In Washington State, a divorce is final as soon as the court signs the Decree of Dissolution.
The whole divorce process generally takes anywhere from 3 months to a year, and there is a minimum 90 day waiting period after the divorce has been filed and served. If the case needs to go to trial, the time it takes varies from county to county. In King County, it takes about 11 months to get to trial.
After the 90 days has run, the case can be finalized anytime once an agreement has been reached and the parties have signed off on the final orders. On the other hand, if the case is being completed based on a default (the other party has been served but has failed to respond to the Petition), then the case can be completed without the other party’s involvement.
If the parties are not able to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce, then a trial is needed to let the court decide the issues that the parties are unable to agree on.
At the end of the trial, the Judge will issue a ruling. It is then up to the attorneys to prepare final orders based on the Judge’s ruling. Once they have those papers in hand, with signatures of both sides agreeing that the written orders correctly reflect the ruling, then the Judge will sign them and the divorce is final.