What Are Washington State’s Divorce Residency Requirements?

Each state has specific requirements spouses must meet to divorce. Here’s everything you need to know about Washington State’s divorce residency requirements.

Divorce can be lengthy and grueling, so legalizing a divorce is crucial. Parties handle Washington divorces in court. The divorcing individuals must follow the state’s divorce process and meet Washington State’s divorce residency requirements.

Related: How to Look Up Divorce Records in Washington State

Divorcing In Washington State

When a couple wishes to legally divorce in Washington State, they must petition the court. The parties must carry out the divorce legally. Washington State only legally recognizes no-fault divorces.

Washington State Divorce Residency Requirements

If a couple wishes to legally divorce in Washington, they must be a Washington state resident. To meet Washington’s residency requirement, one spouse must live in Washington, one spouse is in the military and stationed in Washington, or a spouse is stationed in Washington at least 90 days after a party files for divorce and serves divorce papers.

Can I Still Become Legally Divorced in Washington State if my Spouse is not a Resident?

One can still legally divorce their spouse, even if they are not currently a Washington State resident.

If one wishes to divorce their non-resident spouse in Washington State, one of the following is necessary:

  • Spouse(s) lived in Washington at some point during the marriage,
  • The couple must have conceived a child in Washington, or
  • One party is in the armed forces in Washington.

Related: How to Change Jurisdiction for Child Custody

Failing to Meet Washington State’s Divorce Residency Requirements

If one spouse does not meet the divorce residency requirements in Washington State, parties may seek other legal divorce alternatives. An individual wishing to become a Washington State resident may begin their residency at any time. If a divorcing spouse rents an apartment in Washington State intending to reside there, they become a Washington State resident.

Washington State Divorce Waiting Period

Washington State courts cannot grant a divorce until 90 days after serving divorce papers. Therefore, a divorcing couple must wait 90 days from filing to begin the stages of the final order.

From there, if a divorcing couple has already set their divorcing agreements, a Washington court will finalize the divorce process quickly.

Do parties need an attorney for a Washington State Divorce?

Parties do not need lawyers to divorce in Washington State. However, if parties disagree throughout the process, a lawyer can help.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Washington State divorce residency requirements, get your free consultation with one of our divorce attorneys today!