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3 things to know before filing for divorce in Washington

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2020 | Divorce

Every state has different marital dissolution laws that couples interested in ending their marriages need to know and understand before they submit any petitions. The state of Washington is generally considered to be one of the easier states in which to file for divorce as the laws here are not as strict as they can be in other areas of the country.

For those considering divorce, here are three things to know about the process in Washington.

Divorcing in Washington

1. Residency Requirements: Couples needs to be sure that they meet the residency requirement to file for divorce within the state. The individual filing the divorce petition—known as the plaintiff—must be a current resident or a military service member on assignment in the state. The length of residency does not matter.

2. Grounds For Divorce: Washington is a no-fault state, meaning the petitioner only needs to claim an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for the dissolution petition to be accepted. This is often viewed as a good thing, as at-fault divorce cases can be far more difficult to navigate.

3. The Waiting Period: Most states require couples to wait a certain amount of time between the filing of the dissolution petition and the issuing of the final divorce decree; Washington is no different. Here, the waiting period lasts 90 days. Negotiations can occur during those 90 days, but nothing can be officially finalized until the waiting period has expired.

There are several options for divorce, including traditional divorce, divorce mediation, uncontested divorce and more. Each of them requires compliance with the three state requirements detailed above. With the assistance of legal counsel, it is possible to ensure all requirements for divorce have been met—and all laws followed—so that the process can be completed as swiftly and smoothly as possible.


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