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How to File For Divorce in Tacoma, WA

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Divorce

The State of Washington refers to divorce as a dissolution of marriage. Regardless of where you live, dissolution achieves two things: cutting off the marital relationship, and allocating assets and debts. When one of the spouses won’t have the ability to be self-supporting following the separation, the issue of spousal support may emerge. If the children of the divorcing couple are underage, they’ll have to come up with child custody and support arrangements.

If you plan on dissolving your marriage, you should seek the help of a Tacoma Divorce Attorney. The lawyer will guide you on what you need to do. Here, we take a look at how to file for divorce

The Grounds for Ending a Marriage

Grounds for a divorce are the legal justifications for ending a marriage. Just like most other states, Washington has what has no-fault grounds for divorce. Unlike most other states, Washington doesn’t recognize traditional fault-based grounds for dissolution.

The state mandates spouses to mention in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage that their marital relationship is irretrievably broken. That is the only grounds for divorce, which means that one or both spouses must agree the relationship is unsalvageable.

Any marriage dissolution petition should mirror state-relevant grounds for ending a marriage to be valid.

Residency and the Location of Filing a Divorce

In order to petition for a divorce in Washington, one or both spouses must be a resident in the state. You can file your divorce with the Superior Court or Family Court in the region where the petitioner dwells.

How to File a Divorce

You start by making a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, alongside various supporting forms. The petition for marriage dissolution contains basic details about the marriage, grounds for dissolution, and requests for parenting, property allocation, and spousal support.

The forms are submitted to the court, and duplicates of them are served to the respondent (other spouse). After receiving the forms, the respondent has a maximum of 60 days to make a response in writing. If the other spouse agrees, you will go to a court hearing, where the judge will ensure your documents are in order. The judge may also ask you a couple of questions before finalizing your Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.

If your spouse refutes that your marriage cannot be saved, the court will assess all the applicable factors. That may include the circumstances that led to the filing of the petition and the probability for reconciliation. After that, the court may accept or deny the divorce petition, or send the spouses to family court and therapy.

Most states have a minimum waiting time before the finalization of the divorce. For Washington State, the waiting duration is three months. If the respondent has problems with the petition for divorce, the period of waiting can exceed 90 days.

Contact a Tacoma Divorce Attorney Today!

Not all marriages last forever. Huge issues like infidelity can drive spouses apart from each other. Other couples just lose touch over time. If you want to know more about how to file for divorce, contact the Alliance Law Group at 253-300-2055. A Tacoma divorce attorney from our reputable law firm will guide you on the steps to take during the divorce process. We’ll also educate you on your rights and obligations before you file for a dissolution petition.