In the Washington State, divorce is also referred to as dissolution of marriage. The state follows the no-fault divorce principle, which means that you could file for divorce on the basis that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. Here are the most basic divorce laws in Washington.
To file for divorce in the state, the following should be true:
- You or your spouse must assert that your marriage has broken down permanently and nothing could fix it.
- You or your spouse reside in the state and plan on living there, or one of you is serving in the state and is staying for 90 days minimum after filing and serving the divorce papers.
- You were married via common law marriage (which isn’t allowed in Washington) in another country or state or legally.
If One Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce
It won’t matter if your spouse doesn’t want a divorce because provided that you meet the above mentioned filing requirements, the court would approve the divorce petition regardless if your spouse agrees to it or not. It is important to take note however that your spouse could argue about common divorce issues such as property and debt distribution, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. If your spouse argues about these things, the divorce proceedings would take significantly longer.
Finalizing the Divorce
90 days is the minimum waiting period the court requires before finalizing a divorce. This waiting period begins following the filing of the divorce petition and serving the petition to the other spouse. If both spouses agree to the divorce and sign the petition, the waiting period would begin upon filing the divorce petition. However, this waiting period might take longer in case the non-filing spouse disputes the divorce issues mentioned above, says a prominent divorce lawyer at Feldman & Lee in Marysville. Additionally, plenty of other issues might also delay the proceedings. In the meantime, the court might give out temporary orders to address the contested divorce issues.
While getting a divorce in Washington seems somewhat easy, more often than not, it’s tough, both emotionally and legally. This is especially true if your cases involve child custody and division of significant assets. Therefore, seeking help from an experienced divorce lawyer would contribute to making the entire process easier for everyone involved.