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How do i start the process for a divorce? I have no idea how to fill out paperwork for my situation!

Everett, WA |

when i was 18 i got married to a non us citizen who was incarcerated. Unfortunately when he was released he was deported and i never saw him again, and he never returned or even tried to call... I do believe he was in the states again and incarcerated again for awhile, but as of now, i have no idea where he is at! I have been struggling to find out what steps to take to get my divorce on the roll. Since than i have had 3 children, who he did NOT father. what steps should i take??? Also, he is believed to not be in the states any more and i do not know any of his contact information! He was LOST in the WIND!!!

Attorney Answers 3


Your case seems pretty straight-forward and you could likely find an attorney to handle it as an uncontested divorce very economically. If you still insist on handling it yourself, the best free Pro-Se resource for family law in Washington is You'll want to pay particular attention to how to obtain an order to serve your spouse by publication if your husband can no longer be located and has likely left the country.


Once service has been perfected, and 20 days elapses, you can ask the court for a default. Assuming the default is not vacated you will have to wait 90 days from the date the service was perfected and then return to the court with a decree of dissolution for your divorce to be finalized.

I hope this information helps. Good luck!

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In WA, a child born to one person while two persons are married with each other is presumed to be a child of the marriage. So, while your husband may not be the biological father of the three children, he likely is the legal father of the three children.

If you did not have the children, WA courts can sign a decree to dissolve your marriage after you follow the procedures.

With children, the procedures likely are much more complex.

If you know who the father(s) of the children is (are), you likely will need to get those persons involved in the legal proceeding.

Your situation likely is not just a matter of filing out paperwork.

You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.

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It appears the only issue is the notice requirement to serve him of the pending petition of dissolution. A court facilitator or attorney can help you with this process. It will require a couple of extra steps to do everything to notify him of the dissolution.

Other than that, the process should be straight forward. There are many attorneys that can help you at a reasonable rate. If you have trouble finding help, feel free to contact my office and I can help you find someone in your area.

Best of Luck

Legal disclaimer: The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

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