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What are the requirements for getting a divorce in Washington?

Once a couple in Washington decides to end their marriage, they may want to do so as quickly as possible. However, there are certain legal requirements that must be met for a couple to divorce. Therefore, it is helpful to understand what the requirements to get a divorce in Washington are, so you know what to expect.

First of all, there is a waiting period. In Washington, a person must be a resident of the state for 90 days following the petition for divorce before a divorce can be granted. Washington is a "no fault" divorce state, meaning that the only grounds for divorce are an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship.

Assuming the residence requirement has been met, there are still certain procedures that must be followed before the divorce can be granted. The person filing for divorce must present to the court certain pieces of information. These include the most recent residence of each spouse, when and where the marriage took place and whether or not the spouses have separated legally.

If the couple had any children, their names and ages must be provided. If any residential or domestic arrangements have already been agreed upon by the couple, this information must also be provided. A divorce filing must also include a statement with regards to the marital property and separate property, and whether alimony will be sought.

Couples seeking a divorce in Washington may be able to do so relatively quickly, once the waiting period is over and especially if they have already agreed upon all their divorce legal issues. However, sometimes they hit a roadblock in the process, whether it is a disagreement about a key divorce issue or other problem, that stymies the divorce proceedings. Regardless, it may be useful for those seeking a divorce to consult with an attorney so they understand not just how the divorce process works, but what their rights are.

Source: FindLaw, "Washington Divorce Laws," accessed Dec. 4, 2016

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