Washington Divorce FAQ’s – Pro Se

This is about filing your own divorce in Washington, including how hard it is to file your own divorce in Washington, what divorce papers need to be filed, and what the filing fees are for divorce in Washington.

This information is from Jennifer C. Rydberg, the DivorceInfo Network Lawyer for Washington.

How hard is it to file my own divorce?

Now that we have standardized forms for family law matters, filing your own divorce is easier than before. You can obtain these forms from a variety of sources, including the Domestic Facilitator’s Office in each Superior Court courthouse and the Office of the Administrator of the Courts, PO Box 41170, Olympia, WA 98504-1170, 360-753-3365,http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/home.cfm.

After you have filed, your spouse must receive copies of the Summons, Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Order Setting Original Domestic Case Schedule. If you have children, your spouse must also receive your proposed Parenting Plan.

There are only two legal ways for your spouse to receive these documents. Your spouse can sign an “Acceptance of Service” that acknowledges in writing that your spouse has actually received these documents. Or, you can hire a private process server, request the police or sheriff, or ask a friend to deliver the documents to your spouse personally. This person then must sign a “Declaration of Service” stating when and where this was done. Either the Acceptance of Service or the Declaration of Service must be filed with the Court Clerk. The date of delivery of the documents starts the 90 day waiting period for the divorce.

What are the papers that need to be filed?

To start your divorce, you need to complete the Summons, Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Identification Information Form, and Department of Health vital statistics form.In King County, and in many other counties, you must also complete a Case Information Cover Sheet.In King County, the court clerk will issue an Order Setting Original Domestic Case Schedule when you file your Petition.

What’s the filing fee for a divorce?

$120.00.If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee, there are forms in the County Clerk’s office or the Domestic Facilitator’s Office that you can complete to request that the filing fee be waived.These forms must be reviewed and approved by a judge or court commissioner BEFORE you file your Petition.You cannot get a refund of your filing fee after you have paid it.

Other issues in Washington: