- Candace E. Duecker, CFP®, CDFA®
Common Ways to Get Divorced
I am not an attorney, but I can provide you with some general information on ways to get divorced in Washington State. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.
Depending on the complexity of your situation and whether you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce, here are some common ways to get divorced.
Uncontested Divorce: This is the simplest way to get divorced in Washington State. If both spouses agree on all terms of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and spousal support, you can file for an uncontested divorce. You will need to complete and file the required paperwork, including a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Financial Declarations, and a proposed Parenting Plan (if you have minor children). After filing, there is a 90-day waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. You have the option of getting professional help from an attorney or other professional such as a financial expert, which might be particularly appropriate if you and your spouse would like guidance on any legal or financial issues.
Collaborative Divorce: In a collaborative divorce, both spouses and their attorneys agree to work together to resolve the issues in the divorce, without going to court. The attorneys and other professionals involved in the process are specially trained in Collaborative Law. If an agreement is reached, the necessary paperwork will be filed with the court.
Mediation: If you and your spouse are not in complete agreement on the terms of the divorce but are willing to work together, mediation could be an option. A neutral mediator will help you and your spouse negotiate and reach agreements on the outstanding issues. Once you reach an agreement, you will need to file the appropriate paperwork.
Litigation: If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce, you may need to go through the litigation process. This involves filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, serving the other spouse with the petition and a summons, and exchanging financial and other relevant information through discovery. You and your spouse will likely need to attend a series of hearings, and if a settlement is not reached, a trial may be necessary. A judge will make the final decisions on the unresolved issues.
Keep in mind that divorce laws and processes can change, so it's essential to consult with a Washington State family law attorney for the most up-to-date information and guidance on your specific situation.
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