In Washington State, divorce is also known as a “dissolution of marriage.” Here are some of the basics of the divorce process in Washington State:
- Residency: At least one spouse must have been a resident of Washington State for a minimum of 90 days before filing for divorce.
- Grounds: Washington State is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that neither spouse needs to prove wrongdoing or fault to obtain a divorce. All that is required is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
- Property division: Washington is a community property state, which means that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered marital property and will be divided equally between the spouses. However, separate property, such as property owned before the marriage, may not be subject to division.
- Spousal support: The court may order spousal support, also known as alimony, if it is deemed necessary to maintain the receiving spouse’s standard of living after the divorce.
- Child custody and support: If the divorcing couple has children, the court will decide on issues such as child custody, visitation, and child support. The court will make these decisions based on what it determines is in the best interests of the children.
- Filing: To begin the divorce process, one spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the county where either spouse resides. The other spouse will have the opportunity to respond to the petition.
- Mediation: In Washington State, the court may order mediation to resolve issues related to property division, spousal support, child custody, and visitation.
- Final decree: Once all issues are resolved, the court will issue a final decree of dissolution of marriage. This decree will outline the terms of the divorce, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and support.