Getting a divorce in Seattle
King County provides useful Web links, resources
If you've read "Divorce in Washington state," you recognize the importance of addressing grief and emotional trauma and understand that hiring an experienced, trained attorney may be in your best interests.
You also realize the urgency of addressing any domestic violence that may be involved.
Domestic violence resources
King County offers a wealth of online information, including the King County Domestic Violence Information Pages, where "[y]ou will find here information written for persons affected by or wanting to learn about domestic violence. This information is also available by touch-tone phone at (206) 205-5555.
"If you or someone else is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1 NOW!"
Other resources include:
- how to keep an abuser from tracing your internet use (and other privacy tips);
- an overview from the Superior Court;
- info for teenagers;
- info about teens who are violent;
- help for those who might themselves be an abuser;
- King County Domestic Violence: Protection Order Advocacy Program.
Pro se versus hiring an attorney
This King County Web page is for those who are considering filing pro se, that is, representing one's self without benefit of an attorney. However, please notice this emphasized passage:
The staff of the Clerk's Office cannot help you complete forms, set a hearing date, or give any legal advice. If you have any questions, you may review instructions accompanying the forms, a "do-it-yourself" dissolution manual, or seek legal advice from an attorney. Additionally, the Court has a staff of Family Law Facilitators located in Room W280 in Seattle or Room 3D in Kent who may be able to help you.
According to that page:
When you file for dissolution of marriage, you will be given two identical case schedules. One is for you and one is to serve on your spouse along with the other papers you are serving. The case schedule gives dates when certain papers have to be filed and specific actions have to be taken. The papers required by this case schedule can be purchased at the King County Clerk's Office Copy Center and are also available on-line for free. The schedule also gives a trial date for your case (if you need a trial.) Most dissolution cases do not need a trial, because they are not contested. If your spouse has joined in the petition, or if your spouse has not responded, you will not need a trial.
1. To file your Petition for Dissolution, completely fill out all documents and sign the petition. The forms must conform to those approved by the Administrative Office for the Court. Both you and your spouse may sign the petition if you agree to the conditions in the petition. If only you sign, you must serve the Petition and the Summons on your spouse, or file a Joinder document, which indicates that your spouse agrees with the statements in the Petition. Make copies of all documents before filing.
2. Bring the Petition, Summons and Confidential Information Form to the King County Clerk's Office, Cashier window, Room E609 in Seattle or Room 2C in Kent. A Vital Statistics form and Case Assignment Area Form and Case Index Cover Sheeton form will be given to you to complete. The Clerk's Office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding court holidays) and is located at 516 3rd Ave. in Seattle, Washington and at 401 4th Ave. North in Kent, Washington.
3. The filing fee is $280.00. We only accept personal checks from a person who is a party to the action, if it is drawn on a Washington State bank and has your name, address and the check number imprinted.
We can help, too. If you're ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.