In the state of Washington, the only reason needed to initiate the divorce process is an assertion that the marriage is irretrievably broken. A no-fault state, Washington does not require one party or the other to assign blame in a divorce. In fact, a divorce will be granted even if one party in the marriage contests it. The only requirement is that one party must state that the marriage cannot be saved.
Because Washington recognizes registered domestic partnerships and same-sex unions, the grounds for dissolving these legal partnerships is the same as for opposite-sex divorces. One party must assert that the partnership is irretrievably broken, and the court will dissolve the union.
But there are various factors and legal processes to consider. Make sure you have help from our divorce attorneys in Bellevue at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny.
Washington Divorce Filing Requirements
To file for divorce in Seattle, you must meet a few requirements. The following criteria apply to the process for successfully obtaining a legal divorce in Washington.
Residency: To be granted a divorce in Washington, one of the parties must be a permanent resident of the state. A permanent home, a voter registration card, Washington driver’s license or other proof of residency will be required.
Waiting period: There is a 90-day waiting period required from the date of filing to the issuance of a final divorce.
Forms: There are a few forms that must be filed in order to complete a divorce filing. The main form is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition form informs the court of your intention regarding the division of assets and property, custody of any children, requests for spousal support, and assignment of joint debts. In addition to the Petition, a Summons, Confidential Information form and Vital Statistics form is required.
Filing and serving: You must file your divorce forms in the county where you live or in the county where your soon-to-be ex-spouse or ex-partner lives. Once the forms are officially filed, you then will be required to serve the divorce paperwork to the other party involved. You can hire a process server to serve the paperwork or pay the local sheriff to do the serving.
Financial disclosure: You will be required to make full and accurate disclosure of all of your financial assets, income, and debts prior to the final divorce being granted.
These requirements can be overwhelming for someone going through a divorce, so get help from our Bellevue divorce lawyers to make sure you meet all criteria.
Division of Property in a Washington Divorce
In Washington, the courts assign property ownership in a divorce based on the community property approach. This means that most property acquired during the marriage or union will be divided equally between the two parties. Property that each party brought into the marriage or union will remain with that party after the divorce. If the two parties wish to assign certain property in a specific way, the court will take any such requests under recommendation. But working with a Seattle divorce attorney is recommended to ensure you represent your rights when dividing assets with your spouse.
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Support Payments in a Washington Divorce
Alimony and child support may be assigned during the process of obtaining a divorce. Each party has the right to request financial assistance via alimony payments, and the court will make a determination on what payment amount is warranted based on each party’s income and assets, how the couple lived and supported each other financially during their marriage, and the ability of each to earn a suitable income in the near future.
Child support payments are determined based on the Washington state child support schedule using the parents’ joint net income, number of children, and the age and living arrangements of the children.
Creating a Child Custody Agreement in Washington
Child custody agreements can quickly become overwhelming and complicated. Our attorneys can guide you through the process of developing a plan that honors your children's well-being.
Learn More About Filing For Child Custody in Washington +
Request a Consultation with our Seattle Divorce Attorneys in Bellevue
If you are considering a divorce or legal separation in Washington, contact the divorce lawyers at Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny for guidance and legal representation. Seeking help from an experienced divorce lawyer will be especially helpful in high net-worth and high conflict divorces. Molly Kenny helps families navigate the emotional and complicated process of obtaining a divorce and getting on with their lives. Call us at 425-460-0550 to schedule a consultation with our Bellevue divorce attorneys.
"High quality, attentive representation coupled with strong skill and experience in high-conflict cases. I recommend Ms. Kenny and her associates with the greatest enthusiasm."
Written by: Peter Davies
about The Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny
Date published: 11/07/2017
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