Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) or Legal Separation 

Family Dispute

*We cannot give you legal advice or appear in court on your behalf. If your divorce is contested (the other party does not agree) and  you cannot reach an agreement, the court may order you to seek mediation. See "Our Partners" page to get a jump start on mediation. 

Washington is a “no-fault divorce” state. Meaning, only one spouse in the marriage must believe and declare that the marriage is irretrievably broken in order for the divorce decree to be granted. The process begins once a Petition and Summons is filed with the appropriate court. There is a mandatory ninety day (90) waiting period upon filing. However, it can take longer if the other party contests or disputes any issues. *Washington State does not recognize Common Law marriages.

Divorce vs. Legal Separation

A legal separation is very similar to a divorce. The difference between the two is that at the end of the case when a Petition for Legal Separation is filed, the parties are still married.  A Decree of Legal Separation is entered with the Court rather than a Decree of Dissolution.  However, the Court has the same authority to divide assets and debts, make provisions for spousal maintenance, child support and child custody in a Decree of Legal Separation.