It is hard to know for sure whether the relationship will work or not. Many couples don’t want to admit at first that their marriage is failing. In reality, whenever an old door closes, a new one always opens. Divorce is not the end, and nowadays, you can be over with it pretty fast and with a minimum amount of stress. In this article, you can find helpful information on how to apply for divorce in Washington and how long it will take you.
An Ultimate Guide for Divorcing Couples in Washington
A divorce can be a lot less stressful if you are prepared for it. Luckily for you, we designed a complete guide on how to get a dissolution of marriage in Washington state fast and easily.
Step 1: Find Out If You Meet the Residency Requirements
To be able to begin a divorce process in this state, spouses must meet residency requirements. It means that either one of them must be a legal Washington resident. Unlike in many other states, in Washington, there is no time length for that requirement. However, the couple would have to provide proof of their residency. A permanent home would qualify as such proof, along with vote registration, a driver’s license, or a permanent residency address.
Step 2: Figuring out the Grounds for Divorce
Washington allows only no-fault divorces. Such a type can also be called an uncontested divorce. The only valid ground for marriage dissolution in such a case would be one of the spouses claiming that their marriage is irretrievably broken. In his state, the court will not require details as to why the petitioner wants to end a marriage or who is to blame. The divorce can still be granted even if one of the spouses strongly disagrees.
Step 3: Preparing the Necessary Divorce Forms
Filing for divorce always requires some prior paperwork preparation. If you have an uncontested divorce, you can do it yourself without an attorney’s involvement. One option is called an online divorce, and it is a real savior for many couples. Online divorce doesn’t mean that you can get a complete divorce over the internet. Rather, it is an internet divorce service aimed to help divorcing couples deal with their paperwork.
Here’s how the process usually works. You’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will be divided into three main sections. One section will be focusing on the specifics of your case so that the system can tailor the rest of the questions to your situation. This part can require answers about your and your spouse’s name, age, sex, state of residence, military history, etc.
The second block of questions will be focused on your marriage. You will need to provide information about where and when your marriage was officially registered, whether you acquired any real estate property while being married, have any minor children, etc.
The third and final section of the web divorce service usually requires answers about the couple’s divorce. You may have to answer questions about child custody, alimony, property division, and other similar issues.
After the questionnaire has been completed, a short waiting period takes place. Usually, it takes no longer than a couple of business days for your divorce papers to be ready. After that, all that will be left to do is print out the paperwork and file it with the court. In Washington state, you can also send your application for divorce online, this process is called e-filing, and it can save you some time.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of online divorce companies and the services they provide:
- It can really save your finances. Getting a divorce isn’t cheap, so for many couples, the opportunity to complete a divorce online can be the best decision. Unlike a lawyer’s services, a “DIY divorce” is relatively inexpensive and will only cost you a couple of hundred dollars. However, don’t forget that you would have to pay the filing fees nevertheless.
- It speeds up the document preparation process. Just imagine how many hours you’d spend filling out your documents without any prior legal training. With online divorce, the whole process would be over in just a couple of business days.
- You might avoid seeing your ex. Not every couple remains in a good relationship after they decide to get divorced. If you waive your right to appeal and get all your documents done online, you might not even have to come to the court proceeding.
Step 4: Serving the Papers With Your Spouse
For a divorce to be granted, the petitioner must first serve the documents with the respondent. Basically, it means that the person filing for divorce should inform their spouse about what is going on, where and when the hearing will occur, and so on. This procedure generally increases the cost of divorce, however, not very much, as there are entirely affordable options, such as hiring a local sheriff for this job.
How Quick Is the Divorce Process in Washington
Unfortunately, Washington is not among those states where you can get divorced in just 10 days. Here the process will take at least 3 months due to the waiting period that lasts 90 days. This is the time that couples have to wait after serving the documents. Typically, this is a period that most couples take to settle all divorce-related issues such as spousal support or child custody.
Hopefully, now you have a clear understanding of what the divorce process in Washington is like. Even if you are not experienced in law, there are still ways you could make this period easier for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. It is essential to take care of each other in a time like this as teamwork usually helps couples get through divorce faster and with a minimum amount of stress. Remember that divorce can be a start of a new and exciting chapter in your life.