The majority of people consider the divorce process to be lengthy and stressful. The mass media have fueled this idea, but some cases support it. However, this assumption applies to contested divorces.
All states provide spouses with an opportunity to file for an uncontested divorce, including Washington. This divorce scenario is usually a preferable option for partners who want to avoid unnecessary stress. This article will provide some information about how to get a cheap divorce
in the state of Washington.
Legal Processes Involved
The cheapest way to get everything done in the cheapest way possible is with a DIY divorce. This means that both spouses are able to agree on all terms and conditions regarding divorce. The list of things that have to be sorted out by spouses includes:
● Property division
● Child custody
● Spousal support
If partners agree on everything, they can file for an uncontested divorce, called a “Dissolution of Marriage
” in Washington. This is the easiest way of getting a divorce and comes with other benefits from the legal perspective.
Washington is a no-fault state. This means that spouses can avoid blaming each other and just state that their marriage is irretrievably broken
It is yet another positive factor for couples who want to do everything the cheapest way possible. After all, if at least one spouse blames the other for something, everything becomes complicated and usually involves a lawyer and the court, which drains time and money.
How to Avoid Contested Divorce
If there are any disputes regarding essential matters, spouses should consider hiring a professional mediator to avoid the involvement of third parties that might lead to considerable expenditures. Using the services of a mediator is a great way to solve conflicts regarding things such as property division and child custody.
Things That Can Be Done Without a Lawyer
Thankfully, all the states provide resources for couples filing for divorce by themselves, making the DIY divorce scenario a reality.
First of all, a person filing for divorce, also known as a petitioner, needs to take care of the documents. There are two mandatory forms -- “Confidential Information Form” and “Certificate of Dissolution -- Vital Statistics.”
However, a petitioner may also be required to fill out additional forms depending on the individual case. This sounds like a complicated process because it is. One might ask how it is possible to go with the DIY divorce scenario when at least one spouse needs specialized education?
The answer is rather simple -- online divorce preparation services are readily available for people who want to save money and get the divorce papers done in a fast and inexpensive manner.
The whole process is relatively simple. All it takes is to register and complete a questionnaire to provide relevant information. The papers are generated automatically and are usually ready in approximately 2 business days.
Filing and Serving the Papers
After the papers have been prepared, they must be filed with the county clerk. The state of Washington has a filing fee of $280. However, if the petitioner cannot afford it, the court provides an opportunity to request a waiver. If the judge considers the reasons for waiving acceptable, a petitioner can avoid filing fees, thus making the divorce process cheaper.
After all the papers have been filed, the petitioner can serve copies of all documents to the other spouse, known as the respondent. To do so, a petitioner should make copies of the documents for both the court and the respondent.
The next step is to hire a process server or enlist an adult to serve the papers. The State of Washington does not permit serving paperwork in person. A recipient then signs the “Acceptance of Service” form, confirming that the papers have been successfully delivered. This is the final step before the actual divorce process begins, as the court cannot proceed without an official confirmation that the documents have been served.
After all the paperwork is filled out and served, spouses can proceed with the marriage dissolution process. It is important to mention that while most states have a 60-day waiting period for the divorce to be reviewed by the court, the state of Washington requires 90 days. This waiting period could extend if one of the parties raises objections regarding the terms and conditions of the divorce.
To avoid this, spouses should try to solve their issues during this period, or the case will go to a trial. That can make a DIY divorce much more expensive and tiresome for everyone.