Washington State Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers WA


Washington State divorce laws include a minimum wait period of 90 days. Yes, that means your divorce in Washington state will take a minimum of 3 months and probably a lot longer if the terms cannot be agreed. You will find only “no-fault” divorce grounds in Washington state. This means there is no requirement of proof for obtaining divorce. The court shall dissolve the marriage upon the ground that the marriage was “irretrievably broken”.

When filing for divorce, in addition to the divorce form, a certificate from health department must also be field. The divorce rate in Washington State is above the median point. It is 4.5% per 1,000 of the total population. 

Annulment in Washington State is not liked for certain reasons. Therefore courts and churches have made the procedure of annulment difficult, so that it is only opted for in genuine cases. Divorce is a relatively easy way to dissolve the marital relationship and therefore preferred.

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A divorce attorney, equipped with a specialized knowledge of the divorce law, custody, and related issues, can help you with filing as well as contesting a divorce. A divorce lawyer will also make you fully aware of your own rights and obligations in this complex field of law.

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Grounds for Divorce in Washington State

There is only one “no fault” ground in a Washington State divorce, which is:

Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage

According to this divorce ground in Washington, “if there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the legitimate objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved”, a divorce can proceed.

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage stands for a marital relationship’s breakdown beyond any prospect of reconciliation. You and your spouse can file for divorce if so is the case under this divorce ground in Washington state.

The court of law under the divorce laws of Washington State will investigate the matter if you or your spouse deny or declare a claim of your spouse of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in Washington State.

Washington Annulment Laws

An annulment is the court’s declaration that the marriage never existed, while divorce is the dissolution of a legal marriage. People in Washington prefer divorce over annulment because it is hard to prove annulment grounds. To get annulment in Washington State, one must prove a legal annulment ground set by the Washington annulment laws. Following are the valid Washington annulment grounds:


Consanguinity is the marriages between full or half-blood relations. According to Washington annulment laws, consanguinity means getting married to a close relative like, father, mother, sister, uncle or aunt. If you have married any one of the above mentioned, you can claim annulment under Washington annulment laws.

Bigamy or Existence of a Prior Marriage

Washington annulment laws say that you can claim an annulment if your spouse was already married with someone else when s/he married you.

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Fraud and Duress

According to Washington annulment laws, fraud and duress both are valid grounds for annulment. You can obtain annulment if you have been cheated or forced into a marriage.

Mental Illness

You can claim Washington annulment if your spouse is mentally ill and that illness is incurable.

Underage Marriage

If you enter into a marriage before the legal marriageable age set by Washington marriage laws, your marriage will be considered void and therefore it can be annulled under Washington annulment laws.

Washington State Divorce Laws – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it compulsory to prove a fault to get a Washington State divorce?

    No, Washington is a no-fault state which means that there is no need to prove anyone’s fault to get a Washington divorce. The only thing you need to prove is, the irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse.

  2. Will the court consider behavior of my spouse when deciding child custody issue?

    Yes, the court will definitely look into the behavior of both the spouses before declaring the child custody. According to Washington State divorce laws, the behavior of parents towards the child is the main object that must be considered.

  3. Is there any Washington divorce law that state that a boy will go in father’s custody?

    Washington divorce laws clearly say that child custody issue will be decided according to the child’s interest. The divorce court does not decide the custody issue on the basis of child’s gender. The only point worth pondering is the good of child in question.

  4. Is mother given preference when it comes to deciding child custody of minors (children)?

    In the past, according to Washington State divorce laws, the custody of young children (maximum eight years) was automatically awarded to the mothers. The only way to prevent this was to prove that the mother was unfit and thus unable to take care of the child.

    Now, the tender year doctrine has been eliminated in the Washington divorce laws, by the introduction of “best interest of child” standard, in which no custody is declared according to the age factor.

  5. How does a Washington divorce court figure out child support amount?

    Under Washington divorce laws, the court considers gross income of the non-custodial spouse and places a percentage to it that must be paid every month to the other spouse for child support. The other things that court considers are the living standards, medical and educational facilities etc.

  6. What are the dictates of Washington State divorce law when it comes to property distribution?

    Property division is the major issue in a divorce. In Washington, the property is divided in accordance with the equitable distribution method.

  7. What is spousal support?

    Spousal support is the name given to financial help provided by one spouse to other. Alimony and maintenance are also known as spousal support. Alimony might be in terms of payments, transfer of money or assets.

  8. Are there any grounds for spousal support?

    According to divorce in Washington laws, the first and the most common ground is that you must be getting a divorce or living separate. There are other requirements also which are contract and need.

  9. How much important is given to the timing in filing a divorce?

    The person who first files a divorce is a plaintiff or petitioner, while the other party is called defendant or respondent. Filing a divorce first does not affect a divorce court’s decision. However the person who files a divorce gets more options and reaction time than the other one.

  10. Can we both hire the services of the same divorce attorney?

    No, both the spouses cannot be represented by one divorce attorney in Washington State.

Divorce Lawyers Near Me

Are you looking for a local divorce lawyer, family attorney or legal advisor for child custody? Look no further - click on the location nearest your home:

Vancouver Divorce Attorneys & LawyersXXX Following are some of the top-most divorce attorneys at Vancouver in Washington. Law Office of Robin J. Krane The Scott Horenstein Law Firm M. Morasch & Associates, PC Brett N. Bender, Attorney at Law Harris Law Firm, PC  Law Office of Robin J. KraneThe law office of Robin J. Krane is located at 1010 Esther Street, Vancouver, Washington. The firm has completely dedicated its services to family law and bankruptcy. Robin J. Krane is the only one handling aspects of divorce and family law in the Clark and Cowlitz Counties. This Vancouver divorce attorney has maintained a record of winning a large number of family cases. Mr. Krane completed his B.S. in 1986 and his J.D. in 1987 from Western State University. He was then admitted to California Bar in 1987, U.S. District Court and Central District of California in 1988 and Washington Bar recently in 2006. He is a member of Clark County Bar Association and State Bar of California. Areas of Practice Family Law Divorce Child Custody Child Support Personal Bankruptcy Spousal Support  The Scott Horenstein Law FirmThe Scott Horenstein Law Firm is located at 900 Washington Street, Suite 1020, Vancouver, Washington. It's a law family of four attorneys who all are Vancouver divorce attorneys but offer services in other areas as well. Carolyn Marie Drew, Paul L. Henderson, Dru A. Horenstein and Scott J. Horenstein are the members of this law firm. The best part about them is that they are committed to creating the best strategy and achieving optimal results for their clients by combining energy and resolve with competence and judgment.  It is worth mentioning that courtroom and alternative strategies of a matter may be implemented through litigation, mediation, or settlement; though, firm's main emphasis remains primarily on the economic and practical implication of the case.  The firm is also able to represent and advise clients on plenty of matters at proceedings throughout the State of Washington. Main focus is on family law with special emphasis on divorce and domestic violence.  Areas of Practice Family Law Divorce Child Custody Accidents Personal Injury Child Support Personal Bankruptcy Spousal Support  M. Morasch & Associates, PCLocated at 1211 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 2350, Portland, Oregon, M. Morasch & Associates, PC is a high-ranked law firm offering its superior legal services in various counties of Oregon and Washington including Vancouver. This law firm comprises of two attorneys, Marsha Morasch and Lisa E Martin, who provides services in a wide area of family law. Both attorneys handle only family law matters.  Ms. Morasch received her law education from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in 1980 and was admitted to Oregon and Washington Bars, U.S. District Court and District of Oregon. On the other hand, attorney Lisa received her Juris Doctorate degree from Gonzaga University in 1999 and joined Washington and Oregon Bars. She is a member of Clark County and Multnomah County Bar Associations. Areas of Practice Premarital Agreements Divorce Spousal Support Child Custody Child Support Paternity Third Party Custody Domestic Violence  Brett N. Bender, Attorney at LawBrett N. Bender's law firm is a reputable law firm located at 510 SW 3rd Avenue Suite 416, Portland, Oregon. Mr. Bender is the solo member of this law firm. He is famous for his result-oriented and cost-effective services in Vancouver, Washington too. He has a vast knowledge of the court proceedings and keeps the client informed regarding ongoing litigations. Attorney Bender completed his law education from Northwestern School of Law in 1987 and was admitted to Washington and Oregon Bars. Mr. Brett is an active member of Multnomah County, Clackamas, Clark County, Washington County and Washington State Bar Associations and Oregon State Bar. Areas of Practice Family Law Child Custody Child Support Divorce Visitation Rights Domestic Violence  Harris Law Firm, PCThe main office of this law firm is located at 165 S.E. 26th Avenue, Hillsboro, Oregon. This team of seven attorneys also offers its services in Vancouver, Washington. Robert J. Harris, Virginia A. Petersen, David M. Veverka, Lee D. Pritchard, Ryan Hackett and Amy N. Velázquez-Banta are the members of this team. Among these attorneys, only Robert J. Harris offers his services as a Vancouver divorce attorney. Robert not only deals in family matters but also covers other areas of law. In 1986, Harris completed his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern School of Law and was admitted first to Washington Bar and then to Oregon Bar. He is also a member of Washington County and Washington State Bar Associations and Oregon State Bar. Areas of Practice Divorce Criminal law DUI Family law Real estate

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