Just as the law requires your spouse to legally serve you with divorce papers, you must legally serve them with your answer. To start a divorce or legal separation when you are married, registered domestic partners, or both. WARNING: Forms and instructions on this website have not been revised to show temporary changes that might apply during the COVID-19 emergency, such as adjustments to dates and requirements for how to serve documents. When a divorce is started in Washington, the other spouse has to be notified of the divorce action. ‘Service’ means delivering a copy to them, and there are rules around how this must be done. Once it’s done the Petitioner pays filling fee and then the papers could be served to a responding spouse who can join the petition or sign them. You then have to file a Summons to inform your spouse that you are divorcing them. ELC 4.1 SERVICE OF PAPERS (a) Service Required. Summons (Family Law) FL-110 The judge ruled that a spouse who was seeking a divorce could use Facebook to serve divorce papers. Court Forms: Divorce (Dissolution) To download these forms, right ... (If your spouse completes the Agreement to Join Petition or Service Accepted, or agrees to join the Petition by signing the agreement on the last page of the Petition, service of the Petition and Summons is not necessary.) Washington State Child Support Schedule – definitions, standards, instructions, and economic table 06/2020: WSCSS - Worksheets: Washington State Child Support Schedule Worksheets 01/2019: WSCSS - Attachment for RSA On the other hand, if your spouse is cooperative, they can sign an Acceptance of Service, which is essentially a receipt for the papers. In Washington State, the defendant has twenty days to file the Response to Petition with the court. This is done by serving him or her with a copy of the Summons and Petition, or ‘divorce papers’. Certified mail, return receipt requested: Serving divorce papers this way requires that your spouse sign a paper that is attached to the envelope when he receives the petition in the mail. If the party being served is a person, the papers can be mailed to his or her home or mailing address. Instead, when you file the papers with the court, talk to the clerk about using the Sheriff's office for service. Generally, even if you don’t know where the person is living now, you have an address where they have lived in the past. You will need to describe the efforts you have made to locate and serve the spouse. How to file for Divorce in Washington: File for Petition for Dissolution of Marriage first. The waiting period for a divorce in Washington is three months. you cannot do the service yourself). Please see Proclamations by the Governor and Supreme Court Orders on the COVID-19 Response page at www.courts.wa.gov for additional information. This is the minimum period required before the court finalizes the divorce. After you serve your spouse with your divorce papers, if she doesn’t file a response, the court will grant your divorce six months later with a minimum of fuss. ANNOUNCEMENT. Serving the Petition on Your Spouse. Use the court's form to schedule hearings, if there is one; otherwise use the Notice of Hearing, form FL All Family 185. In Washington, you must always try to have the other party personally served. Washington Rules of Civil Procedure. Important: To obtain legal advice you should hire a lawyer (for “full service” representation or for “limited” representation) or, if you cannot afford one, contact a low cost or free legal service program. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Washington Judiciary and Courts website. 4. To download these forms, right click the mouse and choose "Save Target As" (for Mozilla/Firefox choose "Save Link As"). Blank forms to print and fill out on your own, with how-to instructions for completing and filing. The divorce begins when the Petitioner serves the Respondent with a copy of the Petition. For venue to be proper, you must file in either the county where your spouse, the respondent, lives, or the county where you live. Please see Proclamations by the Governor and Supreme Court Orders on the COVID-19 Response page at www.courts.wa.gov for additional information. for Mozilla/Firefox choose "Save Link As", Convert Legal Separation to Divorce (Dissolution), Temporary Order to Pay Spousal Support (Maintenance/Alimony). Do not attempt to deliver the papers yourself as this is not considered legal service. If it is a business, the papers must be mailed to the owner (s) at the business’s main office. ‘Service’ means delivering a copy to them, and there are rules around how this must be done. Divorce is rarely an easy process. The most common type of service is “personal service,” which means your spouse receives the initial divorce paperwork (the divorce petition and a summons to appear in court) by personal delivery; someone must hand these items to your spouse. To file for divorce in Washington, either you or your spouse must be resident of the state. Five Out-of-the-Box Ways to Serve Someone Divorce Papers. In either event, you must file an answer and make certain it is served under compliance with the law. Nothing in this website establishes an attorney-client relationship between us. General Information and Instructions about Ending Your Marriage. If you do not serve the State with your papers according to the instructions above, you must make an appointment to have the lawyer for the State review your final order (example:your Final Divorce Order, or your Final Order on and Findings on Petition to Change Parenting Plan) and your Child Support Order. After filing divorce papers with the court, the petitioner (and their lawyer) makes sure that the petition is "served" (legally delivered) on the other spouse. This means the petition should have been filed with the court and served on the spouse for 90 days before it is signed by the court. Your spouse can then file a Joinder stating that he/she agrees with your Divorce petition or they can … The server mails the papers to the party being served. Or if you have no minor children of the marriage, use our do-it-yourself interview program, Washington Forms Online, to complete the forms. If they fail to do so, you may be able to finalize the case through obtaining an Order of Default. Getting a divorce in Washington state with a child . How to Serve Divorce Papers in Washington The final step in the filing process is to serve your spouse the divorce papers. Therefore the information listed below may have been amended. The primary and legally foolproof way to insure that service is correct (and that the court is satisfied with proper service) is to have copies of the documents physically handed to the your spouse. You should consult an attorney for legal advice that pertains to your personal situation. You can also use a process server. Once your spouse has been served, they have a set period of time to file a Response to the Petition. Click for the information sheet on the Legal Steps for a Divorce or Legal Separation (FL-107-INFO). Any divorce in a state of Washington usually starts with completing up to date divorce forms and filing them at court. This takes time and money. Legal Steps for a Divorce or Legal Separation (FL-107-INFO). Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts. Not only is this simpler than going the publication route, but I tend to think it is at least a bit more likely that they will actually get it. You'll also have to pay a filing fee; if you can't afford it, then ask t… The Washington Post recently reported on a novel ruling by a divorce court judge. The legal term for divorce in Washington is dissolution of marriage. State law doesn't require you to live in Washington for any specific length of time. If your spouse and you are on good terms, you can avoid the serving process by completing a “Joinder to the Petition”. This “return receipt” is then mailed back to you after it is signed, and will serve as proof of service. Your spouse should have filed in the county you live in or the county your spouse lives in. Louisiana law streamlines it in some ways and complicates it in others. [More...], (If your spouse completes the Agreement to Join Petition or Service Accepted, or agrees to join the Petition by signing the agreement on the last page of the Petition, service of the Petition and Summons is not necessary.). Your spouse is a member of the armed forces stationed in Washington and will continue to be so for at least 90 days following the date that you file and serve the divorce papers. Serving Divorce Papers. If either of these are done, then no Service is required AND no Response is needed either. Breaking Down Alimony and Spousal Support Issues, The Legal Process for Parenting Agreements, finalize the case through obtaining an Order of Default. Lists dates, children, property, and debts. Below are five great ideas for serving your divorce papers to … In the case of regular Petition for Dissolution (without signing the Joinder), a defendant served with the copies of divorce papers must meet the specific deadline to respond to the papers. 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. This list of forms is not legal advice and is provided only for reference purposes. Another option is for both parties to file the divorce together, either by both signing as co-petitioners, or by the other party signing a Joinder, which means they join in filing the petition. Note: Additional documents may be required by local county superior court rules. However, if you signed an acceptance of service, you have acknowledged being served and it doesnt matter that it was she that gave you the papers. Packet #3202EN. As long as you or your spouse has established residency, you can file for divorce within the state.  State law about divorce also applies to marriages between same -sex couples. The papers should say "Superior Court of the State of Washington, County of _____" at the top. First, a party to a case (such as one spouse in a divorce case) can not be the one to serve process on an opposing party. Summons: Notice About a Marriage or Domestic Partnership, Attachment to Confidential Information (Additional Parties or Children), Certificate of Dissolution, Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage, or Legal Separation, Proof of Mailing or Hand Delivery (for documents after Summons and Petition), Findings and Conclusions About a Marriage, Final Divorce Order (Dissolution Decree) / Legal Separation Order (Decree) / Invalid Marriage Order (Annulment Decree) / Valid Marriage Order (Decree), Washington State Child Support Schedule – definitions, standards, instructions, and economic table, Washington State Child Support Schedule Worksheets, Attachment for Residential Split Adjustment, Financial Declaration of (name): _______________, Sealed Financial Source Documents (Cover Sheet). Different facts can radically alter a legal opinion. If you absolutely cannot have them served this way, you can ask court permission to serve them by mail or publication. Unless the divorce is uncontested, the next step after filing is … The divorce cannot be granted until 90 days have elapsed after the petition for divorce is filed. This is done by serving him or her with a copy of the Summons and Petition, or ‘divorce papers’. Washington divorce forms and online service to prepare official Washington State divorce forms accepted by all Washington divorce courts. The divorce papers, the summons and complaint, are served together. Washington Divorce Online makes the preparation of Washington divorce papers fast and easy. Any domestic violence or unlawful harassment protection orders needed. There are a number of ways you can satisfy your state’s notice requirement. Schedule the final hearing. If you have children under 18, you will also need to sign the Parenting Plan and a Child Support form. The information contained on this website is intended for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice. The law will still keep you from moving to the state and immediately getting a divorce, though. Please note that lobbyists are active in Washington and laws concerning civil procedure and process serving can change. If you find yourself dealing with a partner that is making the service of the divorce paperwork difficult, you might want to consider getting a little creative in order to catch them off-guard. Your county may also have a courthouse facilitator who cannot provide legal advice, but who can offer limited assistance in completing necessary paperwork. WARNING: Forms and instructions on this website have not been revised to show temporary changes that might apply during the COVID-19 emergency, such as adjustments to dates and requirements for how to serve documents. How to File a Divorce in Washington State. Alternate service can take two forms: one is publication of a legal notice in a newspaper. The quicker and easier way is mailing the divorce papers to ‘last known address’. Unlike many other states, you do not have to be a resident of Washington for a specific amount of time before you can file for a divorce. If they sign the Acceptance, then you do not need to have them served as the Acceptance provides the proof that they have received the papers. Make a copy of your official divorce documents, provided by Washington Divorce Online. Learn about Serving divorce papers in Washington today. Then a declaration has to be filed with the court stating the date and location of the service. Quickly find answers to your Serving divorce papers questions with the help of a local lawyer. What is personal service? The site includes information about divorce process in Washington State and Washington divorce laws. © Copyright 2020. Pierce County Superior Court 930 Tacoma Ave S Rm 534 Tacoma, WA 98402-2108 Pierce County District Court Civil And Infraction Division 1902 96th St S. Every pleading, every paper relating to discovery, every written request or motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every similar paper or document issued by disciplinary counsel or the respondent lawyer under these rules must be served on the opposing party. For a referral to a lawyer or a legal service program, call CLEAR (888) 201-1014. In this particular case, the defendant’s address was not known to his spouse, who wanted to end the marriage. If they did not file in one of those counties, you can ask the court to transfer the case (move it to the right county). Generally we hire a professional process server for this. Personal service in a divorce means delivery to the defendant personally, or by leaving a copy of the summons at the house of his or her usual abode with some person of suitable age and discretion who lives there. 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