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Divorce in Clark County
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Online Divorce in Clark County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Clark County, Washington, is not a law firm, so it is not eligible to provide legal advice. As a divorce document preparation service, OnlineDivorce offers all the information below for informational purposes only.
The easiest way to arrange a quick divorce in Clark County is an uncontested divorce. This implies that the spouses can reach an agreement on finances, property, child custody, alimony, and other essential matters of their dissolution case, avoiding divorce trial. An uncontested procedure makes it possible to apply a joint Petition for Dissolution in Washington and skip the service of process. Other options that allow making a dissolution process fast, easy, and cheap include mediation, collaborative divorce, and online divorce.
The latter is a specialization service designed to make the uncontested divorce process easier by providing a hand with the complicated paperwork process.
OnlineDivorce.com helps to arrange a do-it-yourself divorce without a lawyer, by assisting customers with filling out divorce papers in Clark County online in the fastest and most affordable way.
OnlineDivorce prepares all the needed paperwork from start to finish, taking into account Washington Family Law, local rules of a specific county, and the individual circumstances of each case.
Following the provided step-by-step instructions, the customer can receive a completed kit of printable divorce forms in a couple of days, without even leaving home, and OnlineDivorce.com guarantees that the court will approve the forms.
OnlineDivorce.com is a simple solution for couples who do not want to overpay an attorney to draft the documents. This online service offers an efficient and inexpensive first step towards getting an uncontested divorce in Clark County, Washington.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Clark County
To file for a divorce in Clark County, Washington, the spouse who initiates the case (called the plaintiff or petitioner), has to fill out a Petition for Dissolution. Any divorce proceeding starts with this document. In the document, the petitioner must define a fault- or no-fault ground for divorce, according to the Family Law of their particular state.
There is no need to blame anyone or prove anything. If the other party joins the petition or at least does not refuse to terminate the marriage, the court typically enters a decree of dissolution. If there are any disagreements or the defendant denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court considers all the relevant circumstances and estimates the possibility of reconciliation. Then the judge either transfers the cause to the family court, dismisses the petition, or issues a decree of dissolution of the marriage.
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In a divorce in Clark County with children involved, the spouses have to resolve custody issues. In the state of Washington, the term "parenting plan" is used instead of "custody" and "visitation." This plan covers all the child-related matters of a dissolution.
Sec. 26.09.187, and 26.09.191 of the Washington Revised Code provide that the court decides on sole or joint decision-making power and residential provisions based on the child's best interest.
The parents are also encouraged to reach an agreement on how custody, visitation, parental rights, and liabilities should be shared.
They are expected to prepare their own parenting plan, which must be submitted to the court. If the judge finds the arrangement reasonable and in the best interests of the child, the court will approve it. When the parents fail to agree, the court intervenes to resolve issues concerning child support, custody, and visitation rights.
Thus, both sole or joint custody arrangement is recognized in Clark County, Washington, in a divorce with a child involved. In determining a child's best interest, the judge considers all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:
the preferences of both parents;
the child's preferences, if he or she is mature enough to make such decisions;
the emotional needs and level of development of a child;
the parent-child relationships, as well as relationships with siblings, and other significant family members;
the child's adjustment to his/her home, school, and environment;
each spouse's work schedule;
the agreement signed by both parties as to custody;
any history of domestic violence, child abuse, negligence, or substance abuse;
and other factors the court may deem essential.
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Rules for child support in Clark County
In a divorce process in Clark County, child support can be paid by either or both parents. The party shall be ordered to pay child support after considering all relevant factors (but without regard to misconduct), following Sec. 26.09 of the Washington Revised Code.
Washington courts follow the Income Shares Model, meaning that the amount of support paid by a noncustodial parent (who has custody less than half the time) shall be based on that parent's income and the number of children in the family.
First, the court estimates the amount of support that would have been available for the child if parents had not separated. Then, this amount shall be divided proportionally to the parents according to each spouse's income.
Rules for spousal support in Clark County
In a divorce in Clark County, alimony can be requested by either spouse, who can prove that he or she is financially-dependent and cannot maintain a habitual standard of living right after a dissolution of the marriage.
To determine whether a spousal support order can be reasonable and fair in a particular divorce case, the court usually considers the financial resources and assets of both spouses, the length of the marriage, each spouse's age and health, and other factors outlined in the Sec. 26.09.090 of the Washington Revised Code.
Based on these considerations, one of three types of alimony may be awarded:
Temporary support may be granted just for the time while a divorce proceeding is going on.
Short-term alimony may be granted to assist a financially-dependent spouse in achieving education and/or gaining appropriate employment.
Long-term or permanent alimony is the rarest type of maintenance in Clark County. It may be granted in divorce after 10 years of marriage or more, given the fact that the party who seeks alimony is incapable or has some special needs.
Uncontested Clark County divorce with children
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Property division in Clark County
Under the Washington Revised Code, Sec. 26.16, Washington is a community property state. This means that property acquired after marriage by either or both parties, is considered as community (marital) property, and these marital property assets shall be divided equally in Clark County, Washington. The exceptions are stated in the Washington Revised Code Sec. 26.16.010 and 26.16.020. They are related to separate property of the parties, which includes personal gifts and inheritances, as well as items acquired before the marriage.
Nevertheless, Clark County courts consider each case separately. When determining how property shall be divided in a particular divorce case, the court considers all significant factors including, but not limited to:
the nature and extent of the community property;
the nature and extent of the separate property;
the duration of the marriage;
the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to live there, to a parent with whom the children reside the majority of the time.
Mediation support in Clark County
Mediation is not mandatory in Washington. Nevertheless, when spouses apply for divorce in Clark County, they may use mediation sessions to resolve their differences regarding the essential terms of their separation, write up a Parenting Plan, or divide some other rights and liabilities.
Unlike mediation, parenting class is mandatory in Clark County. The spouses who have minor children of the marriage must attend a parenting seminar, and this requirement can be waived by the court only if good cause is provided.
How to file for divorce in Clark County | Step-by-Step
Foremost, to get a divorce in Clark County, the spouses must meet Washington residency requirements. Under the Revised Code of Washington, Sec. 26.09.030 either spouse must currently reside in the state at the time of filing for divorce, but unlike most other US states, Washington law does not require any particular term of the residency. The same goes with members of the US armed forces stationed in Washington - they are considered residents of the state and are allowed to file for divorce in local courts.
In Clark County, actions for dissolution of the marriage shall be filed with the Clark County Superior Court.
To obtain a divorce in Clark County, the petitioner is required to complete several family law forms, including the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Summons, Confidential Information Form, and Vital Statistics Form.
The spouse who initiates the case should know how to serve the other spouse with copies of all divorce papers in Clark County. The serving procedure means providing the respondent with copies of all divorce papers, giving him or her a chance to file a Response. Service of process can be accomplished via a professional process server, sheriff's service, or by any person qualified to be a witness in action (over 18 years old and not involved in the case). If the location of the second party is unknown, the plaintiff can publish notice of the case in a local newspaper and further qualify it as a default divorce. However, service can be skipped. If both parties agree, they may complete form FL All Family 119, which is a joinder to the petition. Filing a Joint Petition for Dissolution makes it faster to get a divorce in Clark County.
In the case of regular Petition for Dissolution, after the respondent has filed the receipt of documents with the court, the couple has to wait before the court can schedule a final court hearing. This 90-day waiting period is mandatory in Clark County as a way to settle all the issues and not contest the case.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse.
Costly attorney fees resulting in unpredictable expenditures.
Overall lenghty and expensive way to go.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal fees
Potential court battles adding to already high stress levels
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Filing fees for divorce in Clark County
How much a divorce will cost depends on many factors. Nevertheless, the court filing fee is mandatory for all cases except for those qualified for a fee waiver due to financial hardship.
The average filing fee in the state of Washington is about $280. Also, the cost of divorce in Clark County may include service of process fees.
If a person wants to request a fee waiver, he or she needs to disclose their financial information using a Financial Statement Form and file the Motion and Declaration for Waiver of Civil Fees and Surcharges.
How long will it take?
How long it takes to finalize a divorce in Clark County will depend on whether both parties agree on child custody and support matters, property division, alimony, and other crucial conditions of their separation. A contested case usually takes much longer than an uncontested divorce procedure. An average amicable dissolution in Clark County, Washington, typically takes a minimum of 90 days, because of the required waiting period.
Filing for divorce in Clark County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Clark County?
he cost of dissolution in Clark County, Washington, starts with a court filing fee, but further expenses are hard to predict. There are many available options from DIY-divorce to traditional litigation as well as alternative services like counseling, mediation, and online divorce, which help to arrange the process. So, in the end, it all depends on what process and what type of services the spouses choose.
How do you file for divorce in Clark County without a lawyer?
In Clark County, the spouses can file for dissolution without legal representatives. If a case is uncontested, and the parties are ready to resolve their disputes out-of-court and, in particular, to file a petition jointly, a do-it-yourself divorce can be a great way to save money. Additionally, services like OnlineDivorce.com can assist with paperwork issues.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Clark County?
The most common legal forms required to be filed to start a dissolution process in the state of Washington include:
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Acceptance of Service
Response to Petition
Decree of Dissolution
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
If the spouses have minor children, the following forms must be filed along with the rest of the papers:
Declaration in Support of Parenting Plan
Order of Child Support
Washington State Child Support Schedule Worksheets
Can I file for legal separation in Clark County, Washington?
Decree of Legal Separation is not required before filing or obtaining a dissolution in Washington, but legal separation is recognized in the state of Washington as an alternative to regular proceeding. Spouses elect to get a legal separation instead of a dissolution for a number of personal reasons. Still, this procedure implies making formal financial or child arrangements under similar rules as in the dissolution procedure.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
There is no waiting period required in the state of Washington to get remarried after a divorce is finalized. A person only needs a marriage license to remarry.
Divorce in Clark County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet that is required by a local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online.
In rare cases, some local forms specific to a filing county can vary in color, paper material, size and / or scanning bar code so they may need to be obtained from the county clerk's office directly.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on the answers they give in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to read through the legal jargon and try to figure out how to fill out those forms yourself.
We give the detailed and easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so a client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email or live chat and we'll do our best to help.
We save time and money for our clients - if divorcing spouses are in agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer
to handle their divorce forms and they don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or money back - we have 20 years of experience in completing divorce
forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents with no issues.
Divorce Courts in Clark County, Washington
Clark County Superior Court
1200 Franklin Street, Vancouver,, Washington 98660
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is
prepare, file and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for trial complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - expect at least $2000-3000 spending and more depending
on complexity of your case.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and averagely are $250-300 per hour. In rural areas,
attorneys may charge less, however, if you live in a large city local attorneys may charge up to
$1000 per hour.
At first glance using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing timeframes - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g. for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
actually based in other countries? No wonder that some clients are provided with outdated divorce
forms that will be rejected by the court. Result? Those people lose their time and money. Lacking
professionalism, these services are not keeping up-to-date with the state forms updates.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service it’s common that some
post reviews by non-existent "customers".
Want to avoid the risk of using Basic Online Divorce Tools?