Is Online Divorce Allowed in Washington?
The internet has made a lot of things easier and more affordable, and divorce is no exception. It is possible to use online services like CompleteCase to speed up the divorce process – making getting a divorce faster, cheaper and easier than it every has been. While you will still have to do your part to file for divorce, doing most of it online is allowed in the Washington and highly recommended for those who want a legitimate and painless divorce – as long as you and your spouse are in agreement on the divorce.
What Online Divorce Involves
It is important to understand what online divorce is, and what it is not. Online divorce is the process of working with a provider like CompleteCase to prepare your divorce paperwork when you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce. The dissolution of marriage involves a lot of forms that vary widely based on your individual circumstances. While do-it-yourself divorces are cheaper and easier than hiring an attorney, they can also be very confusing. With online divorce through CompleteCase, the confusion is eliminated.
CompleteCase asks you a series of questions to determine what forms you need to fill out and helps you complete those forms. We offer packets for dissolution of marriage where both spouses are willing to sign off on the agreement. Once you complete the forms we will look over them to verify that everything is filled out correctly. You can then print out all of your paperwork and deliver it to the county clerk to begin your divorce process.
Online divorce is not a substitute for a divorce attorney when you and your spouse are in disagreement about issues like property division and child custody. In these cases the help of a divorce attorney is best.
What You Have To Do
The state of Washington requires a number of things to complete a divorce. When you hire a divorce lawyer he or she does most of this for you, but this kind of help is expensive. With online divorce you get only the help you really need and finish the rest of the divorce on your own, saving you serious money.
After you complete your paperwork and print it out, you will need to present it to your county clerk and pay the filing fee – anywhere between $200 and $260, depending one which county in Washington you file. This starts the process, but you may still need to serve your spouse.
If your spouse and you agree on everything and he or she signs the joinder at the bottom of your “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” document, the court can proceed with the divorce. If your spouse fails to do this for whatever reason, you will need to serve him or her.
To serve your spouse you must make copies of all of the divorce documents you submitted to the court and place them in an envelope addressed to your spouse, with your return address on it as well. You cannot serve your spouse, so you will need to find someone else to do this for you.
If your spouse accepts the paperwork he or she can sign an Acceptance of Service. If not, the person who served the paperwork can sign a Return of Service – verifying the papers were served. File the Acceptance of Service or Return of Service with the county clerk.
How Long Does an Online Divorce Take?
While an online divorce can be faster than doing it yourself, because you have help with your paperwork, you will still need to wait on the state of Washington to finalize the divorce. The state will wait 90 days after everything is submitted to finalize the divorce. If any objections are raised during this time they will need to be resolved, which can extend the time frame for finalization.
If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on the divorce you will have to proceed to trial – in which case you will probably need a divorce lawyer to protect your interests.
Why Should I Choose Online Divorce?
Online divorce is ideal for those interested in a do-it-yourself divorce, where both parties in the marriage are in agreement on the divorce. It takes all of the guesswork out of the form selection and form completion process. CompleteCase helps you find the forms that you need to fill out and helps you make sure they are filled out correctly. This can prevent major headaches down the line and can give you peace of mind in a difficult situation.
Online divorce is perfect for people who want a quick, painless way to divorce that is recognized as legitimate by the state of Washington. Divorce laws can be confusing and the process can seem overwhelming when you are doing it on your own. At CompleteCase, we can help you avoid all of these frustrations and get on with your life as affordably as possible.