The decision to end a marriage is not one that is taken lightly.  No one goes into a marriage with the belief that it will end in divorce.  Unfortunately, for many couples, there is no way to salvage their relationships.  At that point, it becomes time to look into getting a divorce.

To end a marriage in Washington, you are looking at three different procedures – declaration of invalidity, separation and dissolution.  It is important to understand the difference between these processes.

Declaration of Invalidity

A Declaration of Invalidity is when a court orders the dissolution of an invalid marriage.  This is often referred to as an annulment.  When a decree of invalidity of marriage is entered, the marriage is nullified from its inception.  To be eligible for this process, some legal defect must have existed that caused the marriage to be invalid.


Some people don’t want to divorce for reasons associated with religion or economic factors.  For these couples, a legal separation becomes the best option.  A separation can be formalized using a legal contract.  Sometimes a couple chooses a legal separation while they try to mend their relationship or before they officially terminate the marriage.  It is important to note that a legal separation is not a requirement before filing for divorce in Washington.


When a marriage is deemed, “irretrievably broken,” either spouse can pursue a dissolution of the relationship, meaning the marriage is legally terminated.  Provisions will be made regarding the parenting of minor children and the allocation of property and liabilities, as well as family support.

The state of Washington does not require that any wrongdoing has to be done to qualify for divorce.

If you are facing divorce, you should contact a Seattle divorce attorney who can help you through this emotional process.  Contact the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550 today.  We represent clients in King County.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington