3 Common Questions About the Divorce Process in Washington State, Answered

By June 20, 2022 No Comments

Coming to the realization that your marriage is ending can be emotionally challenging and stressful. Suddenly, you face a seemingly endless series of decisions that you need to make as you move through the divorce process. However, it’s essential to recognize that you do not have to go through this challenging time alone. Enlisting the guidance and support of an experienced Vancouver divorce attorney is a great way to provide you with the clarity and confidence you need to move forward. Your lawyer can answer your questions and address your concerns, especially regarding the following common topics.

1. What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Washington State?

Like many states, Washington is considered a “no-fault” state. This means that you do not need to point to a specific reason in order to file for divorce. In some states, the spouse who is seeking a divorce must demonstrate the other spouse failed in some way or caused the marriage to end. However, people seeking a divorce in Washington only need to state that their marriage is “irretrievably broken” to move forward with the divorce process.

2. How Do I File For Divorce in Washington State?

To initiate the divorce process in Washington, one spouse (called the petitioner) must file a Petition for Dissolution and Summons and have this legal document served on the other spouse. Once the document has been filed and served, the matter enters a ninety-day waiting period. However, if the spouses are pursuing an uncontested divorce—meaning that they have negotiated and agreed on the terms of the divorce beforehand—no summons is necessary. Instead, they can start the divorce action by filing a petition for a divorce jointly.

3. How Will Our Property and Debts Be Divided?

Washington courts, like those in many states, divide property and debts in a way that is “just and equitable.” It’s important to note that this does not always mean these assets are divided fifty-fifty. The judge will take several factors into consideration when determining how to divide up property and debts in an equitable manner. The judge will consider factors such as: (1) the nature and extent of the community property; (2) the type and quantity of separate property; (3) the duration of the marriage; (4) each party’s economic circumstances at the time the division of property will become effective. If you have concerns about how your property and debts will be divided, enlist the services of a trusted Vancouver divorce attorney for specific legal guidance.

Contact a Knowledgeable Vancouver Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are exploring your divorce options in the Vancouver area, it’s natural to have several questions about the process. Reach out to an experienced divorce lawyer to articulate your divorce goals and develop a strategic plan for obtaining your desired outcome. Together, you and your attorney can navigate the divorce process with clarity and confidence, ensuring that you move forward into a bright future.


If you are exploring your divorce options in the Vancouver area, call John L. Davis, PLLC, today at (360) 597-4740 to speak with an experienced and dedicated divorce attorney.

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