Washington divorces are based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This indicates that the marriage is irreparable and that no one is to blame. A family law attorney in Spokane Valley, WA helps petitioners start this process.
What Is the First Step?
The first step for filing for a divorce is identifying jurisdiction. This begins by identifying residency. At least one of the parties must live in Washington. They must remain in the state for at least ninety days after the summons is delivered.
Next, the attorney will help the petitioner draft the divorce agreement. This agreement will be delivered to the defendant via their attorney. If they choose not to hire an attorney, it will be delivered to their home. The defendant may also visit the petitioner’s attorney and review the agreement.
What Is the Waiting Period?
The waiting period after the summons is delivered is ninety days. If the defendant doesn’t respond within ninety days, a default judgment is possible. This allows the petitioner to acquire a divorce through a private hearing with the judge.
When Is an Annulment More Appropriate?
Select circumstances allow for an annulment. If either spouse was underage and didn’t receive parental consent, the marriage is nullified. Additional reasons include a blood relation between the spouses, an existing marriage to another party, and impotence. If either party didn’t secure a divorce from a previous marriage, this marriage isn’t valid. The petitioner could achieve an annulment for any of these reasons.
When They Aren’t Sure
Couples that aren’t ready for a divorce but cannot live together they should consider legal separation. The separation affords them with the benefits of marriage. This includes health insurance and support. However, it allows the couple to live separately and take their time making further decisions.
Washington divorce cases require the petitioner to follow the guidelines precisely. This includes establishing residency and delivering the summons properly. Petitioners should also evaluate their options before they file. For example, some cases may qualify for an annulment instead of a divorce. Petitioners who need assistance can speak to a family law attorney in Spokane Valley, WA at Cooney Law Office today.
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