Divorce is quite a common occurrence in the State of Washington. And while the numbers have gone down over the past decades, thousands still file for a divorce every year, with 2016 seeing more than 24,000 cases. As sad and unfortunate as it is, there are just some instances wherein it’s the best solution for everyone, especially when it already hinders the well-being of anyone or everyone involved.
Feldman & Lee PS, a family law firm, recommends that before filing for marriage dissolution, it is best that you get acquainted with the Washington-specific laws surrounding the process first. This way, you can better prepare yourself for the event that issues arise throughout the proceedings.
1. Washington is a no-fault state
Washington, unlike some other states, follows the no-fault grounds model when it comes to divorce. In other words, you don’t have to prove of any spousal misconduct that led you to seek dissolution of marriage. As long as you believe that your marriage is already irretrievably broken, and given that you meet all the other requirements, you can file for a divorce.
2. Counseling or mediation is always a possibility
This is especially true in cases of one spouse denying that the marriage has become irretrievably broken. The courts will then need to take into consideration all other relevant factors, including the reasons why the other spouse filed for the divorce in the first place. If this happens to you, you can expect the court to consider the possibility of mediation and reconciliation.
3. The court will split the marital property equally
With Washington being a community property state, the courts divide marital property – assets acquired during the marriage – and debts equally. This applies to all divorce cases, except when the couple has already agreed on something else beforehand. However, several other considerations can influence the judge’s final decision.
As you can see, divorce is quite complicated, and the above discussion doesn’t even scratch the surface. Seeking the help of a divorce attorney is a smart decision, to make the process easier and less emotionally and physically taxing for you.