Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Getting Washington State Divorce

Getting Washington State divorce is quite easy. The terms and conditions for divorce may differ from one county to the next in this state. But the grounds remain the same which is quite clear and simple.

Residency Requirements

To meet with Washington State residential requirement either of the spouses must be a resident of this state or is married to a person who is a resident of Washington or is a member of the armed forces and is stationed in this state or married to a member of the armed forces and is stationed in this state.

Grounds for Divorce in Washington State

In Washington State, divorce is generally known as dissolution of marriage. “Irretrievable breakdown” of marriage is the only ground for getting Washington State divorce. If either of the party disagrees or denies that the marriage has irretrievable broken, the court comes into play. It considers all the factors like the events that resulted into filing for divorce and the possibilities of reconciliation. The court looks for evidences and shall:

  • Enter a decree of divorce on finding that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
  • Refer the case for mediation or counseling services and demand a report within 60 days
  • Transfer the case to the family court, on its own motion or on the request of either couple.

Mandatory Documents:

According to Washington State divorce laws the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and The Decree of Dissolution of Marriage are the most essential documents. Some more documents required to be filed with the court, including UCCJEA Information Sheet, Sealed Financial Source Documents, Case Information Cover Sheet, Proposed Parenting Plan, Confidential Information Form, and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

Legal Separation

For mutual settlement of disputes on divorce related matters, both the parties must enter into a written separation agreement or contract. These matters may indulge property issues, debts, assets, alimony, child support, child custody and visitation.

Counseling or Mediation Requirements

If the court finds any possibility of reconciliation or settlement between the divorcing couples, it may refer them for a legal counseling or mediation. At any time during the divorce process, either of the spouses can also request for the same. The aim behind mediation is to reduce the differences and reach an agreement on divorcing issues.

Property Distribution in Washington State

This is a “community property” state. It means that all debts and property acquired during the marriage is divided equally or rather fairly between the divorcing parties. Judges consider the following factors while deciding on property division:

  • Length of the marriage
  • The amount and nature of separate and community property
  • Health of each couple
  • Earning potential of each couple.


A court has prudence to award alimony also known as spousal support to either of the couples. Following factors are considered while deciding on alimony.

  • Length of the marriage
  • Financial stability of each spouse
  • Time, either of the spouse may require to retain or find an employment
  • Recipient’s age and physical condition.

Getting Washington State divorce is quite fast. If couples can sort out their divorcing issues prior to filing for divorce, a decree can be obtained within a few months.

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