The process of breaking up a marriage is often complicated. The assets must be divided; responsibility for the marital debts must be assigned; and when children are involved, their care and support must be arranged. Because marriages are all unique, divorces are not formulaic. Judges have much discretion in fashioning an equitable split. The legal process supports the judge in being as fair as possible. This letter explains that process.
The End Results
Divorces accomplish several tasks. These include:
Not all of these are decided in every divorce. Of course, there is no need to determine a parenting plan and child support if there are no minor children of the marriage. In some cases, the court does not have the jurisdiction to decide all of these issues, such as when a spouse moves into Washington State and files for divorce here.
Divorces have a flow that includes some or all of the following steps.
The only steps that are mandatory in a divorce is the filing of the petition and either the service of the petition on the respondent or acceptance of service by the respondent. If the parties agree, then the court can enter final paperwork without all the fuss and even without either party appearing before the court. In high-conflict cases involving children, all of the steps above may be necessary.
The parties cannot have a divorce finalized until 90 days have passed since the petition is filed and served on the respondent. Unless the parties are basically in agreement from the beginning on how to resolve the case, then resolving the case will take more than 90 days and typically take 6 to 18 months if prosecuted diligently.
This website provides general information to the public on legal issues. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact Brandli Law for advice on specific legal problems.
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