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Lori L. Guzzo

Lori Guzzo’s Answers

2 total

  • Legal Separation - Converting to Divorce

    I have been legally separated for 7 months and now wish to convert it to a divorce. I believe I am supposed to file a motion and notify my spouse of my intention, though I am not sure exactly where he lives right now. How many days notice do I...

    Lori’s Answer

    I infer from your question that you obtained a decree of legal separation seven months ago, and my answer assumes that to be your situation. Yes, you must give your former husband notice of the hearing. In King County, you must give him at least 14 days' notice prior to the date when the court will hear your motion to convert your decree. Because you do not know where your former husband lives now, and assuming he does not have a lawyer representing him of whom you're aware, service can be made by US mail, postage pre-paid, to his last known address. (If he was represented by a lawyer in the action for legal separation, I recommend that you send your papers to the lawyer's office in addition to serving him by mail.) Once you have all of the required papers completed or nearly so, work backward from your desired hearing date to determine when you must mail the papers (or determine when you can mail the papers and work forward to determine your hearing date), and be sure to properly note your motion for hearing, with adequate time for service by mail. Keep a record of when you mail the papers--ideally, send them by certified mail, file a copy of your USPS receipt, and bring it with you to your hearing.
    You can also ask that your name be changed in your motion to convert, and be sure to add the relief you request, your new name, to the "other" section at the end of your Order on Motion to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution, including language such as "The [petitioner's or respondent's] name is changed to Jane Ann Doe." The papers you must file and serve can be found at a link I am including, and you should check the Washington Court and King County Superior Court rules and procedures for the procedures for the filing, service and noting your motion. The links below should assist you. Last, once you obtain your order, unless your former husband shows up for the hearing and receives a copy of any order you are granted, be sure to mail a copy of it to him at his last known address. Best of luck to you.

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  • What is the process my parents and I would have to complete to hyphenate my last name?

    I am sixteen and am interested in hyphenating my last name to accommodate both of my parent's names.

    Lori’s Answer

    Visit the King County website to find out the simple procedure for changing your name.

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