Getting a divorce in Washington state can take anywhere between 3 and 12 months, depending on whether it is contested or uncontested. The average uncontested case takes 3 months. The average contested divorce takes approximately 6-12 months.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take?
Uncontested marriage dissolution usually takes around 3 months, as it can be finalized as soon as the mandatory 90-day waiting period in the WA state is over. It may take a little bit more time, depending on the court workload.
During this time, a couple can discuss and settle any issues related to their marriage dissolution. In WA, it is also called ‘a cooling-off period,’ as spouses may potentially change the decisions they made during the most emotional times.
Uncontested divorce in Washington state is quite fast, and the court process for it is relatively simple. To file for divorce of this kind, spouses have to be in complete agreement concerning asset and debt division, custody and visitation, and child support and alimony. Besides, they would not need to hire lawyers and can go to court pro se – representing themselves.
How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?
A contested divorce in Washington state takes at least 6 months to be finalized. However, in some severe cases, it may last for more than a year. Things that may prolong getting a divorce of this are:
- Stalling from either of the parties.
- Custody battles.
- Unwillingness of spouses to cooperate to settle.
- Different types of allegations.
Contested cases require spouses to be present at numerous hearings and hiring different types of experts who can make testimonies regarding custody, assets, and other aspects exes cannot reach an agreement on.
There are usually quite long waiting periods in between hearings due to court caseload, the needs of each party to gather the necessary evidence, or certain temporary court orders. Therefore, the more arguments there are, the more hearing will be required, and the lengthier the process will be.
How Long Does a Divorce Take to Finalize?
Uncontested cases take around 3-4 months, and contested ones – about 6-18 months to finalize. The more complex the case, the longer it is going to take. The sooner you and your spouse resolve any disputes, the faster your marriage can come to an end. The amount of time to issue a Decree of Divorce also depends on the court caseload, but it is rather a secondary factor.