Divorce FAQ

Stressed couple sitting separately at family counselor office

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to get divorced in Washington state?

A: There is a 90-day waiting period in Washington state from the time the petition for divorce is filed and served to the date final orders can be entered.  Final order can then be entered after 90 days if both parties agree or if the other side defaults on the case so long as you have complied with all the court rules.

Q: How long will it take to get divorced if my wife/husband/spouse does not agree with final orders?

A: Just because your spouse does not agree to the divorce does not mean you cannot get divorced.  If you follow the proper procedures, you will be able to get divorced, you just will not be able to do it in 90 days unless your spouse fails to respond and defaults.  In Pierce County, when you file for divorce, the court will give you a date to come back to court.  This is typically not your trial date; this is the date where the court asks you to come back to court to be assigned the trial date.  In King County, the court will assign you a case schedule and trial date at or around the time you file your initial divorce paperwork.  In either county, trial can be up to a year out give or take a couple of months.  This typically will depend on the court’s availability or there is a continuance.

Q: Do we have to wait until trial to get divorced?

A: Not if you and your spouse agree on final orders and they are approved by the court prior to trial.  Even if your spouse does not initially agree to your proposal initially, we can engage in alternative dispute resolution such as mediation.  Most cases can be resolved in mediation.  The sooner a case is resolved, the more money you will save in legal and other fees and costs. 

Q: What is mediation?

A: Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where a third-party neutral helps the parties resolve their disputes.

Q: Can the attorneys be present at mediation?

A: Yes, if the parties have attorneys, they typically should present at mediation.

Q: Will I be in the same room as the other party during mediation?

A: Typically you will not be in the same room as the other party, however, there are some mediators who like to have both parties in the same room to begin the mediation process and then split the parties up into two separate rooms.  How this work will depend on the mediator and the comfort level of the parties mediating. 

Q: Do I have to wait until the divorce is finalized to get financial support or make parenting arrangements.

A: No, you can file a motion for temporary orders where the court can decide spousal maintenance, child support, parenting plan, use of the family home, payment of debt, etc. until trial or settlement. 

Q: How much does it cost to get a divorce?

A: This will depend on not only the complexity of the case but the level of conflict of the parties.  We can discuss the fee deposit required to start your case during your initial consultation.

For any other questions about the divorce process, you can reach us at (253) 234-1934 or fill out the contact form below.