Family Law: What is the Time for Divorce?

What is the time for divorce? In the State of Washington, there is a mandatory waiting period of 90 days between the time you file for a divorce and the time you may obtain one. This means that it takes a minimum of 90 days to obtain a divorce. However, it can take much longer. Your divorce will be resolved in one of two ways.

The first and most common way is known as settlement. A settlement occurs when you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement, often through extensive negotiation, as to how to resolve the issues of your marriage. Most divorces are resolved through settlement. If you are able to reach such an agreement within 90 days, your divorce may be resolved on the 91st day or any day thereafter. However, sometimes it takes longer than 90 days to reach an agreement. This can result in a longer delay before resolution of your divorce.

The second method by which divorces are resolved is through trial. In a trial, a judge decides the issues of your dissolution. Usually, trials are scheduled for between 10 and 12 months after the time you request your dissolution. In King County, the trial date is set forth in your Domestic Case Schedule. Thus, an average divorce can take as little as 90 days to resolve or as long as 12 months. Most are resolved at some point in between these two extremes.