This takes time and money. The divorce begins when the Petitioner serves the Respondent with a copy of the Petition. How to File a Divorce in Washington State. First, a party to a case (such as one spouse in a divorce case) can not be the one to serve process on an opposing party. The information contained on this website is intended for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice. The primary and legally foolproof way to insure that service is correct (and that the court is satisfied with proper service) is to have copies of the documents physically handed to the your spouse. The judge ruled that a spouse who was seeking a divorce could use Facebook to serve divorce papers. Learn about Serving divorce papers in Washington today. Make a copy of your official divorce documents, provided by Washington Divorce Online. If you have children under 18, you will also need to sign the Parenting Plan and a Child Support form. Your county may also have a courthouse facilitator who cannot provide legal advice, but who can offer limited assistance in completing necessary paperwork. Once it’s done the Petitioner pays filling fee and then the papers could be served to a responding spouse who can join the petition or sign them. Summons: Notice About a Marriage or Domestic Partnership, Attachment to Confidential Information (Additional Parties or Children), Certificate of Dissolution, Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage, or Legal Separation, Proof of Mailing or Hand Delivery (for documents after Summons and Petition), Findings and Conclusions About a Marriage, Final Divorce Order (Dissolution Decree) / Legal Separation Order (Decree) / Invalid Marriage Order (Annulment Decree) / Valid Marriage Order (Decree), Washington State Child Support Schedule – definitions, standards, instructions, and economic table, Washington State Child Support Schedule Worksheets, Attachment for Residential Split Adjustment, Financial Declaration of (name): _______________, Sealed Financial Source Documents (Cover Sheet). The site includes information about divorce process in Washington State and Washington divorce laws. Your spouse is a member of the armed forces stationed in Washington and will continue to be so for at least 90 days following the date that you file and serve the divorce papers. Therefore the information listed below may have been amended. ANNOUNCEMENT. Please see Proclamations by the Governor and Supreme Court Orders on the COVID-19 Response page at www.courts.wa.gov for additional information. © Copyright 2020. The papers should say "Superior Court of the State of Washington, County of _____" at the top. The law will still keep you from moving to the state and immediately getting a divorce, though. State law doesn't require you to live in Washington for any specific length of time. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Washington Judiciary and Courts website. However, if you signed an acceptance of service, you have acknowledged being served and it doesnt matter that it was she that gave you the papers. Washington Divorce Online makes the preparation of Washington divorce papers fast and easy. Divorce is rarely an easy process. Quickly find answers to your Serving divorce papers questions with the help of a local lawyer. Your spouse can then file a Joinder stating that he/she agrees with your Divorce petition or they can … Breaking Down Alimony and Spousal Support Issues, The Legal Process for Parenting Agreements, finalize the case through obtaining an Order of Default. To start a divorce or legal separation when you are married, registered domestic partners, or both. Serving Divorce Papers. Click for the information sheet on the Legal Steps for a Divorce or Legal Separation (FL-107-INFO). This is the minimum period required before the court finalizes the divorce. Schedule the final hearing. You should consult an attorney for legal advice that pertains to your personal situation. Getting a divorce in Washington state with a child . The divorce cannot be granted until 90 days have elapsed after the petition for divorce is filed. Washington Rules of Civil Procedure. This “return receipt” is then mailed back to you after it is signed, and will serve as proof of service. For a referral to a lawyer or a legal service program, call CLEAR (888) 201-1014. There are various things that parents need to consider during a divorce process: Parents are required to create a Parenting Plan, including all the details of where and when the child will live as well as how the spouses are going to make child-related decisions. The divorce papers, the summons and complaint, are served together. The waiting period for a divorce in Washington is three months. Unless the divorce is uncontested, the next step after filing is … If you do not serve the State with your papers according to the instructions above, you must make an appointment to have the lawyer for the State review your final order (example:your Final Divorce Order, or your Final Order on and Findings on Petition to Change Parenting Plan) and your Child Support Order.  State law about divorce also applies to marriages between same -sex couples. Your spouse should have filed in the county you live in or the county your spouse lives in. If it is a business, the papers must be mailed to the owner (s) at the business’s main office. Different facts can radically alter a legal opinion. Do not attempt to deliver the papers yourself as this is not considered legal service. If the party being served is a person, the papers can be mailed to his or her home or mailing address. How to file for Divorce in Washington: File for Petition for Dissolution of Marriage first. If you absolutely cannot have them served this way, you can ask court permission to serve them by mail or publication. Legal Steps for a Divorce or Legal Separation (FL-107-INFO). 4. Generally, even if you don’t know where the person is living now, you have an address where they have lived in the past. This list of forms is not legal advice and is provided only for reference purposes. Washington divorce forms and online service to prepare official Washington State divorce forms accepted by all Washington divorce courts. Nothing in this website establishes an attorney-client relationship between us. ‘Service’ means delivering a copy to them, and there are rules around how this must be done. Summons (Family Law) FL-110 In either event, you must file an answer and make certain it is served under compliance with the law. If they did not file in one of those counties, you can ask the court to transfer the case (move it to the right county). Note: Additional documents may be required by local county superior court rules. In the case of regular Petition for Dissolution (without signing the Joinder), a defendant served with the copies of divorce papers must meet the specific deadline to respond to the papers. After you serve your spouse with your divorce papers, if she doesn’t file a response, the court will grant your divorce six months later with a minimum of fuss. This means the petition should have been filed with the court and served on the spouse for 90 days before it is signed by the court. Alternate service can take two forms: one is publication of a legal notice in a newspaper. for Mozilla/Firefox choose "Save Link As", Convert Legal Separation to Divorce (Dissolution), Temporary Order to Pay Spousal Support (Maintenance/Alimony). You then have to file a Summons to inform your spouse that you are divorcing them. Important: To obtain legal advice you should hire a lawyer (for “full service” representation or for “limited” representation) or, if you cannot afford one, contact a low cost or free legal service program. Then a declaration has to be filed with the court stating the date and location of the service. You will need to describe the efforts you have made to locate and serve the spouse. As long as you or your spouse has established residency, you can file for divorce within the state. For venue to be proper, you must file in either the county where your spouse, the respondent, lives, or the county where you live. Certified mail, return receipt requested: Serving divorce papers this way requires that your spouse sign a paper that is attached to the envelope when he receives the petition in the mail. The divorce papers papers need to be personally delivered, not just mailed, and must be delivered by someone who is not a party to the action (i.e. Instead, when you file the papers with the court, talk to the clerk about using the Sheriff's office for service. Please see Proclamations by the Governor and Supreme Court Orders on the COVID-19 Response page at www.courts.wa.gov for additional information. Any divorce in a state of Washington usually starts with completing up to date divorce forms and filing them at court. If either of these are done, then no Service is required AND no Response is needed either. Just as the law requires your spouse to legally serve you with divorce papers, you must legally serve them with your answer. The legal term for divorce in Washington is dissolution of marriage. Generally we hire a professional process server for this. If your spouse and you are on good terms, you can avoid the serving process by completing a “Joinder to the Petition”. 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