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Legal Separation- abandonment and dividing property

Kirkland, WA |

I am the petitioner of this separation and my wife has already responded without contesting anything. I believe she has some form of mental illness and in the meantime has flip-flopped and will not sign the final papers or the Confirmation of Issues. She now has changed her mind and wants more money (i left her with all the money in our bank accounts, roughly $7000) and some of my stuff that we acquired during the marriage.

My first question is: since she has not contested the petition, can she somehow change it around so we will have to go to trial over the properties?

The second question is: she says the "courts will rule in her favor because i abandoned her". Does this hold any weight?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Your case will be ready to proceed to trial when you have filed the petition and she has served and filed her response. The Confirmation of Issues is required so the court knows that both parties are ready to proceed. If this is not done, then there is a status conference as set out in the case schedule provided by the clerk.

The issues which will before the court are set out in the Petition and Response. She may pursue her claims as she has provided in her Response. If she has requested a fair and equitable division of the property, she may change her mind as to what she believes that amount is.

I would need to have more information as to what she means by abandonment. It is not unusual for the parties to separate when there is a divorce. The court is to make a fair and equitable division of the property and may provide maintenance when there is a need and ability to pay. Each court exercises its discretion when making a fair and equitable division of property. The court is not to consider fault and if she believes that she will get more because you are a bad person, its doubtful she will be able to convince a court to award more based solely on that reason.

Mr. Pierce is licensed to practice law in Washing with an office in Seattle and services clients in all parts of Washington. He can be reached at 206-587-3757 or at the email address at
Mr. Pierce is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Washington law. This response is only in the form of legal education and is intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Pierce strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.


It is possible during the course of the case for a party to change their mind, seek to amend the response and look for other relief.

Washington does not recognize fault as a basis for dividing property, etc. However, if a party causes some sort of loss or damage to the party....such as a battery causing medical bills, the court can order the offending party to pay those related bills, as an example.

This post is not intended to be relied upon as advice for a specific situation.

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