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How is a Washigton State Divorce Different From Other States


Every state has its own laws and rules when it comes to divorce.  Many of the laws and rules may overlap with other states, but it’s probably unlikely that you’d find another state that is exactly the same as Washington State.

All states currently have no fault divorce.  What that really means is that the court doesn’t want to hear that one spouse lied or the other spouse cheated.  If the marriage is “irretrievably broken” – or broken beyond repair – then the divorce will be granted even if only one spouse wants it.

Washington State does not have a residency requirement other than that one spouse is a resident at the time of filing.  It is not required that a spouse has lived in Washington State for a set number of weeks or months.


If one spouse is active duty military, even if he/she is stationed in another state or country, if he/she has maintained residency in Washington State (e.g., votes in WA State, has a WA State driver's license, intends to return to live in Washington State), then it's permissible to file for divorce in Washington State.

Washington State has a 90-day waiting period. 


This means that once file your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Washington State, then you at least 90 days must pass before the court will grant your Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.  

Washington State is a community property state that divides propery and debts fair and equitably.  If you think about it, it really makes sense!  I mean shouldn’t everyone be fair and reasonable – another word for equitable?  This means that all property and all debts should be divided fairly and equitably. 


For more information on fair and equitable division of property and debts, check out our article on Dividing Property Fairly and Equitably.







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