What Options Are Available For A Couple To Divorce In Washington?
The options available depend on which county you reside in. Each county has a different set of rules on how a divorce can be finalized, but tend to be similar. To get started in King County, you need to file a summons, a petition, a confidential information sheet, a certificate of dissolution, and if you have children together, a proposed parenting plan. After filing, the court issues a case schedule describing what needs to be done and when it should be accomplished. Additionally, each spouse is notified that they are to refrain from dissipating assets owned.
After that, you have to serve the other party. With a successful service, you can proceed with the case schedule. If the other party is served and does not file a response within 20 days, you can come back to court and file a motion for default. After a default, within 91 days from the date they were served, you can finalize your divorce.
In Pierce County, the court does not issue the case schedule until after a later date. The terms for default remain the same as King County.
In either county, once the opposing party is served, either party may offer a settlement negotiation. If the parties are able to come to an agreement, you can finalize your divorce after 91 days. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, you proceed with the case schedule and file for temporary orders while your divorce is pending.
How Is Custody Of A Child Or Children Determined In Washington State? Is There Ever An Age Where A Child Has Input In That Decision?
The Washington state standard is to examine what is in the best interest of the child. They will see which parent was the primary parent that provided determinate support. This means the one who took them to school, who fed them breakfast, who took care of them, who helped them with their homework and put them to bed. The court tries to avoid disruptions to the children’s lives as much as possible.
A child under the age of 18 has no decision-making rights. But the court will take into consideration the teenage children’s input, but it does not have any bearing on the decision of the court just because they are minors.
Children never appear in court. If there is a case with a guardian-ad-litem, the child gets interviewed or observed with the other parent. Their conversation with the guardian-ad-litem may be taken into consideration as the presentation to court but they will not appear in court to testify.
Who Is Going To Be Responsible For Child Support In Washington State? What Will Be the Amount?
The non-primary parent will be responsible for child support in Washington State. The person who has the majority of the time with the children is the primary parent. So, the other parent would default as the person who pays child support. Washington State does not differ in counties regarding how child support is calculated. There is a standard method of calculation that takes the mom’s income plus the dad’s income to get the total income. Based on the total income, there’s a chart that the court uses to determine how many children there are in the family and what the total income is. The court takes each parent’s income and divide it by the total income to get a percentage. That percentage is then multiplied by the number from the chart to get each parent’s proportional responsibility of child support. The non-primary parent would pay their proportional share of this total child support each month until the child is 18 or graduates high school (whichever is later).
For more information on Family Law Cases In The State Of Washington, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 276-7390 today.