What to Expect with a Divorce
There are three steps to getting your divorce underway in the state of Washington. The first step is coming to the conclusion that this is, in fact, what you really want to do. Washington is a no-fault state. This means that if one or both married parties believes the marriage is broken beyond repair, the state will grant a dissolution of the legal bond without either party having to prove the breakup was the other person's fault.
Once you make the decision that you actually want to move forward with a divorce, the next step is to file. You'll need to prepare a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which is something your attorney can do for you. Be sure that the petition is filed in accordance with the regulations set by the county where you or your spouse lives.
The final step is to serve your spouse with the divorce papers and a summons. The person serving the papers can be you, someone you know, or a professional service. Another option is to serve your spouse via mail or publication. This option is usually used when the spouse being served cannot be contacted or won't accept being served personally. After your spouse is served, your attorney will file the completed Service Accepted or Proof of Personal Service forms from the court.
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In terms of a divorce, the information presented here is just the beginning. There are several other factors that you must consider and many more steps to take before the divorce is official. Topics like what to do during the required 90-day waiting period, child custody, and spousal support among others are all areas we can help you sift through.