A divorce is not something that anyone wants. The truth is that nobody gets married with the hope of getting divorced. However, things happen in the course of the marriage, making it too difficult for the couple to stay together. When there are irreconcilable differences in a marriage, divorce is usually the next step. Unfortunately, the divorce process comes with emotional difficulties, especially if there are children involved.
Things are more comfortable if both parties in the marriage still maintain a cordial relationship. In that case, they can reach an agreement on several things without necessarily going to court. This is referred to as uncontested divorce. However, if the couple’s relationship is too sour, it can be difficult for the couple to settle issues without contesting things in court. This type of divorce is referred to as a contested divorce.
Getting a divorce in Washington has some requirements, but you can have your divorce within as little as three months if all requirements are met. In this post, we’ll look at what it takes to get a divorce in Washington.
Uncontested Divorce in Washington
An uncontested divorce in the State of Washington is one where neither of the partners is a defendant. This means there is no reason to go to a court hearing or go through a long-winded court battle. It’s usually faster, cheaper, and easier than a contested divorce in the state. Washington is a typical no-fault state, which means you don’t have to prove that your spouse has done anything wrong to make your divorce possible.
Filing for divorce without any fault is possible in Washington. You only have to state that you have irreconcilable differences and you would like to file for divorce for those reasons. This is why online divorce is a top choice for couples engaged in an uncontested divorce in the state.
How Does the Divorce Process Work in Washington?
Both uncontested and contested divorce in Washington will end your marriage legally. While going through the process, the couple’s marital assets will be divided. Depending on the agreements between both parties, one partner may also get alimony payments or be eligible for spousal support. When you apply for divorce, the process may require that the parties limit contact if necessary.
One of the spouses may also decide to change their name if they already changed while married. It is important to note that whether contested or uncontested, divorce is final. When you sign the divorce papers, the divorce is irreversible. That is why it is often recommended that couples go through the process of legal separation before going for a divorce. With a legal separation, there is still hope that both parties can return together after settling their differences. If the couple cannot resolve their issues after the time-lapse of the legal separation, there will be a dissolution of marriage, and the divorce will be final. Legal separation gives the same result as divorce but doesn’t end the marriage legally. Many people who have a religious bias to divorce usually go this route.
Who Can File for a Divorce in Washington?
Anyone can file for a divorce in Washington. It may be the man or the woman. However, it is recommended that the couple agrees on the terms before filing for divorce. It will make it faster, cheaper, and easier for both parties. If one of the spouses does not want to get divorced or there is a disagreement on property division or child custody, you will have to file for a contested divorce. With this, both parties will be able to settle their differences legally and formally.
It’s essential to mention that the State of Washington has a residence prerequisite for the divorcing partner. This requirement holds for both contested and uncontested divorce. You have to show proof that you are resident in Washington to complete your divorce process in the state. You must prove that you or your spouse currently live in Washington, or either of the partners is an armed forces member currently serving in Washington. If you meet this requirement, you can go ahead with the application for divorce online.
To have an uncontested divorce, both parties must agree on several things. These include child custody and visitation rights, spousal support or alimony, child support, property division, debt division, and other pending marriage issues. If you can agree on this, you can complete divorce online without any hurdles. However, if you disagree on the matters highlighted, it will be impossible to have an uncontested divorce. It means you have to go through a contested divorce, which requires the court’s involvement. The cost of divorce in a contested format is higher than in an uncontested form. The stress and the back-and-forth are also worth considering before embarking on a contested divorce. You can also divorce over the internet if your divorce is uncontested.
How to File for a Divorce in Washington
To start the divorce process, both parties should first agree to the terms of the divorce. It’s also important that you have the address of your spouse. There are forms that you have to fill out to start the process. You can find these forms online or get copies at any courthouse in Washington. They are usually free, but you may have to pay filing fees when filing the forms in-person.
The required forms include Petition for Divorce; Confidential Information Form; Summons; Acceptance of Service; Certificate of Dissolution; Proof of Personal Service; Agreement to Joint Petition; Notice of Hearing; Proof of Mailing; Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law; Decree of Dissolution.
If the couple has children that are below the age of 18, there are other forms that you have to fill out and file. These include Order of Child Support; Washington State Child Support Worksheets; Washington State Child Support Schedule & Economic Table; Financial Declaration; Sealed Financial Source Documents; Parenting Plan; Residential Time Summary Report. Divorcing couples with children will have to attend a divorce education course, and you will be required to provide proof of attendance at the time of the divorce proceeding.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Washington?
The duration of a divorce proceeding will depend on many factors; chief among these is whether it is a contested or uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce in Washington can take an average of three months from the filing to completion. However, a contested divorce can take up to twelve months or more. It all depends on the complexity of the situation, especially the marital assets. An uncontested divorce is fast and can be completed without an attorney. Most uncontested divorces can also be finalized as a DIY divorce.
What is the Cost of Divorce in Washington?
For an uncontested divorce, it can cost anywhere between $500 and $700. There is also an additional cost of $300 for the court filing fee. If you are using a lawyer or mediator’s service, you will be required to pay for their service separately. A contested divorce can cost an average of $20,000 per spouse, depending on the attorney engaged by each party. The cost implication of a contested divorce is enormous, which makes it an unappealing choice for many. In contrast, an uncontested divorce is inexpensive. It also doesn’t come with the stress associated with a contested divorce.
How Soon Can You Remarry After a Divorce in Washington?
The law requires that you wait at least three days after a divorce before you apply for another marriage license in the state of Washington. This means you can remarry immediately after a divorce without restrictions.
Do You Require a Divorce Lawyer in Washington?
The choice of using an attorney for your divorce depends on the type of divorce you are having. For an uncontested divorce, you don’t need to engage an attorney’s service because the process is easier, and a do-it-yourself option can work. You can have a web divorce in an uncontested divorce. Engaging the services of one of the divorce companies such as divorcewashingtononline.com can make the paperwork part easy and quick. A contested divorce will most likely require the assistance of a lawyer. If you find it difficult to agree on important matters, such as child custody or property division, the divorce process can become a lengthy legal battle that you cannot handle without the service of an attorney.
Getting divorced is not easy because it comes with a lot of emotional issues. It becomes more complicated if one of the partners is making it challenging to complete the divorce process. For an uncontested divorce, the average time to complete the whole divorce process is three months. A contested divorce, on the other hand, can take an average of twelve months or longer. To avoid unnecessary stress, it is recommended that you engage the service of an experienced attorney.