Ending Your Marriage or Domestic Partnership in Washington without Children: The Basics
Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
3241EN - If you have no children and want to get a divorce or dissolution of domestic partnership, you should read this publication first.
This publication will give you an overview of the laws that apply when you want to end your marriage or your domestic partnership in Washington and you have no children. Generally, we call the court process divorce if you are married or dissolution if you are domestic partners."
*State law about divorce also applies to marriages between same-sex couples. See the publication called Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Washington by the ACLU for more information. https://aclu-wa.org/marriage
Use this publication
to file for divorce or to end a domestic partnership
to respond to a divorce petition or petition to end domestic partnership papers
You can also use our interactive online interview for filing a simple, uncontested divorce case, or one of our do-it-yourself packets with forms and instructions for filing or responding to a Divorce Petition. Ask the court clerk or family law facilitator (if your county has one) if they have the packet you want. Local packets may be easier to use. They have required local forms and procedures. Visit www.washingtonlawhelp.org for a complete listing of our family law packets, or, if you are low-income, call the CLEAR hotline at 1-888-201-1014.
You should meet with a lawyer who specializes in family law before filing anything in court. If any of these is true, talk to a lawyer before using our do-it-yourself packets:
either you or your spouse has a lot of money or property
you have been married a long time
your spouse is going to disagree with any part of what you are requesting
*To make things simpler, "spouse" in this publication refers to either your spouse or partner, "marriage" means either your marriage or partnership, and "divorce" means either your divorce or your petition to end domestic partnership case.
You may lose rights if you do not present them properly in your case. Even if you cannot afford to hire one to file your case, you should at least get advice from a lawyer. If you are very low-income, and you live outside King County, call CLEAR at 1-888-201-1014.
Do I file for divorce or to end a domestic partnership?
You may file for divorce only if you are married. If you are in a registered domestic partnership, you file a petition to end your partnership.
Usually, if you are legally married according to the laws of the state or country where you were married, Washington will recognize your marriage as legal.
Will I need to prove one of us caused the marriage to end?
No. Washington is a "no-fault" divorce state. You do not have to prove a spouse was "at fault" to get a divorce. You must only prove there are irreconcilable differences(you no longer get along).
What can a divorce do for me?
Its main purpose is to legally end your marriage. In general, the court may also divide your property and debts, award maintenance (alimony), and change spouse's name(s).
In some situations, the court has the power to end your marriage, but cannot grant other relief. It depends on whether the court has jurisdictionover the responding party. If Washington does not have jurisdiction over your spouse, you may still file for divorce in Washington. There will be limits on what the court has the power to order. We explain more below.
How is divorce different from legal separation?
In a legal separation, the court may grant all the relief that is available in divorce, but the court does not actually end the marriage. The married couple is not divorced at the end. The partnership is not dissolved.
You may choose to file for legal separation instead of divorce because you do not want to end the marriage, but you want the other relief (such as property and debt division) available through legal separation. Example: Your religious beliefs discourage you from filing for divorce.
We have no publication explaining how to file for legal separation. The procedures are very alike. For more information, ask the family law facilitator or court clerk.
If you are thinking about filing for legal separation:
You do not have to file a petition for legal separation before filing for divorce.
To make sure you are not responsible for any debts your spouse creates after one of you moves out, file for divorce and a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders.
If you file for legal separation, but your spouse files a counter-petition for divorce, the court will probably enter a divorce. One spouse only needs to show there are irreconcilable differences between you to get a divorce.
If you file for legal separation, but later change your mind and want a divorce, you must file and serve a new petition for divorce (unless your spouse has cross-petitioned for a divorce).
You can easily change a legal separation decree to a divorce. Any time after six months have passed after the entry of the decree of legal separation, either party may file a motion to change it to a divorce order. The court must grant the request. All the other parts of your legal separation orders (such as the parenting plan and child support order) will stay in effect. Our packet called Legal Separations: What if I Want a Divorce or to Get Back Together has forms and instructions for converting a legal separation to a divorce or petition to end domestic partnership.
Can I get an annulment instead?
No. There is no legal "annulment" action in Washington. A little-used action called a petition for a declaration of invalidity is like an annulment. It declares the marriage was void (could not legally exist) from the day it started. This action applies to very few cases. The court must decide the parties should never have been married or registered because of one of these:
one or both parties were under age (under 17)
lack of required parental or court approval for persons under 18
one or both parties was already married when the marriage took place or you registered the domestic partnership
the parties are too closely related by blood
one party lacked capacity to agree to the marriage (could not give consent), because of mental incapacity or alcohol or drugs
a party was made to enter into the marriage by force or threat, or by fraud
Even if the court finds one of these is true, the petitioner must also prove the parties have not voluntarily continued to live together as husband and wife after turning 18, or after having the ability to consent, or after the force or threat stopped or discovery of the fraud. Only the party who was the victim of force or fraud may petition for a declaration of invalidity.
*Talk to a lawyer if you want to file a petition for a declaration of invalidity, or have been served with such a petition.
Can I file in Washington?
You live in Washington OR
Your spouse lives in Washington OR
You are in the armed forces and stationed in Washington OR
Your spouse is in the armed forces and stationed in Washington and will be stationed in Washington for at least 90 days after the date you file and serve the divorce
What If one of us has never lived in Washington?
Washington must have personal jurisdictionover the spouse who did not file the divorce (the Respondent). Washington generally will have jurisdiction over Respondent if one of these is true:
Respondent lives in Washington
Respondent lived in Washington at some point during your marriage
You (Petitioner) have continued to live, or be stationed in the armed forces, in Washington
If you are the Respondent and you have never lived in Washington, Washington will not have personal jurisdiction over you unless you do something to give it jurisdiction. If this state does not have personal jurisdiction over you, it cannot order you to pay maintenance or debts, or to divide any property not located in Washington.
Petitioner may still be able to get a divorce even if the court will not hear property issues because of lack of personal jurisdiction over Respondent.
*If you believe Washington lacks jurisdiction over you, you must make that claim in writing to the court before filing anything else (such as a response) with the Washington court. If you do not challenge jurisdiction right away, you can waive (give up) your right to say that Washington does not have jurisdiction over you.
You may agree to Washington having jurisdiction over you if you want to.
What if I cannot find my spouse?
You may still be able to file for divorce and serve him/her by publication. You can still ask the court to end your marriage and divide any property and debts located in Washington.
Think carefully before relying on service by publication. If you serve your spouse by publication, you must follow the rules for service very carefully. Otherwise, a court could set aside (cancel) your divorce orders, even years later. Service by publication does not give the court personal jurisdiction over your spouse unless you can prove s/he is hiding either to avoid being served or paying debts. A court that does not have personal jurisdiction over your spouse cannot order maintenance (alimony) or enter restraining orders.
What if my spouse is a Native American who lives on an Indian reservation?
Even if it is not his/her tribe of origin, you may have to file your divorce in tribal court. Talk to a lawyer with expertise in Indian law.
I have been served with a divorce. I do not think my case should be in Washington. What should I do?
If you think the Washington court should not have jurisdiction over you, the property, and/or the marriage, you must argue about jurisdiction BEFORE filing anything else. See a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, do not do anything that could give Washington jurisdiction over you, such as filing a response, signing agreed orders, or asking the court for anything (other than to dismiss the case).
*If you do not tell the court you do not think Washington has personal jurisdiction over you right at the start, you probably will not be able to object later.
Before any the court schedules any hearings, you should write the court to explain why you believe Washington does not have jurisdiction over you. You may also file a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. For more information, talk with a lawyer.
If a hearing is already scheduled, and you cannot write the court before the hearing, go to the hearing in person (or call the court in advance to ask about appearing by phone). Tell the judge why you think there is no jurisdiction over your case. A judge who decides in your favor should dismiss the case to the extent that the Washington court has no jurisdiction over the case. If the judge rules against you, be ready to respond to the divorce in Washington.
*If you are going to a hearing to tell the judge you do not think Washington has jurisdiction, you should still prepare a response to the motion or petition before the hearing. Do not file the response. Bring it with you to the hearing. If the judge decides Washington has jurisdiction, ask the judge to read your response.
Which county should I file in?
You may file in the county where you live or the county where your spouse lives. If you file in the county where you live, and your spouse wants to move the case to the county where s/he lives, the court may (but does not have to) change venue. Our publication called Filing a Motion for Change of Venue in a Family Law Case has more info. You should also ask the family law facilitator or court clerk if a local publication is available, or talk to a lawyer. (If you are low-income, call CLEAR at 1-888-201-1014.)
Filing in a County Where Neither Party Lives: Some private services that prepare divorce papers for a fee tell people to file in a county neither party lives in. Non-residents commonly file divorces in Lincoln County. Do not do this. The responding party has the legal right to move the case to the proper county. This will mean more paperwork for you.
There are also practical problems with filing in a county where you do not live. It will make all of these harder:
Filing a motion, going to trial, or getting copies of your court papers.
Changing the final court order later
getting a default order against your spouse if s/he does not respond to the petition
*If you cannot afford the divorce filing fee in your county, make a motion asking the court to waive the fee. Our publication called Filing Fee Waiver has more information. Our packet called Filing for Waiver of Your Filing Fee has forms and instructions.
You must wait at least 90 days after filing the petition serving it on your spouse before entering final orders. Divorces often take longer than 90 days. If your spouse responds and disagrees with anything in your petition, the amount of time it takes to finalize your case will depend on your county and how complicated your case is. In some counties, the court will give you a trial date at the start of the case. In most others, you must ask for a trial date after your spouse has filed a response. If you have complicated property issues, your case could take longer.
*A divorce can take anywhere from four to eighteen months to finalize.
Read ALL papers you receive very carefully.
Find out what county your case is in.
Look at the papers you received. The papers should say "Superior Court of the State of Washington, County of " at the top. Make sure your case was filed in the right county. See Section 3 above.
If you have been served with a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders or Immediate Restraining Order
Look carefully at the title of your papers (upper right section of the first page, under the case number).
If you got forms called a Summons, and a Petition for Divorce, you have a divorce case. Get one of these packets: Responding to a Divorce or Responding to a Petition to End Domestic Partnership.
If you got a Notice for Hearing or Note for Calendar Motion (or any other paper indicating there is a scheduled court date) and a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders, you have a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders. You may receive a Divorce Petition and this Motion at the same time. Get our packet called Responding to Motions for Temporary Family Law Orders or Immediate Restraining Orders: Divorce Cases and Petition to Change Parenting Plan Cases.
If you got an Immediate Restraining Order and Hearing Notice, you have a Motion for an Immediate Restraining Order and Hearing Notice. You may receive a Divorce Petition and this Motion at the same time. Get our packet called Responding to Motions for Temporary Family Law Orders or Immediate Restraining Orders: Divorce Cases and Petition to Change Parenting Plan Cases.
Note: Some of the packets listed above are for divorce. The procedures and instructions are basically the same as for ending a domestic partnership.
*An Immediate Restraining Order and Hearing Notice is a court order your spouse got without giving you notice. You must obey the Immediate Restraining Order until your court hearing. At your hearing, the court will decide whether to keep the Immediate Restraining Order in effect.
Respond on time!
When you are served with legal papers, you must figure out right away how to respond. If you do not respond on time, your spouse will automatically get what s/he wants. For a motion, you may have as few as four business days after receiving the papers to file your response. It takes time to find legal resources and read through this packet. Start as soon as you can. If you cannot respond in time, you must file a Notice of Appearance and ask for a continuance. (See below.)
Talk with a lawyer.
Talk to a lawyer familiar with family law before filing anything. Some counties have family law facilitators who can help fill out forms or free legal clinics that give legal advice.
Do you live in King County? Call 211. 211 is open Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. From a pay/public phone, call 1-800-621-4636. 211 will identify and refer you to the appropriate legal aid provider.
Call the CLEAR Legal Hotline at 1-888-201-1014.
Get the do-it-yourself packets you need.
See Section 8 below.
You may want Temporary Family Law Orders. These are orders the court enters very quickly that can last until trial or the end of your case.
Example: You can ask for an order before trial making it clear you are not responsible for your spouse's debts, or to keep him/her from cleaning out the bank accounts or selling things. You may do this through a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders or, in an emergency, through a Motion for an Immediate Restraining Order and Hearing Notice. (See next sections.)
What is a Temporary Family Law Order?
It is an order the court can enter any time between when you file your Summons and Petition and the day your case is final, giving you certain rights and/or protections before your case ends.
You must file a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders and give your spouse notice and a chance to respond to the motion. You will have a hearing on the motion within about one to three weeks. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant your motion.
The amount of notice you must give your spouse before a hearing varies by county. Ask the court clerk or family law facilitator about your county's notice requirements.
Do I need a Temporary Family Law Order?
Are you happy with how things are going right now without temporary orders in place?
Do you need an order making your spouse do (or stop doing) something?
You may ask for many types of things in a temporary family law order, including:
Restraining orders to keep one spouse from harassing or coming near the other.
Restraining orders keeping a spouse from giving away or selling property, taking out loans in both your names, or taking your name off insurance policies.
Orders for temporary maintenance (alimony), attorney's fees, or use of your property, such as house or car.
Order that one spouse can live in the house and the other cannot.
Do I need an Immediate Restraining Order?
If there is an emergency, you may need the court protection of an Immediate Restraining Order right away. The judge often enters this order without giving the other spouse any notice. (Your spouse will have a chance later to have a hearing where the judge will decide whether to continue the order.)
You may need this order if you cannot wait one to three weeks for a hearing to get help from the court. Examples: your spouse
is harassing or harming you
is taking large amounts of money out of your accounts or selling/hiding property
If you file a Motion for Immediate Restraining Orders, you do not need to file a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders.
Can I change my Temporary Family Law Order?
Yes. Unlike a final Divorce Order, the court can change a Temporary Family Law Order any time before your divorce is final. To ask the court to change a temporary order, you file another Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders
What if my spouse has hurt me?
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, or have been threatened with harm, consider asking for a Domestic Violence Protection Order. You can do this anytime. You may also ask for a permanent protection order as part of the final orders in the divorce.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order can:
Keep a person out of the family home and away from your home, work or school
Order a person not to threaten, assault, harass or stalk another
Order a person to get treatment for domestic violence and/or alcohol/drug treatment
Order a person to turn their gun or other weapon in to law enforcement
For more information about getting a Protection Order, contact your court's protection order advocates or your local domestic violence program, or call the 24-hour statewide domestic violence hotline at 1-800-562-6025.
Washington LawHelp also has a Petition for Order for Protection interactive interview that will put the forms together for you after answering questions. If you are thinking about asking for an Order for Protection, talk to a lawyer.
Each spouse must tell the court about all his/her property and debts. The court must divide all the spouses' property and debts in the Final Divorce Order.
Washington is a community property state. Generally, all property either spouse gets during the marriage is community property and belongs to both spouses. If you buy or are given property such as a house, other real estate, or a car during the marriage, it is probably community property even if only one of you is on the title. Each spouse's earnings made during the marriage is community property.
*Domestic partners' community law rights are different. If you and your partner were involved in a marriage-like relationship and got property together before June 12, 2008 OR the date you registered your partnership, see a family law attorney with expertise in community property issues.
Separate property belongs to only one spouse. Generally, it is property you got before the marriage through inheritance or as a gift (whether before or during the marriage), or after separation. (If you lived together in a stable relationship before your marriage, the property and earnings you had while you lived together may also be community property.)
Generally, all debts created by either spouse during the marriage are community debts. Both spouses are equally responsible for paying for them. Separate debts are made before the marriage or after the separation.
The law about division of community and separate property in divorces can be very complicated. This publication cannot provide all the information you might want about property and debts. This section tries to give general answers to frequently asked questions. Talk to a lawyer about your case.
Will the court divide all our property and debts 50/50?
It depends. The court can make any division of property and debts that is just and equitable, after considering:
The nature and extent of the community property
The nature and extent of the separate property
How long the marriage lasted
Each spouse's economic circumstances at the time the property division is to become effective
What is a "just and equitable division of property and debts"?
It will depend. The main factor is what type of financial condition the division of property and debts will leave each spouse in. The court generally will not want to leave one spouse extremely wealthy and the other poor. The court will also consider issues such as each spouse's age, health, education, and work prospects.
Example 1: In a long-term marriage, one spouse has not worked much outside the home. The court may award that spouse more community property (or long-term maintenance) to make sure s/he does not end up much poorer than the other.
Example 2: One spouse is disabled and cannot work. The court may award the disabled party more community property.
Example 3: The court may consider which party will be able to afford to pay the debts after divorce.
In most cases, the court will award each spouse his/her separate property and order each spouse to pay his/her separate debts. The court will award one spouse's separate property or debts to the other only in very unusual circumstances.
What if I have a Prenuptial Contract, Domestic Partnership Agreement or Community Property Agreement?
You may have signed a written agreement before marrying or becoming domestic partners stating how you would divide your property and debts if you divorced. We often call this a prenuptial agreement.
Or you may have signed an agreement during the marriage stating which of your property is community and separate. We call this a Community Property Agreement. Couples sometimes do these as part of an estate plan.
You might have signed an agreement after separation dividing property and debts. We call this a Property Settlement Agreement or Separation Contract.
If you believe you have any type of written agreement about your property and debts, have a lawyer review it. This may (does not always) determine how the court will divide property and debts in your particular case.
I bought our car and most other property with my income. Should the court award the car and other property to me?
It depends. Property you bought with money earned during the marriage is community property. Each party's income during the marriage is community property. Anything you buy with either party's income belongs to you both. It does not matter whose paycheck you used. The judge will divide the car and other property according to what s/he decides is just.
My spouse owned our house before our marriage. We both paid the mortgage. Should I get part of the house?
Maybe. The court might award you an interest in the house (sometimes called an equitable lien).
The house is your spouse's separate property because s/he bought it before your marriage. It remains separate after you marry UNLESS your spouse gives it as a gift to the community. This could happen if, for example, you refinance it in both names.
You may be entitled to an interest in any increase in the house's value from improvements you made to the house (such as a remodel or new deck) during the marriage, plus the community payments toward the mortgage. Your community interest would go down by the house's reasonable rental value because you had the benefit of living there during the marriage. The court might even rule you have no community interest in the house because your community contributions were offset by the value you got from living there.
*This issue is complicated. Talk to a lawyer.
What should we do with our home?
Take a careful look at:
the home's value
what you still owe on it
each party's post-divorce income
Example: can one person alone pay the mortgage? If not, awarding one of you the property may lead to foreclosure and all the related negative effects to your credit. It might be safest to sell the property (liquidation).
Be careful creating a post-divorce situation where title is in one name, the debt in another. Example: The divorce court awards you title to the home. No one makes this official, so your spouse's name stays on the mortgage. Your spouse later falls behind on payments. It will then be very hard to get the lender to give you a modification with your spouse's name still on the mortgage. To avoid this tough situation, you must refinance the property in one spouse's name at/near the time of the divorce.
*These are important, and sometimes complex, considerations. Talk to an experienced lawyer.
I think we need to sell our house. My spouse disagrees. Can the court order us to sell the house?
Yes. The court can order this even if a spouse objects. It will most likely do this
if necessary to divide the property fairly OR
if you are behind on payments
Do I have any right to my spouse's pension?
Retirement or pension benefits, including 401(k) plans earned during the marriage: These are community property. Both spouses in a marriage have a legal interest in them.
A pension earned both before and during the marriage: the portion of the pension earned during the marriage (and the increase in value of that portion) is community property.
Disability benefits that substitute for pension benefits: might be community property.
If you believe your spouse has a pension (including a military pension), 401(k), IRA, or other retirement or disability plan, talk with a lawyer about what rights you may have to it. You may be able to get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) ordering the other party's pension plan to pay you benefits directly after the other party retires. The Pension Rights Center publishes a very good book called Your Pension Rights at Divorce: What Women Need to Know. Find out more at their website: http://www.pensionrights.org/publications/book/your-pension-rights-divorce-what-women-need-know or call them at (202) 296-3776.
I filed for divorce because my spouse had an affair. Should the court give me more of the property?
No. Washington has "no-fault" divorce. The court does not consider which spouse "caused" the divorce when deciding how to divide the property. The court may consider your spouse's conduct if s/he wasted assets from the marriage without your consent OR tried to hide assets from the court.
I am not working right now. Can I get alimony?
Maybe. Maintenance (alimony) is one spouse's payment to the other for financial support. The law does not automatically award maintenance. The court must look at things such as:
length of marriage
both spouses' financial situations, given the division of property and debts and one spouse's ability to pay
time it will take for the spouse asking for maintenance to get education or training
standard of living during the marriage
age and health of spouse asking for maintenance
If you have been unemployed a long time (example: you stayed home to care for the children), the court is more likely to award you maintenance than if you have been laid off temporarily. On the other hand, even if the spouse asking for maintenance can work (or is working to support him/herself), the court may still award him/her maintenance if it will help him/her enjoy the same standard of living s/he had during the marriage. The court is more likely to award you long-term or permanent maintenance
after a long marriage AND
if you are disabled and/or stayed home to care for the children while the other spouse worked and are now less likely to be able to get a well-paying job
Unless the Final Divorce Order states otherwise, maintenance payments end when the person getting maintenance remarries or dies.
*Whether the court will award maintenance in your case is complicated. Try to talk to a lawyer.
Important Information about Community Debts
You may end up paying a debt even if the court ordered your spouse to pay it. As part of the Final Divorce Order, the court will order one or both of you to pay any debts you both owe. This could include a mortgage, car loans, credit card debts, utility bills, back taxes, and so on. Even if the court orders your spouse to pay a debt, the creditor (person owed) may still come after you to collect any community debts. You cannot stop the creditor from collecting from you by telling the creditor your ex-spouse is supposed to pay the debt.
If your ex-spouse does not pay the debt and you end up paying, you must sue your ex- to force him/her to pay you back. If you think this might be a problem, you should check the "hold harmless" provision in the Final Divorce Order form (section 12, second box). Then, if you must sue your ex- to force him/her to reimburse you for debts you paid, s/he must pay your attorney's fees and costs as well.
Your ex-spouse may try to get out of paying community debts by filing for bankruptcy. If s/he files for bankruptcy after the court enters your Final Divorce Order, the bankruptcy court may relieve him/her from paying for those debts. If s/he files for bankruptcy, you should get notice of it. Talk immediately about your rights with a lawyer who knows bankruptcy law. You may need to take part in the bankruptcy case in order to protect yourself.
What if I do not want to or cannot use one of the packets?
Use our interactive online interviews for filing and finalizing your divorce of marriage with no children. This online question-and-answer interview produces filled-out court forms and step-by-step instructions for simple, uncontested cases that do not need temporary family law orders.
Hire a lawyer. If you can afford to, you should talk to a lawyer about your case and consider hiring him/her to file for divorce for you. If you cannot afford a lawyer, contact your local legal services office. Some legal services offices and county bar and pro bono programs represent people in divorces. They usually are able to directly represent very few of the many people who apply for help. If you are low-income and live outside King County, call CLEAR for a referral at 1-888-201-1014. If you are low-income and live in King County, call the King County Bar Association at (206) 623-2551 and ask for a referral for low-income representation in family law.
Take a "Self-Help" class. Some counties have "self-help" classes in how to file your own divorce. It may cost more than this packet, but provide you with more help filling out forms and local court procedures. Ask the family law facilitator or court clerk if your county has a self-help class.
Where available, use the family law facilitator's Do-It-Yourself packets. Family law facilitators often have do-it-yourself packets designed for that county. The facilitators are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice.
What packets do I need?
We publish several do-it-yourself packets with instructions and forms for filing for and finalizing a divorce. The following list should help you decide what you will need. You will need more than one packet to finalize an entire divorce case. You should get only the packets you need at the time you need them.
Filing for Waiver of Your Filing Fee–if you cannot afford to pay the filing fee (usually $200-250).
Service by Certified Mail or Publication–if you are filing for divorce but have been unable to serve your spouse in person. This packet helps you ask for court permission to serve your spouse by other methods.
Responding to a Divorce Petition or Responding to a Petition to End Domestic Partnership – to respond after being served with the Divorce Petition and Summons.
Filing for Temporary Family Law Orders: Divorce Cases and Petition to Change Parenting Plan Cases – to ask for an order covering any period between the filing of the case and the date it is final.
*Some of these packets have "divorce" in the title. The procedures and instructions are basically the same for petition to end domestic partnership cases.
Filing for Immediate Restraining Orders: Divorce Cases and Petition to Change Parenting Plan Cases– to ask for an order taking effect immediately to cover any period between the date of filing and the date the divorce is final.
Responding to Motions for Temporary Family Law Orders or Immediate Restraining Orders: Divorce Cases and Petition to Change Parenting Plan Cases - if your spouse has filed a Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders or a Motion for an Immediate Restraining Order and Hearing Notice.
Howto Write a Declaration–to help you and your witnesses to write the most effective and persuasive statements in support of your motion.
Getting Ready for a Court Hearing or Trial–for help organizing your evidence and preparing your oral argument for your hearing/trial.
Subpoenaing Witnesses or Documents–to make sure important witnesses or documents are at trial.
Finalizing Your Divorce (without children) by Agreement or Finalizing Your Dissolution of Domestic Partnership (without children) by Agreement –to finalize your case when you and your spouse have an agreement (or settlement).
Dismissing Your Petition for Divorce or to End Domestic Partnership- if you decide you do not want to end your marriage after all.
Other: Local Do-it-Yourself packets: Local court rules may require you to use other forms or packets. Check with your court clerk office or family law facilitator.
Where do I get more information about the law?
Our website, www.washingtonlawhelp.org, has other publications, packets, and links. If you need more information, or do not have internet access, visit your local law library (usually in your county's Superior Court building).
This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. This information is current as of December 2016.
© 2016 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014.
(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non- commercial purposes only.)