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Filing for divorce when husband contests, WA state procedures

Puyallup, WA |

The husband abandoned his wife and 2 kids for more than 17 months. Although he is living in the same states the family can't reach or contact him. The wife wants to file for a divorce but how she can do it if the husband do not want to show up? Can she still file the divorce even the husband doesn't want it? What and how she will going to do it? And since she cannot afford to get an attorney , is there any firms or offices who
help this kind of people?

Attorney Answers 1

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If proper procedures are followed, neither the appearance nor consent of the opposing spouse is needed in a dissolution of marriage proceeding in WA.

The mandatory pattern family law forms are available for free at the court's website: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/ . That site has links to instructions.

WA LawHelp provides free self-help guides on many day-to-day legal issues. Its website is: http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/WA/index.cfm . This site has links to organizations that provide no or low fee help.

The bigger WA counties have family law facilitators whose offices are in the building for the county's superior court. The facilitators do not give legal advice but will help people to fill out forms.

There are some organizations that provide attorney's services for low or no fee. The organizations have screening criteria.

A disputed family law proceeding is much more complex than just filling out forms. In many cases, it may be cost effective to hire an attorney.

In WA, a spouse with less or without financial means may ask the court to order the spouse with the financial means to pay all or some of the legal expenses of the spouse with less financial resources.

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