Who Pays for the Divorce?

Who pays for the divorce? - Seattle Divorce Services

Image by Cordell and Cordell – Background added

In Washington State, each party is responsible for hiring and paying their own attorney, including any initial deposits as well as any subsequent bills. So this means that each spouse pays for the divorce based on their personal choice of attorney. However, the court does have the authority to allocate divorce costs between the parties.

Typically such an allocation would happen at either a motion hearing on temporary orders, or at trial. [Read more…]

How Do I Get A Divorce Without My Spouse?

How Can I Get a Divorce Without My Spouse - Seattle Divorce Services Blog

You can get a divorce in Washington whether or not your spouse chooses to cooperate, but you cannot get a divorce without notifying your spouse that you are seeking a divorce. Notification means serving the divorce papers on your spouse (see my previous article on serving divorce papers).

Many people think that if the spouse won’t sign the the divorce papers, they can’t get divorced. However, at least under Washington law, the spouse’s consent is not needed for a divorce. If the spouse refuses to deal with the divorce at all, then you can obtain a default order after their period to respond to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has expired. [Read more…]

Serving Divorce Papers

Divorce Papers - How to Serve them - Seattle Divorce Services

When a divorce is started in Washington, the other spouse has to be notified of the divorce action.

This is done by serving him or her with a copy of the Summons and Petition, or ‘divorce papers’. ‘Service’ means delivering a copy to them, and there are rules around how this must be done. Once your spouse has been served, they have a set period of time to file a Response to the Petition. If they fail to do so, you may be able to finalize the case through obtaining an Order of Default.

The divorce papers papers need to be personally delivered, not just mailed, and must be delivered by someone who is not a party to the action (i.e. you cannot do the service yourself). Then a declaration has to be filed with the court stating the date and location of the service. Generally we hire a professional process server for this. [Read more…]

Removal of Spouse From Home During Divorce: Restraining Order and DVOP

Removal of Spouse From Home During Divorce: Restraining Order and DVOP - Seattle Divorce Services Blog

Unfortunately, at the beginning of a divorce case, it is sometimes necessary to have a spouse removed from the family home. This would most typically be in a high conflict divorce where the other spouse has some history of domestic violence.

If a divorce case has not yet been filed, but the home situation has deteriorated to the point where you feel you are in danger, you can file for a Domestic Violence Order for Protection (DVOP). Typically this would be based on either threats or actual acts of domestic violence having taken place. [Read more…]

Do I Need My Spouse’s Signature For A Divorce?

Do I Need My Spouse's Signature For A Divorce? - Seattle Divorce Services Blog

While it certainly helps to have a spouse sign off on a divorce, in Washington you can still get divorced even if your spouse is uncooperative. That can happen in several different ways, depending on the actions your spouse takes or fails to take.

If the two parties are able to agree to get divorced and as to the terms of the divorce, then it can all done by signature. We would ask your spouse to sign a document showing they received the initial papers (including the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage), or even to sign the Petition as a co-petitioner with you.

Then when we have the final divorce orders prepared, we ask both parties to sign the orders showing that they are agreed. [Read more…]

Seattle Divorce Services Supports Reign FC Women’s Soccer!

Seattle Divorce Services supports Seattle Reign FC Women's Soccer

Seattle Divorce Services has renewed its partnership with the Reign FC for 2017, Seattle’s professional women’s soccer team!

SDS’s support of women’s soccer stems in part from the enthusiasm of our business manager for the sport. She has played recreational soccer league for many years. At age 58 she is still playing several times per week (we can only hope to keep up with her energy level).

We also support women’s soccer because we believe participating in sports helps women improve their health and overall well being. Women’s sports are too often overlooked and inadequately funded. By supporting the growth of women’s professional sports, we hope to help promote sports for all women. [Read more…]

Divorce vs Legal Separation – Child Custody / Parenting Plan, Property & Debts, and Spousal Support

Divorce vs Legal Separation - Child Custody / Parenting Plan - Property & Debts - Spousal Support - Seattle Divorce Services

Many people wonder what the difference is between a Divorce and a Legal Separation when it comes to specific issues like child custody and parenting plans, child support, property and debt division, and spousal support. In fact, with regard to those issues, in Washington State it really does not matter whether the action is a Divorce or a Legal Separation.

In Washington, a Legal Separation is basically a Divorce without getting divorced.

In other words, the same issues are dealt with and orders are entered dealing with all of the same issues that would be dealt with in a Divorce such as parenting, child support, spousal support, division of assets and liabilities, and even change of name. The difference is that when the final Decree is entered, we leave out the line that says the parties are now divorced.

[Read more…]

Sophisticated Solutions to Complex Divorce

Sophisticated Solutions to Complex Divorces - Seattle Divorce Services

What does it mean when we say “our divorce attorneys believe in taking a more sophisticated approach to resolving complex cases”?

Many divorce cases are complex. That does not necessarily mean the cases involve great wealth or unusual issues. It does mean there there may be issues of parenting, child or spousal support, property division, etc. that do not lend themselves to easy solutions. Support issues may be complicated by uncertain incomes. Parenting issues may be complicated by differences of opinion about what is best for the children. Property division may be complicated by issues of separate and community property or value of the property.

And all of these issues may be intertwined such that the answer to one affects another (determining income for support may also affect property division, and determining a parenting schedule may affect support). [Read more…]

What is Cooperative Divorce?

What is Cooperative Divorce? - Seattle Divorce Services

Along with Collaboration and Mediation, you may sometimes hear the term “Cooperative Divorce”. Cooperative Divorce is not a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution like Collaboration and Mediation, but is rather a way of approaching a traditional litigated divorce.

There are no special rules or procedures associated with a Cooperative Divorce, but it does mean that the two sides (and particularly the attorneys) try to cooperate with each other to the extent possible to help the case resolve as simply and cost-effectively as possible. [Read more…]

Can I Modify My Spousal Support?

Can I Modify My Spousal Support - Seattle Divorce Services Blog

In Washington, spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, is modifiable under some conditions.

First, the decree of divorce must have NOT ordered non-modifiable spousal support. Second, there must be a “substantial change of circumstances”. I would add, however, that in my experience, spousal support modifications tend to be disfavored by the courts (i.e. you need to have a VERY good case). [Read more…]