Snohomish County Divorce Process: What’s It Like?

Posted by Alesha Struthers Aug 10, 2021

The Snohomish County divorce process is a legal process that the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers has a lot of experience in. Yet, it isn't just a legal process. It is also an emotional process. As an emotional process, divorce can be different for each person and their children. From the emotional perspective, there is no way to explore the Snohomish County divorce process fully. In this blog post, the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers will discuss various aspects of the divorce process in Snohomish County, including:

  • The divorce types available and the divorce forms that must be completed
  • A contested divorce in Washington state
  • Divorce mediation in Snohomish County
  • Washington state divorce when you have dependent children

If you have questions about the Snohomish County divorce process, if you're ready to file for divorce, or if you need a divorce lawyer because you've been served, schedule your free consultation with the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers.

This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice. The Snohomish County divorce process can depend on your specific circumstances, such as whether you and your spouse can reach an agreement in divorce mediation. For legal advice, schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers now.

Snohomish County Divorce Types

When filing for divorce in Snohomish County, there are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. A contested divorce means that you and your spouse have at least one issue that must be solved. A contested divorce takes more time to complete than an uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce refers to you and your spouse agreeing to the terms of the divorce. While this is the preferred method of divorce, an uncontested divorce can become contested at any point. A contested divorce occurs because divorce is an emotional process. It can take very little for you or your spouse to get upset over the process and begin to fight.

In addition to completing specific forms to complete a Snohomish County divorce, you will also be required to attend divorce meditation with your spouse. During mediation, you and your spouse work toward settling various issues. It isn't always successful, but the goal is to work to resolve as many of your disagreements as possible. This can be related to assets, debts, alimony, child custody, and child support. Working to settle as many issues as possible can minimize the time you spend in court.

If you're afraid of your spouse because they've hurt you in some way, you also have options for legal protection. Please visit our page on domestic violence resources for Snohomish County.  

Contested Divorce in Washington State

Contested divorces in Washington state take the most time and often cost the most money for those involved. The disagreement is over assets, children, or the divorce itself. When it is hard (or impossible) to communicate with your spouse, the Snohomish County divorce process becomes complicated to navigate on your own. Working with an experienced attorney can make it a little easier. Although an attorney cannot make difficult decisions regarding settlement, visitation, or splitting assets for you, an attorney can ensure that you understand your rights or draft a counter-settlement or counter-offer if necessary. A lawyer can also represent you in court if you and your spouse must go to trial because you cannot reach a settlement.

A lawyer is also helpful in contested matters when there is domestic violence involved. Understanding your rights as a victim or survivor and knowing what you can do to protect yourself is critical.

Divorce Mediation in Snohomish County

Divorce mediation in Snohomish County is required when you file for divorce. Even if you are sure that you and your spouse will not be able to come to any agreement in divorce mediation, you are required to attend.

Mediation does play a crucial role in the divorce process. Even before the pandemic, it could take up to a year to have a divorce trial scheduled. The purpose of mediation is to work out an agreement related to all of the matters that must be settled. If you and your spouse can do this, your divorce will be finalized much sooner than if you must wait to get on a judge's docket.

However, if domestic violence is an issue, you may be eligible for a mediation waiver. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers.

Washington State Divorce with Dependent Children

In Washington state, divorce with dependent children requires that each parent take a parent education class. It does not matter who filed for divorce, who will pay child support, or how child custody will be split. You do not have to attend the class together. Your children cannot attend the class with you. Generally, until both parents take the class, the divorce cannot be finalized.

A parenting plan must be submitted and approved by the court. The parenting plan must support the best interests of the minor children. The court uses many factors to determine what is in the best interest of the minor children. Some of those factors include:

  • The stability and nature of the children's relationship with each parent
  • The performance of each parent's daily function in the lives of the children
  • The agreement between the parents
  • The past actions and potential future actions of you and the other parent regarding your children
  • The specific emotional needs and developmental abilities of your children
  • The relationship your children have with their siblings and other significant adults
  • Your children's wishes if they are old enough to express them in the opinion of the court
  • Any spousal or child abuse or neglect
  • Any substance abuse
  • Your work schedule
  • Your spouse's work schedule

The court does not consider income, actions that led to the divorce (aside from abuse or neglect), remarriage, or the sexual preference of the adults unless it is believed that the factor will somehow cause emotional or physical harm to the minors.

Mediation is required in Snohomish County if you and your spouse cannot come together and agree on a parenting plan.

Free Consultation: Snohomish County Divorce Process

If you have questions about the Snohomish County divorce process, the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers is here to help. As an experienced Snohomish County divorce attorney, Ms. Struthers can help you with either an uncontested or contested divorce with or without minor children. To learn more about divorce, schedule your free consultation now!

Disclaimer: This publication is not legal advice. It is intended as legal information only. For legal advice specific to your needs, contact the Law Offices of Alesha Struthers, PS at 800-972-0411.

Posted August 2021.