Lincoln County has a population of just over 10,000 people, yet judges granted 3,389 divorces there in 2014, according to the Office of Financial Management. Obviously, many residents of other counties opted to get divorced in Lincoln County instead of their own counties; CBS News even once referred to Lincoln County as the “quickie-divorce capital of Washington.”
So why do so many people choose to get divorced there? In short: perceived convenience. However, in actuality, it is just as easy to get a divorce in other counties. Besides, going the express route – particularly pro se (representing yourself) – can cause headaches down the road if you do not have your ducks in a row on your marital settlement agreement. This becomes especially important for couples with considerable assets.
Are there any benefits to divorcing in Lincoln County?
One of the main reasons many couples elect to handle their divorces in Lincoln County is because of the buzz that you can mail in your divorce documents and not ever have to go to court to request or finalize a divorce. And while this is true in some cases, it is not exclusive to Lincoln County. You can mail in your divorce papers in all Washington counties.
The only real difference between divorces handled in Lincoln County than those handled in other counties pertains to parenting classes. Lincoln County does not require parents to take a parenting class, as all other counties do. (The benefits of eliminating this requirement are questionable, though.)
Moreover, if you and your soon-to-be ex have agreed on a parenting plan, you do not have to make a court appearance, as you must in all other counties.
Why is it unwise to file for divorce without legal representation?
First of all, it is important to note that you can only opt for a mail-in divorce in uncontested cases when you and your spouse agree on all matters of divorce. Most couples need attorneys and/or mediation to reach amicable terms and to create the necessary court-approved documents.
Moreover, divorces are complicated and it is likely that you have overlooked a few factors. For your protection, you should have a professional handle your divorce papers so that they are exceptionally thorough and account for all the important details of the dissolution, from property division to child custody and visitation.
If you opt to draft your documents and file without a divorce attorney, you run the risk of making mistakes that will cost you money and cause huge legal arguments in the near future.
Where can I get legal assistance for my divorce in Washington?
My firm, the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, can assist you with all divorce-related matters in any area of the state. I can advise you on the best ways to move forward, protect your custody/support rights, and make sure that you do not overlook any nitty-gritty details or important matters.
Contact me today for a private consultation: 425-460-0550.