According to the Washington State Department of Health, in 2018, there were 24,938 divorces in Washington. Going through a divorce can be an overwhelming and emotional experience that has long-term effects on several aspects of your life, including your family, friends, children, assets, and finances. Unfortunately, with an abundance of misleading information out there, you can easily make irrevocable mistakes without proper direction. Hence, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Washington family law attorney, when considering divorce, to receive legal counsel and guidance.
Attorney William E. Morgan is committed to providing outstanding legal services and helping clients through difficult transitions in their lives. He will inform you of your options and help you navigate key decisions in your divorce. Using his extensive experience, he will try to productively resolve issues between all parties involved. A one-on-one consultation with an experienced Washington family law attorney is what you need to protect yourself and your family's best interest.
William E. Morgan is proud to serve clients in Grays Harbor County, Washington, and the surrounding communities of Hoquiam, Montesano, Aberdeen, and Pacific County.
Washington is a "no-fault" divorce state meaning that you only need to claim irretrievable breakdown (no chance of reconciliation) as your reason for divorce. Further, according to Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 26.09.030 (2018), it’s only required that one of the spouses feel that the marriage is beyond repair, not necessarily both.
The divorce process begins by filing a petition for Dissolution of Marriage with any of the Washington State's superior courts. There will be a waiting period of at least 90 days after filing and serving the petition before entering final orders.
To file for divorce in Washington, there is no specific length of time required for you to live in the state. You or your spouse only needs to have established residency.
Generally, divorces in Washington are categorized into two categories - contested and uncontested divorce.
Contested Divorce: In a contested divorce, both spouses are unable to agree on one or more essential terms of the divorce settlement. A court hearing may be necessary, and the judge will render a final verdict.
Uncontested Divorce: In an uncontested divorce, the spouses mutually agree on essential terms of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, child support, alimony, tax deductions, and visitation periods. The agreed-upon terms will be filed with the court for official approval.
As part of the divorce process, a couple’s assets and debts are divided and then equally distributed. To help determine who gets what, assets and debts are first categorized as community property or separate property.
Community Property: Washington legislature describes community property (or marital property) as all assets and debts accumulated during a couple's marriage. This includes the marital home, income, cars, bank accounts, royalties, stocks, rents, credit card charges, 401k accounts, and all other assets or debts acquired during the marriage.
Separate Property: Separate property includes assets or debts accumulated by each spouse before the marriage. This also includes gifts or inheritance during the marriage.
According to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 26.09.080), all community property will be divided equally. At times, the court may include separate property in the divorce property division, depending on the court's discretion. Below are the factors generally considered by the court during property division:
The duration of the marriage
The nature and extent of the community property
The nature and extent of the separate property
Each spouse's non-monetary and monetary contributions to the marriage
The separate assets and debts of each spouse
The contribution of one spouse to the other spouses' education and career
Each spouse's current and potential earning capacity
Family responsibilities of each spouse
Child custody arrangements to determine who gets the marital home
Going through a divorce involves several complicated processes. Negotiating a settlement, dividing assets, and determining child custody and parenting time with your ex-spouse can make the process even more complex. Fortunately, a knowledgeable Washington family law attorney can offer the detailed guidance you need and help you navigate crucial decisions.
Attorney William E. Morgan has dedicated his career to handling matters of family law and divorce. As an experienced divorce attorney, he can help you negotiate the key terms and agreement of the divorce and determine the best course of action moving forward. Also, he will work with all parties involved to settle matters of asset division, alimony, child support, and visitation periods. William E. Morgan can provide the legal counsel and support you need to make the transition as seamless as possible.
If you are considering divorce or have just been served with divorce papers, call William E. Morgan today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation. Attorney William E. Morgan provides the detailed legal guidance and advocacy you need during this difficult period in your life. He proudly serves clients in Grays Harbor County, Hoquiam, Montesano, Aberdeen, and Pacific County, WA