As in other American jurisdictions, the State of Washington requires individuals who wish to file for divorce to provide certain pieces of information in their divorce pleadings. This post will discuss the requirements that the divorce plaintiff or initial petitioner must meet; readers of this blog are reminded that they should seek their own legal advice as they prepare to file for divorce to ensure all of the legal requirements applicable to their cases are met.
In order for a party to file for divorce in Washington, they must be a resident of the state or must be a service member stationed within Washington. In their pleading, the plaintiff must state where and when they married their spouse and where each resides at the time of the divorce filing. If the plaintiff and their spouse share children, then the initial pleading must state the children's names and ages and the petitioner must also include information on any separation that they and their spouse are undertaking.
A party filing for divorce must also provide information on any agreements that they and their spouse have created, statements about their property, and claims for support if they plan to pursue alimony from their spouse. Other data may be necessary for a divorce filing, and interested parties are asked to seek their own counsel on these matters.
Once divorce paperwork is filed Washington courts must wait 90 days before the process can be finalized. Fault does not have to be alleged for a Washington divorce to go through and couples who plan to end their marriages in the state may also follow this general process if they are committed to their significant others through domestic partnerships.