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Is there a waiting period for a Washington divorce?

Couples in Washington whose marriage is at an end may be in a rush to get divorced as soon as possible, so that they can move on with their lives. After all, staying unhappily married can be a very difficult situation. The constant arguments, bitterness and emotional pain can take its toll. However, in Washington, an instant divorce may not be possible.

In Washington, couples must wait about three months before getting divorced. Specifically, 90 days must pass between the filing and serving of the dissolution summons and petition and the judge signing the official divorce decree. That being said, during the three month waiting period, either party may seek a temporary order with regards to custody of the couple's child or with regards to money for support. The reason for the waiting period is to give the couple the opportunity to reconcile their differences, if possible.

Three months is the minimum when it comes to dissolving a marriage in Washington. In fact, it might take a lot longer to settle a divorce. This may be especially true if the parties dispute some part of the process, and cannot agree to things such as property division, child custody, child support or spousal support. Sometimes it takes couples quite a while to resolve their divorce legal issues.

As this shows, while three months may be the minimum for getting a divorce, it can take longer. Sometimes the parties to the divorce are able to reach an out-of-court settlement during the three month waiting period, but in other cases it takes a lot longer to hammer out an agreement. Moreover, if the couple cannot reach an agreement on a specific issue, they'll have to turn to the court for a ruling.

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