Divorce (Dissolution)

The end of a marriage can be emotionally difficult. If both parties agree on all the terms, an uncontested dissolution may be an option. If agreement is not foreseeable, Washington state has steps to follow to finalize your divorce. This guide aims to provide some clarity on divorce in Washington state and the applicable laws.

Once you file your divorce paperwork in Washington state, there is a 90-day waiting period. During this time, you can request temporary orders for issues like parenting, child support, spousal support, assets, debts, and who stays in the home. After the 90-day waiting period, you can proceed with finalizing your divorce. If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on all the terms, you can work with your respective lawyers to prepare the necessary documents based on your agreement. It is crucial to have legal representation during this process to ensure that your rights are protected and that the agreement meets all legal requirements.

In cases where an agreement cannot be reached, mediation is mandatory in Washington state. Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps facilitate communication and negotiation between the divorcing spouses. The goal of mediation is to assist the couple in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution without going to trial. Mediation can be a valuable tool in finding common ground and resolving conflicts amicably.

If mediation fails to produce a resolution, a trial may be necessary to complete the divorce in Washington state. Going to trial means presenting your case before a judge who will make decisions regarding the unresolved issues. It is important to note that going to trial can be a more time-consuming and expensive process compared to reaching an agreement through mediation or uncontested divorce.

The parties may also need to go through a process known as discovery. Discovery is a vital step in legal proceedings that allows both parties to gather relevant information and evidence. It involves obtaining and sharing information to ensure that both sides have access to all the necessary facts. This can involve various methods such as interrogatories and requests for production of documents. Each method serves a specific purpose and helps in uncovering essential details that may impact the outcome of the divorce.


  • Washington is a community property state, which means that property, assets, and debt acquired during the marriage will be divided between the spouses according to Washington state divorce laws. However, there are exceptions for separate property. It’s important to note that property division is not always a 50/50 split and can be complicated.
  • Washington is a “no fault” divorce state. This means that fault is not considered when dividing property, determining custody, child support, or other terms of a divorce in Washington.
  • Washington state divorce laws consider various factors when deciding on spousal support. There is no set formula for determining the award. It can be difficult to manage expenses when one household is split into two. Negotiating spousal support can be complex and emotionally charged. In such cases, hiring a divorce lawyer in Washington state can be advantageous for you and your interests.

Even in the best situations, going through a divorce can be difficult. As a divorce lawyer in Washington, I am here to safeguard your interests and future during this transitional period. If you have any questions about the divorce process or the laws in Washington, contact me today.

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