whether ordering one spouse to pay the other’s attorney fees is appropriate. For example, if one party is deemed to have acted in bad faith, the court may order them to pay all or a portion of the other party’s fees. Behaviors such as hiding assets, intimidating or harassing the other spouse, and being uncooperative during negotiations can all result in fee shifting.
In many cases, men are unjustly ordered to pay more than their fair share of the divorce expenses. If you fear that this might happen to you, we will advocate vigorously on your behalf to prevent you from being unfairly burdened with an excessive share of the costs.
Legal separation vs. divorce
Washington is one of several states that give couples the option of pursuing a legal separation rather than a full-blown divorce. This may be an ideal solution for couples who wish to stay legally married but live apart from one another. If you and your spouse are considering legal separation, our team can help you determine if this is the right choice for your situation.
Differences between legal separation and divorce
The key difference between legal separation and divorce is that the spouses remain legally married when their legal separation is complete. Divorce, in contrast, terminates the marriage and all legal rights associated with it.
Since they are technically still married, legally separated couples cannot remarry until they terminate their marital status in a divorce. However, they can still enjoy the benefits of filing joint tax returns and accessing health insurance coverage through the other spouse.
Another difference is the type of documents involved. A divorce is finalized with a Decree of Dissolution, and a legal separation is finalized with a Decree of Legal Separation. Aside from name and function, the documents are largely identical.
Similarities in legal separation and divorce
Both decrees contain orders related to spousal support, division of assets and debts, child support, and child custody. The process of ironing out these details is also similar. In both cases, the parties may need to work together or through attorneys or a mediator to come up with an arrangement that works for everyone, or they can take the matters before the judge if necessary.
Right to conversion
In Washington, a legally separated couple has the right to convert their separation into a divorce no earlier than six months after signing the legal separation decree.
Only one spouse needs to initiate the process by filing a Motion for Conversion with the court. Once it is granted, the original legal separation decree is replaced with a divorce decree, and the parties are officially divorced.
The same terms and conditions that were outlined in the legal separation agreement are usually in the Decree of Divorce. This is a relatively straightforward process, so if you ever decide to make the leap from legal separation to divorce, our team can help you handle the transition smoothly and efficiently.
Divorce process in Washington state
The process of filing for divorce in Washington state begins when one spouse, called the petitioner, files a petition with the court in their residential county. The petition must include details such as the grounds for divorce, the spouses’ assets and debts, their proposed child custody arrangements, and child and spousal support. After the petition is filed, it gets served on the other spouse, called the respondent.
The respondent then has a certain amount of time to respond to the petition. If they agree with the petitioner’s requests, they can sign an agreement instead of a response, and both parties can submit it to the court. This type of scenario is an “uncontested divorce,” which is the simplest and fastest way to complete a divorce.
However, if the respondent disagrees with anything in the petition, they can contest it by filing a response. A contested divorce generally involves more back-and-forth negotiations and legal wrangling.
The court will schedule a trial on the disputed issues several months in advance, and negotiations between the parties can occur in the meantime. This gives both parties the opportunity to come up with a marital settlement agreement and submit it to the court for approval. If a trial is necessary, a judge will consider evidence and testimony from both spouses and will make a final ruling on the terms of the divorce.
In either case, once all the details have been worked out, the parties will need to sign a final divorce decree which outlines all agreed-upon or ordered issues; it will then be used to finalize the divorce.
From start to finish, here is how long your divorce could take
Every divorce is different, so the amount of time it takes to finalize yours will depend on a variety of factors. However, all divorce cases in Washington state take at least three months to complete due to the state’s 90-day waiting period. This means that a divorce cannot be finalized less than three months after the petition is filed and served.
Uncontested divorces can generally be completed when this waiting period is over, but contested divorces tend to take longer. The average contested divorce takes between 6 and 12 months, and much of that time is spent waiting for trial due to large court backlogs. However, if both parties can reach an agreement before the trial, the divorce could be finalized much sooner. With the help of a divorce attorney in Washington state, this outcome is much more likely.
When a divorce is finalized, both parties will receive a set of final documents outlining the terms of their divorce. These documents are legally binding and will significantly impact your life post-divorce. Before you sign any documents, your attorney can help you make sure you have a thorough understanding of all the details and confirm that they are in your best interest.
If you have children with your spouse, the final documents will include a parenting plan which outlines how parents will share decision-making responsibility and parenting time with their children after the divorce. It also includes rules on how parents should communicate when making decisions related to their children.
Decree of dissolution of marriage
The decree of dissolution of marriage is the final document that officially ends the marriage. This document will include all the details about the division of assets and debts, support payments (if applicable), and any other orders the parties agreed to or which the court has ruled on. It is a legally binding document that both parties must follow.
Why do I need a lawyer?
As you begin the divorce process, you may consider handling it yourself. Although self-representation is allowed in a Washington divorce, it is generally not recommended. The final terms of your divorce will have long-term implications for your financial security and personal well-being, so it is in your best interest to have an experienced Everett divorce lawyer by your side.
Court hearings, negotiations, and settlements can be incredibly complex and require a deep understanding of the law. Even a slight misstep can have devastating consequences, so it is best to leave these legal matters in the hands of a professional. Your lawyer can provide invaluable advice, advocacy, and representation throughout the divorce process, greatly increasing your chances of securing a favorable outcome. They will also handle the stress-inducing legal details on your behalf so you can focus on moving forward with your life.
Why choose Divorce Lawyers for Men?
Antiquated biases still exist in family law, and we strive to make sure men have the protection they need during this trying time. Divorce Lawyers for Men is here to help you have an equal voice in your divorce proceedings. We are dedicated to shifting the power dynamics of divorce proceedings by advocating for men’s rights throughout Washington state.
Divorce Lawyers for Men is not just a law firm — it is a statewide network of attorneys who are uniquely qualified to handle men’s divorce cases. The difference this team can make for your divorce proceedings is immeasurable, and you can trust that our lawyers will do everything in their power to ensure a fair and just outcome.
We will review your case and help you understand all the legal options available to you.
Local Communities Our Snohomish County Office Serves:
We serve the following areas in and around Everett: Everett, Cathcart, Martha Lake, North Marysville, Mukilteo, Northwest Snohomish, Marysville, West Lake Stevens.
Learn the Divorce Rules for Men
Avoid Costly Mistakes with our Divorce Rules for Men Video
Watch as expert divorce attorney and co-founder of DLFM Law, Frank Morris, teaches you the 11 Divorce Rules for Men that he developed over his 35+ years of representing men in Washington divorce cases. Download the Printable ‘Divorce Rules for Men‘ Checklist. Click the link below, enter your email address and we will send it straight to your inbox!