Washington State Divorce Law
Washington State divorce law applies to every city and county statewide. When you retain our services, we will sit with you and walk you through every Washington State divorce law that applies to your unique situation. However, we have compiled some regularly asked and almost universally applicable Washington State divorce law information here for you to review:
- In Washington, divorce is formally recognized as ‘dissolution of marriage.’ Our state does not recognize common law marriage (or long term partnership without a license) in a ‘dissolution’ sense. However, it does recognize domestic partnerships in terms of division of property and/or debts between people who shared resources while living together. In all of these situations, mediation through attorneys can apply.
- Washington is a ‘no-fault’ divorce state. Washington State divorce law states that neither party needs to prove the other is at fault in order to seek a dissolution of marriage. Also, it only takes one spouse to file for divorce in the county they or their spouse lives in, by stating the marriage to be ‘irretrievably broken.’ This means the marriage cannot be saved, and no chance for reconciliation exists.
- The divorce process takes a minimum of 90 days. Even if the divorce is amicable and in this regard, uncontested (or collaborative) between both spouses, Washington State divorce law requires a minimum of 90 days before a court finalizes your case. During this time, your attorney can submit temporary orders for issues including child custody, financial support (for spouses and/or children), and use of property.
- The court ultimately decides divisions. Although your attorney is instrumental in getting you the most beneficial case settlement, the court will ultimately decide who gets what. This includes division of property ‘fairly and equitably’ (but not necessarily equally), spousal and/or child support amounts, and child custody schedules. There are many factors unique to your situation the court will weigh when making these decisions.