Washington Divorce Requirements
The state of Washington has specific residency requirements that need
to be met prior to filing for divorce. Divorce cases are handled by the
county circuit court system, which means where individuals file for
divorce is important.
Prior to submitting a divorce petition in Washington an individual must
first reside within the state borders and be a state resident. Those
who are stationed in Washington for service in the armed forces are
considered state residents and may petition for divorce.
Also all those who are currently married to a Washington state resident
or an individual serving in the United States armed forces may petition
for a Washington divorce.
If both individuals reside within the state but live in separate
counties, either individual may petition for divorce in either county.
When individuals file for divorce on the claims of irreconcilable
differences, at least ninety days must pass before the court will
continue the filing process and summon the opposing spouse.
Grounds for Divorce
When individuals file for divorce they must also state why they desire
a divorce. This is called the grounds for divorce. Each state has
different grounds for divorce.
Washington divorcing grounds will not be legal in the surrounding
states. Prior to filing the individuals involved will decide upon which
grounds they will file and present them to the court. If only one
individual is filing for divorce, he or she will need to prove these
decided grounds before the court.
Washington divorce grounds include the grounds of irretrievable
breakage. This is where the couple states that the marriage is
diminished beyond repair. Under these circumstances many couples first
enter into marriage counseling prior to filing for divorce. The grounds
of irretrievable breakage also do not name one individual responsible
for the divorce decree.
Under these grounds both individuals must agree that the marriage is
beyond repair before the court will consider granting a divorce
petition. If one individual opposes that the marriage is beyond repair,
the court will consider the situation and the reasoning for the claims.
If the court cannot find true reason to grant the divorce, the petition
will be dismissed. The circumstances of the marriage and any possible
means of reconciling will also be considered before a decision is
When a divorce petition is to be granted, the individuals must then
divide the acquired marital property. The state of Washington is
considered a community property state where all the property in the
marriage is to be divided equally between the individuals.
Other states may be considered equitable property states where the
property is distributed fairly, rather than equally. If those involved
cannot reach a decision on who shall claim which kind of property, the
court will intervene.
The court will consider all the factors surrounding the marriage when
dividing the property. These things include which spouse has custody of
an subsequent children, the individual's employment status, the length
of the marriage, each individual's contribution to the household, and
each individual's economic status.
The court will also consider any circumstances of desertion,
infidelity, and marital misconduct.