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Disclaimer: Online Divorce is not a law firm and its services, website and forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Online Divorce provides access to computer-aided self-help services at your specific direction. Online Divorce's website and written instructions provide general information about the divorce process only; we cannot give you any specific advice, opinions or recommendations as to your selection or completion of forms or your particular legal rights, remedies or options. OnlineDivorce.com is a website that provides access to self-guided online questionnaires. Online Divorce does not sell blank forms. You may be able to download blank forms from a government website depending on your state.

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by Jamie Kurtz

Jamie Kurtz has been a practicing divorce lawyer since 2008. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2007. Ms. Kurtz was selected to Rising Stars for 2013 - 2016, 2019 - 2020, a peer designation awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. She also co-founded a law firm that specializes in uncontested divorce cases.

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Online Divorce in Washington

divorce in Washington

For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of Washington, online divorce is an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorce may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at Onlinedivorce.com makes it easy on you. We help prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in Washington.

Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to have their divorce papers completed quickly and stress-free. Even though Washington has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, our online system can provide you with exactly what you need and provide instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.

If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce and want an amicable dissolution to your marriage, why should the process get drawn out and why should you spend money on lawyers? Online divorce is often cheaper, quicker and easier.

Online divorce is the perfect option if you want to save money or if you hope to have your divorce quickly finalized so you can get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in Washington is quickly becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home. Even if you think your case is too complex because you have children, own your own home or have other assets, you may still be able to prepare your documents online. Just start with our simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you instructions for each step of the way.

Finally, you don’t have to worry - our process is 100% secure. We protect your information and nothing is filed until you submit the divorce papers to the courthouse yourself. Filing for divorce in Washington with the Onlinedivorce.com system can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.


When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire. You can fill it out alone or with the assistance of your spouse. Then, you will need to get a signature from your spouse and you can file the divorce forms with your local court. In Washington, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside. If a petitioner is not currently a resident, but a defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.

The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with your completed divorce forms. You can also obtain assistance from your local courthouse by calling or stopping by.

After the initial filing, you may need to follow up if there are any issues with your documents. When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we allow you to make small adjustments to your forms as requested by the court at no additional charge. Our goal is to help you obtain your divorce with as little hassle and stress as possible using our online divorce documents preparation service.


Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. Washington is no exception. To file for divorce in Washington, one or the other spouse must live in the state with proven residency. There is not a time limit for having lived in the state.

There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date Washington driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Washington

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Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of Washington. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.


Washington only approves “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” as a recognizable grounds for divorce as per the Revised Code of Washington Annotated; Title 26, Chapter 26.09.030. To file for divorce in the State of Washington, this grounds must be established. Both parties are involved in establishing and agreeing to these grounds, and both must substantiate this unless the divorcing spouse attempts to prove otherwise to the court.

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Custody of the child in Washington

Custody of the child

In the State of Washington, the court wants to create a custody situation that is comfortable for the children and both parents. In most cases, joint legal custody and some form of shared physical custody will fulfill this need. If the family situation is not stable and the child may be harmed mentally, physically or emotionally by a shared custody plan, the court will decide this direction. In these cases visitation (supervised or otherwise) may be deemed a better option to keep the child in contact with the non-supervisory parent.

In some cases, custody can be set up as a short-term solution to be revisited at a later date if the family or living situation is expected to change dramatically.

Any type of custody will be determined based on the best interests of the child. Every petition for divorce in which a minor child or children is involved must have a proposed parenting plan attached. The parents can come to an agreement regarding a parenting plan on their own if desired. The parenting plan should contain sections addressing:

  • Dispute resolution;
  • A residential schedule for the entire year for the child or children; and
  • The allocation of decision-making authority as relates to the child.

The factors which will be considered to award decision-making authority are:

  • Whether both parents agree to decision-making;
  • The existence of physical or sexual child or spousal abuse, abandonment or neglect;
  • The history of a parent’s participation in the decision-making process;
  • Whether the parents have shown any ability or desire to work together in the decision-making process; and
  • The parents’ geographical proximity in regards to each other, as it would affect an ability to make mutual decisions.

The factors which are considered in choosing residential provisions for a child or children are:

  • The strength and stability of the children’s relationship with the parents, including the parent’s participation in daily parental functions;
  • Any spousal or child abuse or neglect or a history of substance abuse;
  • The past examples of participation of both parents in child-rearing;
  • The desires of the parents;
  • The desire of the child, if of an age and maturity to express a valid opinion;
  • The child’s relationship with any siblings and other family members; and
  • Any agreed upon stipulation between the divorcing spouses.

The number one factor will be given the most weight.

An Equal-time alternating home schedule may be ordered if:

  • There is no child or spousal abuse, abandonment, neglect, or history of substance abu
  • The parents agreed to such a provisi
  • There is a history where the parents can work together on such a pl
  • The parents are located in geographic proximity to each oth
  • These provisions are for the best interests of the children.
  • the best interests of the children.

The court can require an investigation as concerns parenting arrangements for the child according to Revised Code of Washington Annotated; Title 26, Chapters 26.09.181 to 26.09.220.

Rules for child support in Washington

Either parent may be required to pay child support in the State of Washington. Marital misconduct is not considered as a factor when determining the payout of child support. All other relevant factors can be considered. For up-to-date information, official child support worksheets are available for free from the Washington Department of Social and Health Services and may be obtained from the clerk of the court. These official guidelines will be presumed as correct unless the amount is proven to be unjust or inappropriate under the particular circumstances of a case. Wage assignments may be required in past due cases. Child support payments may be paid through the Washington State Support Registry or directly to the parent when there is an approved payment plan as ac­cepted by the court. The court can sometimes require a parent to pay for health insurance coverage for the child as part of the support. [Revised Code of Washington Annotated; Title 26, Chapters 26.09.040, 26.09.050, 26.09.100, 26.09.120, 26.18.070, 26.23.050, and 26-19 Appendix].

Uncontested Washington divorce with children

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Rules for spousal support in Washington

Rules for spousal support

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is sometimes ordered by the court to help one spouse live in a manner established during marriage after the divorce. Assistance may be decided upon by the couple together before filing or may be awarded by the court in a contested case. The court may award rehabilitative (short-term) or more permanent alimony to either of the spouses in either lump-sum payments or as monthly/yearly payments or both. Many factors are considered in the awarding of spousal support a few of these are:

  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony has childcare requirements that make it difficult to seek employment;
  • The time and expense that is necessary to obtain education and training for the spouse to find a fulfilling job as well as that spouse’s earning capacity;
  • Length of the marriage;
  • Financial resources of the spouses as compared to each other
  • Tax consequences for each spouse;
  • The current age of each spouse;
  • Physical, mental and emotional states of the spouses;
  • What vocational skills and employability the spouse has who is seeking alimony;
  • Any custodial and child support responsibilities which may exist;
  • The educational level of each person--both at the time of divorce and at the time of marriage;
  • Any cost for the education of minor children as well as of healthcare for the spouse and the small children;
  • The decided upon distribution of marital property;
  • Any existing legal obligations of the spouses for supporting others;
  • The current employment and other income of each spouse;
  • Whether either spouse has foregone opportunities during the marriage in support of the other spouse;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Additional financial and other contribution to aid the training or education, career, or earning capacity of the other spouse;
  • Necessary financial requirements of each spouse; and
  • Other factors the county court sees as just and equitable.

In Washington, marital misconduct of the spouses is sometimes considered and compared to put together a support package. Additionally, the court may require that health and hospitalization insurance coverage be provided to the supported spouse as part of the as alimony. [Washington Code; Sections 48-6-301 and 48-8-104 and Washington Case Law].

Property division in Washington

Property division

When a couple chooses to divorce in Washington, they must distribute property in a fair and agreeable manner.

Washington is considered to be a “community property” state. In this case, each spouse will keep his or her “separate” property, this property consists of:

  • Any property that was acquired before marriage;
  • Gift or inheritances; and
  • Increase in value of the above separate property.

“Quasi-community” property is that which is acquired when a spouse lives outside of Washington, but property that would have been community property if it was acquired while living in Washington. This property is divided just like community property. The court divides the community property, equally or equitably, after considering the following:

  • The nature and extent of the separate proper
  • The financial circumstances when the division of property becomes effecti
  • The length of the marria
  • The extent and nature of community property;
  • The desire to award the family home and right to occupy to the custodial parent if there are minor children.
  • parent if there are minor children.

Marital misconduct is not considered in Washington when distributing property. [Revised Code of Washington Annotated; Title 26, Chapters 26.09.080, 26.16.010, 26.16.020, 26.16.030, and 26.16.220].

Why us? Review the OnlineDivorce.com difference

Contested Divorce

Average prices start at $2000

Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.

  • Attorney availability impacts completion time
  • Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
  • Potential court battles add to the already high-stress levels

The premier uncontested divorce tool

Fully-guided, fast and affordable process. Experienced and reliable online divorce service using top-notch technology.

  • Ready-to-file divorce documents can be completed at your own pace with easy access for both spouses
  • Award-winning customer support
  • One flat fee (for both spouses) to access all completed documents for filing
  • Free revisions and free name change, no hidden fees
  • Detailed state-specific filing instructions
  • Review all and make changes from the comfort of your own home
Other Online Divorce Services

Average prices start at $300

Other websites for filling out divorce documents use flawed software technologies to complete your divorce documentation.

  • Automated document preparation
  • Processing time varies but may take more than three business days
  • On-demand customer support, quality varies
  • One flat fee claimed, however many sites have hidden fees
  • No experience: many sites started operating just a few years ago

Mediation support in Washington

Mediation may be available through the Washington court for spouses who require assistance with developing an agreed-upon plan. In cases involving minor children, it may be recommended by the court.

For those seeking to prepare their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. This can be the simplest way to assure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.

Divorce forms in Washington

Washington forms produced by OnlineDivorce.com are court approved divorce forms. We have automated the process of filling them out to simplify matters and avoid any difficulties which may occur with filling out paperwork alone. By utilizing OnlineDivorce.com, you can simplify the process of preparing divorce documents and help both parties to move forward with their lives.

Divorce in Washington online

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Filing fees for divorce in Washington

When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.

How long will it take?

The use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of your case. You’ll start filling out the questionnaire immediately and can either complete it in one sitting, or you can save your progress and complete it at a later date if that is more convenient for you.

Once you’ve gotten the documents complete, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll have more information regarding the finalization of your divorce case once you complete your paperwork and submit it with the clerk of courts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I really file for divorce in Washington without a lawyer?

Washington laws allow people to represent themselves in court cases, and the dissolution of marriage is no exception. Both spouses in divorce action have the right to proceed as self-represented litigants, filing the paperwork by themselves, and protecting their interests without a lawyer.

The court requirements and divorce procedure itself are the same for the spouses who hire attorneys and those who arrange a DIY divorce. A self-represented litigant has to take the same steps as any divorce lawyer has to in a similar situation, aware of their responsibility for handling the case.

Thus, law experts usually do not recommend filing for divorce independently in more complicated contested and high-conflict divorce cases. At the same time, an amicable uncontested divorce can often be handled without a lawyer with fewer risks.

Besides, the spouses may obtain limited legal assistance for their divorce, enter divorce mediation, attend counseling, or take advantage of OnlineDivorce.com or other services that may make a divorce without a lawyer more straightforward.

How can I file for divorce in Washington without a lawyer?

If the spouses comply with the Washington residency requirements, they have the right to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in a local court.

In a regular dissolution of marriage, the plaintiff (the spouse starting the case) shall complete the initial divorce forms, including the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Summons, Confidential Information Form, and Vital Statistics Form, and file it with the Washington State Superior Court. At the moment of filing, the plaintiff must pay the court filing fee, and thus, the divorce motion officially starts.

The plaintiff shall serve the second party (called the defendant) with copies of divorce forms via sheriff's service or private process server. Also, one can ask any person who is not a party in the case to deliver the papers.

However, in Washington State, the divorcing spouses also have the right to file a Petition for Dissolution jointly and avoid the need for the process service. To do so, the plaintiff shall file the divorce petition, and the defendant shall file the joinder. These forms must be submitted to the court at the same time. This option is particularly suited for peaceful, uncontested cases and may streamline the divorce procedure.

How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce in Washington?

The cost of any dissolution of marriage in Washington starts with paying a court filing fee, though the rest of the expenses are almost impossible to predict.

The thing is that there are no specific provisions regarding how the spouses should manage their divorce process. A DIY divorce is legit even for contested cases. And vise versa: the spouses may hire high-priced attorneys for an amicable uncontested divorce if they like.
Each couple is unique, so it makes sense to consider various available divorce options to choose the one that best suits the particular divorce case circumstances. Some couples may not need divorce lawyers but may seek an appraiser's help to assess a marital property's value while drafting a settlement agreement. Some may need help with paperwork issues and resort to OnlineDivorce.com services, while some may enter into divorce mediation or counseling, etc.

Thus, the type of legal aid, related services, and specialists used will determine the total costs required to end the marriage in Washington, which may vary significantly.

How long do you have to live in Washington to file for divorce?

For Washington State Superior Court to have jurisdiction over the dissolution case, the parties must meet the state's residency requirements.

According to the Revised Code of Washington, at least one party must currently have established residency in the state when filing the petition. However, the spouses are not required to live within the state for any specific length of time, like in most US states.

How long do you have to respond to divorce papers in Washington?

In the case of regular Petition for Dissolution (without signing the Joinder), a defendant served with the copies of divorce papers must meet the specific deadline to respond to the papers.

In Washington State, the defendant has twenty days to file the Response to Petition with the court. If he or she fails to do so, the court can grant the plaintiff's requests without considering the second party's interests and demands, i.e., issue a default judgment.

How do you get a free divorce in Washington?

Even though an uncontested divorce can be relatively affordable in Washington, especially if the spouses proceed without an attorney, the court process for a divorce is not free due to mandatory court fees (about $280).

In theory, filing for divorce for free in Washington is available only for plaintiffs qualified for a court fee waiver due to financial hardship.

To ask for a fee waiver, the plaintiff must disclose their financial information by completing a Financial Statement Form and file the Motion and Declaration for Waiver of Civil Fees and Surcharges.

What papers do I need to file for a divorce in Washington?

In Washington State, the divorce forms most often required to be filed in an uncontested divorce include the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Summons, Acceptance of Service, Response to Petition, Joinder, Decree of Dissolution, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Financial Declaration.

If the spouses have minor children, they also have to file the Declaration in Support of Parenting Plan, Order of Child Support, and Washington State Child Support Schedule Worksheets.

Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:

  • We provide the full divorce packet required by the 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, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
  • We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
  • We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the 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 our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and 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 your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.

I was pleasantly surprised by this service. It is much cheaper than hiring an attorney to assist in an uncontested divorce but no less efficient. I would recommend OnlineDivorce without a doubt.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Robert A.