A family court has one single jurisdiction. Which is hearing family proceedings that include divorce cases. The procedures for getting a divorce are governed by state laws. The divorce process in Washington State begins with the filing of various forms. The hearing is then done in the Family Court.
Ready to advise you on how to legally proceed with the divorce process are Tacoma Divorce Attorneys. Our experienced attorneys will ensure that you know and exercise your rights in every step of the process.
Steps for Filing a Divorce
Washington State allows you to get a divorce if either you or your spouse resides in the state. The process starts off by filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
- Prepare Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The petition should state the grounds for the divorce. The proposed Summons must be issued by the clerk of the Superior Court. The Summons is an order for the respondent to give an answer to the petition.
- File Summons and Petition for Dissolution at the clerk’s office in the Superior Court. You may also file a motion for temporary orders. Which, request for a decision to be made on important matters as you await the hearing. Confirm with the clerk that the petition has been filed and the Summons issued for service.
- Serve the Petition and Summons on the respondent, either through a private process server or via the sheriff’s office. The attorney of your spouse (the respondent) has the authority to accept service. Any pleadings or motions that you file on the case should also be provided to the respondent’s attorney.
- Receive an answer from the respondent to your Petition for Dissolution. The Court will set a schedule to hear any Motion for Temporary Orders that you filed. After service takes effect, the state law imposes a waiting period of 90 days. After this, the hearing for the final decree is done.
Within the period of initial filing and resolution of the case, divorcing spouses are required to make some financial disclosures. They must both come clean about their assets, income, debts, and expenses. The parties should hand in a Financial Declaration before the court grants the final decree on divorce.
Children in a Divorce Case
In Washington, children are kept from choosing where they will live. The state has it as a policy that children should not make the decision. The reason being, they are prone to manipulation by the parents. Moreover, children may not understand the full implications of choosing where to live. The parents have to agree on where the children will reside or otherwise, the Court makes the decision.
Why Does Family Court Handle Divorce?
The need for Family Court arouse after other Courts became backlogged with cases of family law. The increased occurrence of issues in families, such as divorce, has made the Family Court vital. Also, judges get to fully specialize in family issues thus eliminating prejudice in the rulings.