What Do I Need to Know About Filing Divorce in Washington with Help Yourself Divorce?

Help Yourself Divorce is a no-fault divorce service, for those who agree on the terms of the divorce and are both willing to sign the papers. The following is a list of requirements and information about what to expect from the process. Please note that this will only apply if you use the services of Help Yourself Divorce. Those seeking to use another route for their divorce should perform their own research about what to expect from the process.

Grounds for Divorce in Washington.

Washington is a “no fault” divorce state. The only ground for divorce under Washington state laws is that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Washington Residency Requirements.

To file for divorce in Washington state, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state. However, there are no specific periods of residency required.

If you and your spouse have minor children, the court must have jurisdiction over them. Generally this means your children must have lived in Washington for at least six months and currently live in Washington, or have lived in Washington within six months of filing.

Please note that you may be able to qualify for residency based on other requirements. If you are not sure whether you fall into one of the above categories, please seek advice from an attorney.

Filing for Divorce.

Lincoln county allows you to file your divorce by mail as long as one spouse is a resident of Washington state, even if neither spouse resides in Lincoln county. You just mail your divorce papers to the Lincoln county clerk of the courts, and the Decree is signed and mailed back to you. If you’d like to file your divorce by mail, just indicate Lincoln County on the questionnaire when asked what county you’ll be filing in.

If you’d prefer to attend a hearing, you can file in the Washington county where either spouse lives.

Washington Divorce Filing Fees.

When you file the papers, you will have to pay a separate filing fee to the Courts. Please check with your local court clerk to find out how much the current filing fee is.

Serving Your Spouse.

In Washington, you are not required to serve your spouse with the divorce papers because both spouses will sign a joint petition. Although both spouses are required to sign, only one spouse is required to actually take the papers to the courthouse. Or, if you file through Lincoln County (see above), you just mail the papers to the Court and they mail them back.

Waiting Period.

There is a 90 day waiting period after filing the papers with the court before your divorce can be finalized. How long it actually takes to finalize your divorce will simply depend on the schedule of the Court.

Finalizing Your Divorce.

If you file by mail (see above), there is no hearing required. A judge reviews your paperwork, signs you decree, and mails it back to you.

If you file in your own county, your divorce will be finalized during a brief uncontested divorce hearing. Only one spouse is required to attend, although both can attend if desired.


If you have any questions about whether our service is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

IMPORTANT: Help Yourself Divorce is a paralegal service, not a law firm. Please don’t rely on this information for legal advice. Seek help from an attorney if you need legal advice.


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