Your decision to hire an attorney to represent you in your divorce is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. Your choices during the divorce process will affect you and your children for years. As experienced trial attorneys, the lawyers of Deno Millikan have the litigation knowledge to guide you through pre-trial negotiations and in the courtroom.
Some of the common questions that arise during a divorce include: Where will I live? Where will the children live? Who gets the house? How do we divide the property? How do we divide the debts? How much is child support? Only an experienced family law attorney can explain your many options and effectively guide you through the divorce process so that you get the best possible result.
Where do I Begin the Divorce Process in Washington State?
The many statutes governing divorce may be found in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Title 26. The divorce process begins with the filing of a Summons and Petition. RCW 26.09.030 states a person must simply allege in the petition that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”.
Upon the filing of a Summons and Petition, your lawyer may seek “Temporary Orders” at a hearing where a commissioner decides basic issues such as who lives where, child support, parenting, and maintenance. The commissioner may also impose restraining orders. The Temporary Orders will normally be in effect until final orders are entered.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Washington State?
By statute, the divorce process takes a minimum of 90 days. However, this timeline can be up to a year or more. Factors, such as parenting, child support, and maintenance, as well as complex financial issues will frequently take longer to sort out. Deeply entrenched disagreements will also increase the timeline.
If there are no dependent children (generally speaking, children under the age of 18), the divorce consists primarily of dividing the marital assets and debts. Depending on the length of the marriage, and whether there is a significant difference in the financial status of the parties, there may also be maintenance. Learn more about how child support is calculated.
At the conclusion of your divorce, you will receive a Decree of Dissolution, and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. In addition to dissolving your marriage, these documents will show how the property is divided, and who is responsible for what debt. If applicable, it will also show how much maintenance has been ordered, and for how long. If there are children within the jurisdiction of the court, there will be a Parenting Plan and an Order of Child Support.