Steps to Filing for Divorce in Pierce County, Washington

By Tom Streissguth

The state of Washington permits you to obtain a divorce if you or your spouse is a resident of the state. State law governs divorce cases, although each county court has its own rules regarding legal filings and fee schedule. In Pierce County, as in other Washington counties, the process begins with the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

Step 1

Prepare a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Summons. The petition must state the grounds for divorce, which in the state of Washington may simply be "irreconcilable differences" with no fault alleged or proven by the petitioner. Prepare a proposed Summons, which must be issued by the Pierce County clerk. The Summons is a court order to the respondent to file an Answer to the Petition.

Step 2

File the Petition for Dissolution and Summons at the Clerk of Pierce County Superior Court, 930 Tacoma Ave South, Room 110, Tacoma, WA 98402. You may file in Pierce County if you are a resident there, if your spouse is a resident there or if either party is a member of the armed forces and is stationed there. File any Motions for Temporary Orders, which request the court to decide important matters while you are awaiting the hearing. Have the court clerk enter the petition and motions into the record and issue the Summons for service.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Serve the Summons and Petition on the respondent (your spouse), either through the sheriff's office of the county where he lives or by using a private process server. If your spouse has hired an attorney, the attorney is authorized to accept service and should also be provided with any motions or other pleadings that you file in the case.

Step 4

Receive the respondent's Answer to your Petition for Dissolution. If you have filed a Motion for Temporary Orders or a Motion for Restraining Order, the court will schedule a hearing. Once service is effected, however, state law imposes a 90-day waiting period before the hearing on the Final Decree may take place.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to File for Divorce in Wayne County, Michigan
 

References

Related articles

How to Represent Yourself in a Dissolution

How you represent yourself in a dissolution depends in part on your marital circumstances. If you and your spouse agree on the divorce, you can file an uncontested divorce together. In some cases, you may not even need to go to court. If you and your spouse disagree on the divorce, you will likely file for a contested divorce. When your divorce involves children, child custody and child support issues may complicate your case.

How to File for an Uncontested Divorce Without an Attorney in Texas

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree about all the terms of the divorce, such as division of property, child custody and support payments. Filing an uncontested divorce in Texas tends to be easier and faster than a contested divorce, which usually requires a trial in front of a judge. Because no trial is required, an uncontested divorce can be accomplished without an attorney. In Texas, the procedure for filing an uncontested divorce, especially where no minor children are involved, is straightforward.

What Happens After Filing for Divorce in Oregon?

When you file for divorce, you will complete a divorce petition. The petition asks for personal information about both you and your spouse, including your home address. In addition, you must include the terms of your divorce in the petition. For example, you will decide how to divide the marital property and child custody arrangements. Whether you and your spouse agree about the terms of your divorce will determine what occurs after you file for divorce.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Get a California Divorce Decree

Divorce law is state law; California's divorce law contains distinctive features such as the concept of community ...

Steps for Filing Divorce in California

If you are seeking a divorce in California, you must follow the state's filing procedures and, in most cases, attend a ...

What Is the Cost to File Divorce Papers in Louisiana?

If you are seeking a divorce in Louisiana, you must file a petition in the parish court and pay a filing fee. The ...

How to File Your Own Divorce Papers in Tennessee

In order to file for divorce in Tennessee, you must draw up the necessary papers, file them with a court clerk, have ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED