Washington State Divorce Laws and Hiring an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Have you considered filing for divorce in Washington State? If so, there are a few things you should know before getting started with the process. There are many intricate details involved in filing and several rules and regulations to abide by. Just one small mistake can cost you your rightful property and alimony and can even affect child custody arrangements. It is important for all spouses who have thought about petitioning for a dissolution of marriage or who are in the midst of a divorce case to know what their rights are in order to ensure their case runs quickly and smoothly.

Below are some of Washington State’s divorce laws:

Washington State Residency Requirements

In order to file for divorce in Washington State, the following residency requirements must be met:

  • The plaintiff must be a resident of the state or a member of the armed forces and is stationed in the state
  • The plaintiff’s spouse is a resident of the state or a member of the armed forces and is stationed in this state.

Legal Grounds for Divorce

Washington State only requires that couples prove the marriage is irretrievably broken in order to grant divorce. If one party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then the court shall consider all relevant factors and make a final decision.

Property Distribution Rules

Because Washington State is a community property state, all property and assets acquired during the marriage shall be divided equally unless the parties reach an agreement outside of court. If parties cannot agree, then the court will take several factors into consideration, including the duration of the marriage and the economic circumstances of each spouse.


Alimony may be awarded for either spouse in Washington State and for a period of time as the court deems just. Marital misconduct is not considered a factor when determining spousal support.

Child Custody

Child custody arraignments are based on what is in the best interest of the child. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, then the court will determine custody based on several factors, including the parent’s relationship with the child and the wishes of the child, if mature enough.

Obtaining Legal Help

At any moment, a divorce case can turn sour. Even couples who come to the decision to part ways mutually can disagree over property, alimony or child custody, leading proceedings to drag on endlessly. However, there is a way for all parties to ensure their rights are protected and that the case runs as quickly as possible. If you have thought about filing for divorce, turn to a Washington divorce lawyer today to discuss your options.

Your Washington State divorce attorney will handle all the paperwork, court appearances and mediation required to make sure you obtain your fair share in the settlement. Contact one of our featured legal professionals today to get started on your case.