How is Property and Debt Split During a Divorce?

In Washington the courts are instructed to make a "just and equitable" division of all property and debt, both community and separate. Some factors the court is to consider include the nature and extent of the property, the duration of the marriage, and the economic circumstances of each spouse....

Who Pays for the Divorce?

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 alloc...

How Do I Get A Divorce Without My Spouse?

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 pe...

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

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 divor...

What is Cooperative Divorce?

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 pr...

Can I Modify My Spousal Support?

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, s...

How Are Retirement Benefits Divided in Divorce?

This might also be titled "What is a QDRO?", but the answer is really bigger than that. Some people assume that because retirement benefits were earned by the one party and is in her or his name, it is not subject to division. In fact, retirement benefits are considered community property and so...

How Do I Get More Time with My Children?

We often hear from parents who are unhappy with their current parenting plan and want to have more time with their children. While the standard you have to meet for modifying a parenting plan is a tough one, there are several options to consider:...

Should I File My Divorce in Lincoln County?

Many people in Washington have heard of the "Lincoln County Divorce" and wonder if that is a good way to go. To my mind, the cons tend to outweigh the pros. Many paralegal services that help people with divorces like to use Lincoln County because the divorce there can all be done by mail. Therefore...
How Long Does Divorce Take

How Long Does a Divorce Take?

I cannot speak as to other states, but in Washington State there is a minimum 90 day long waiting period from the time the divorce case is filed with the court until the time that the court can finalize the divorce. However, that requires the parties to have reached agreement on all issues and ha...