The Basics of the Divorce Process in Washington State

Anyone seeking legal help for filing a divorce case should know the basics of a divorce process. It will help the person to anticipate multiple aspects of the case. To begin the process of finding a divorce attorney in Federal Way, one can search online for a divorce lawyer Federal Way or look for recommendations from family members, friends, or colleagues. As the divorce law varies from state to state in the USA, it is essential to know which terms and conditions are followed within the state one lives in. For people living in Federal Way, the divorce law of Washington State applies.

Three Important Factors in Washington State:

Anyone considering a divorce in Washington State should know three basic factors. These factors apply both to the dissolution of marriages and the dissolution of domestic partnerships. These three factors mainly focus on when the court will grant the divorce, and how the liabilities and properties will be divided between the partners after divorce.

The first factor is that Washington State is a no-fault state, where the courts are not interested in determining which spouse is at fault. Hence, to file a divorce case, one party only needs to declare that “the marriage is irretrievably broken”. By saying this, any divorce decree is granted in Washington State.

Secondly, Washington is a community property state, where all property acquired during the marriage is considered property of both spouses. Hence, anyone planning to divorce in Washington State should know that all property acquired through marriage will be divided between the spouses. It applies to debt as well. However, it does not apply to any inherited or gifted property.

Thirdly, one should know that Washington is a fair and equitable state, not a 50/50 state. Hence, the property and liabilities will be divided fairly and equitably, not in an equal manner. It means that the spouses will be treated based on the circumstances they are living in and the privileges they have.

The Divorce Process at a Glance:

A divorce starts with a petition, a contract written by one spouse and sent to another under the supervision of divorce lawyer Federal Way. Then, the petition is filed in a state court in the same country where any of the spouses live. The petition includes information about the marriage. It may include information such as the name of the partners, their children, and details about the properties and custody.

The process of serving the petition to a spouse is called the service of process. When both the spouses agree to the divorce petition, the one who receives it needs to sign an acknowledgment. When the spouse disagrees, refuses to sign, or is out of location, the one who sends the petition thinks of taking legal help by consulting a divorce attorney.

Then, the waiting period starts and the restraining orders are applied to the spouses. During this phase, the spouses are not allowed to perform the following actions:

  • Take any children out of state
  • Sell any property
  • Borrow against property
  • Borrow or sell insurance held for the other spouse

The respondent or the spouse who receives a petition can file a response saying that the person agrees to the divorce. The response is not a mandatory step but shows a proper gesture towards divorce. Also, it means that the case is more likely to proceed without a court hearing. The respondent can also send a disagreement along with some information justifying it. In such a case, the matter will move to the court, the process will delay, and the cost will increase. If the respondent does not show any response within 30 days, the petitioner can request the court to initiate the case by default.

The final steps of divorce require both the spouses to mention their assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. Based on it, the court will decide the division of properties. If both the spouses agree, a few paper works can complete the process. On judgment day, the divorce is final. However, if the dispute remains unsolved at any stage, the spouses cannot remarry until the end of the waiting period. If the disputes are not solved and it leads to further complications, court hearings and trials will be required.

Renowned Divorce Attorneys in Washington State:

  1. Philip R. Shucklin, P.S.: With almost 35 years of legal experience in the family lawsuit, Mr. Shucklin and his team resolve an array of family law matters. They offer initial free-of-cost consultation to the clients. Anyone looking for a divorce lawyer Federal Way can contact them by searching online and schedule an appointment.
  2. Integrative Family Law, PLLC – Seattle, WA: Located in Seattle, this law firm strives to help family law clients to resolve complex disputes. They specialize in divorce and child custody cases to promote fair outcomes.
  3. Akiona Law, PLCC: With a group of experienced attorneys, it is one of the popular law firms in Washington State. The areas they specialize in are legal separation, agreed or uncontested divorce, property divisions, business divorce issues, and child custody.
  4. McKinley Irvin: With a team of more than thirty-five divorce attorneys, this law firm has earned some of the best honors. They serve in Washington State And Oregon. The website has the contact number of different locations where they operate.
  5. Anderson, Fields, McIlwain & Eubanks Inc., P.S.: Founded in 1977, this law firm includes many expert divorce lawyers. The two original partners who established the firm are still managing it. They have covered a wide variety of issues arising in the area of family law.


Knowing the basics of a divorce lawsuit can help anyone getting the best result. If anyone cannot file a mutual divorce case, consulting a divorce attorney can be the best decision. One can easily find a divorce lawyer Federal Way by following the above list. While consulting a lawyer, it is essential to resolve all the queries related to the case. The transparent relationship between a client and a lawyer is the most important thing when filing a divorce case.

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