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How long after all divorce papers are signed and filed does it take to be final in Washington State?

Puyallup, WA |

I have all the divorce papers signed and I am going to file them, I was just wondering how long it will take to be final.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The shortest time period is 90 days. After you file, you have to wait 90 days. Then, you can present the final paperwork to the judge to sign. However, if you have any doubts on how to proceed, if you have children, questions over distribution of community property, etc., I strongly suggest you seek the advice of a family law attorney in your area.

    Sincerely,

    Arthur D. Leritz


  2. Nothing in law is ever self-executing. The initial documents you draft and file are the summons and the petition. There is also a case cover sheet (you get that at the Clerk's office) and the filing fee (cash or debit card accepted) and the State Department of Health card. Those open the case; the clerk will give you an Order Assigning Case to Department and that will have a date for your trial assignment four month's out. If you don't have your divorce finalized and you don't show up, your divorce will be dismissed. If your ex signs off on the petition you file "with joinder" and that makes it all simpler.

    After 90 days have passed, you can present the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and the Decree of Dissolution. If your ex signs off on the documents, you can present them in Ex Parte. If you have children, you also have to add both parent's parenting class certificates, a Residential TIme Summary report, an Order of Child Support and the worksheets with attached documentation demonstrating the basis for your support orders. If the children have ever received state aid, you are going to need the state to sign off on the support orders as well. Once you have a commissioner or a judge sign off on your final documents, and you file them with the clerk, then you are divorced.

    Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell


  3. When was the divorce action initiated? The soonest the parties could divorce (if there's complete agreement between them) would be 90 days following the filing/service of the Summons and Petition. The 90 days is considered the "cooling off" period. The Court still has to approve and sign off on everything before you are considered divorced. There are many considerations involved in divorce proceedings. I recommend you confer with an experienced divorce attorney in your area to make sure you haven't filled anything out incorrectly or missed something very important.

    Jack Berner

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