Family Law: Uncontested Divorce in Washington

The phrase “uncontested divorce” does not have any legal significance in Washington, it is merely the description of a dissolution action that is not being contested by the other side.

There are basically two ways of achieving an uncontested divorce. One is by the agreement of the parties up front. Both parties sign the Petitioner for Dissolution or a Joinder, indicating that they are in agreement (and therefore it is not being contested by the other party). While the parties are waiting for the mandatory 90 day waiting period before the decree can be entered, the responding party could change there mind, and then it would become contested. To avoid this from happening, an attorney can help the parties draft and enter into a Property Settlement Agreement, binding them to the terms that they have agreed upon.

The second way to achieve an uncontested divorce, is to file a Petition and serve it on the other party. If they fail to file a Response or respond in any way, an Order of Default can be entered against them, and then the Decree itself entered, according to the terms of the Petition that was filed.

We suggest that you talk to one of our experienced family law attorneys. They can assist you in the process and draft the proper papers. Even if you decide to draft the papers on your own, it would be wise to have them reviewed by an experienced attorney to prevent any mistakes.