Law Office of Tyler L. Merrill
In Washington State, only one spouse needs to file the petition for dissolution to start the divorce process. Prior to filing the petition for dissolution, the spouse must determine what state has jurisdiction and what county has proper venue. Without both proper jurisdiction and proper venue the Court may not be able to act and the case may be dismissed.
After the petition for dissolution and all other necessary documents have been completed and filed, valid service must take place in accordance with the local rules.
After proper service, the spouse can file a response, within the specific amount of time ordered. If the spouse chooses not to file a response, the filing spouse can elect to proceed with a default order. In the response the spouse can agree or disagree with each part of the petition and can also make counter claims.
After a response is filed, either party can file a motion for temporary orders. Temporary orders can determine how the spouses are to act until the case is finalized. This can include child support payments, a temporary parenting plan, occupancy of the residence, financial restrains, and other considerations.
If the divorce includes minor children, the parents are required to attend a mandatory parenting educational course within the required time.
While each case is unique, typically discovery will need to be propounded, mediation or settlement scheduled and if all the issues cannot be resolved, trial will take place. Depending on the specific case, additional steps may be necessary under the circumstances. Having an attorney familiar with the process to help guild you through the legal process of divorce is always recommended.