Uncontested vs. Contested Divorces in Washington State
One may file their divorce as uncontested only if all terms have been agreed to prior to filing.
All Divorces Have the Same Legal Issues to ResolveAll divorces must divide property and debts. Spousal support must be also be addressed and paid under certain conditions. If there are minor children, two additional issues to resolve are child support and parenting/visitation matters.
An Uncontested Divorce Requires Agreement on All IssuesFor a divorce or legal seperation to be uncontested, all legal issues must be agreed to and settled prior to filing a petition for dissolution or legal seperation. The settlement must be stated in the petition or an accompanying document (i.e., seperation contract), and the non-filing spouse must sign a "joinder" attesting to agreement which is on the last page of the petition. Final child support and parenting plan orders should also be agreed to and signed prior to filing, though they must be signed by a commissioner before filing and taking effect. If any issues remain unresolved at the time of filing of the petition for dissolution or legal seperation, the case is considered contested.