Washington’s Divorce Laws
Divorce proceedings will not begin until at least 90 days have elapsed since the petition was filed and the respondent has been properly served. In order to file for divorce in Washington, one of the parties must be either:
a) a resident of this state; or
Grounds for divorce
To be granted a divorce in Washington, at least one party must allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
If the other party joins in the petition or does not deny that the marriage or domestic partnership is irretrievably broken, the court shall enter a decree of dissolution.
If the other party alleges that the petitioner was induced to file the petition by fraud, or coercion, the court shall make a finding as to that allegation and, if it so finds shall dismiss the petition.
If the other party denies that the marriage or domestic partnership is irretrievably broken the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition and the prospects for reconciliation.
Division of property
Washington is a community property state meaning all property acquired during the marriage is divided equally (50/50). Property owned by a spouse before marriage and any property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, descent, or inheritance, shall not be subject to distribution.
In a Washington divorce case, the court will divide property and liabilities of the parties, either community or separate, in an equitable manner after considering all relevant factors, including:
a) The nature and extent of the community property;
Each party to a child custody decision should file a proposed parenting plan with the court within 30 days after filing and service by either party of a notice for trial or 180 days after commencement of the action. The court may order an investigation and report concerning parenting arrangements for the child, or may appoint a guardian ad litem. The investigator's report may be received in evidence at the hearing.
The objectives of the permanent parenting plan are to:
a) Provide for the child's physical care;
The court shall make residential provisions for each child which encourage each parent to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child, consistent with the child's developmental level and the family's social and economic circumstances.
The court shall consider the following factors:
a) The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child's relationship with each parent. This factor shall be given the greatest weight;
The court may assign child support payments to either or both parents to help support the dependent child. The amount is based off a set guideline to ensure support orders are adequate to meet a child's basic needs and to provide additional child support commensurate with the parents' income, resources, and standard of living. It is intended that the child support obligation should be equitably apportioned between the parents.
The court may grant a maintenance order for either party. The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including but not limited to:
a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned to him or her, and his or her ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;
Sources: http://www.leg.wa.gov/ (Washington divorce laws)
The State Resource pages are provided for informational purposes only. Do not take any actions based upon the information contained within the State Resource pages without first consulting an attorney licensed in your state. We at DadsDivorce.com strive to keep our information up-to-date; however state laws are not static and subject to change without notice.