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Seattle Divorce Lawyer

Seattle Divorce Lawyer - 814 Second Avenue 515, Seattle, WA 98104

Getting divorced can be incredibly stressful. Regardless of whether you’re on good terms with your spouse, hiring a well-regarded Seattle divorce lawyer is critical to protect your family. Contact Twyford Law Office today at (206) 590-7085

Our attorneys have over 33 years of combined experience handling complex cases involving child custody, Seattle child support, prenuptial agreements, military divorce, property division, and more.

Starting a new chapter in your life can be exciting–but it can also be stressful and frightening. We’re here to help. We’ll sit down, discuss your case, and start working to determine the best course of action. 

Why Should I Choose Twyford Law Office To Help With My Seattle Divorce Case?

Why Should I Choose Twyford Law Office To Handle My Seattle Divorce Case?Even when a divorce is the best option, both sides rarely agree on every aspect of the separation. Emotions and tensions can run high. A qualified family law attorney can work through the complexities and fight to obtain the results you’re looking for.

At Twyford Law Office, we’ve been helping clients like you successfully navigate the divorce process since we opened our doors in 1991. Our award-winning attorneys are well-equipped to help you through this overwhelming time.

You can expect us to:

  • Provide sound legal advice throughout the entire process
  • Take care of all paperwork and legal filings
  • Evaluate your unique situation and help you focus on your priorities
  • Facilitate mediation and other alternatives to a lengthy trial
  • Handle communications with your former spouse’s attorneys
  • Subpoena any relevant records and information 
  • Hire experts in various specialties to help with complex aspects of your case
  • Represent you in court and at all court hearings

Regardless of the issues you are facing, you can count on our Seattle family lawyers to protect your interests. Contact our family law and divorce practice today to learn more.

What Is the Divorce Process in Washington State?

What Is the Divorce Process in Washington State?Before starting the divorce process, it’s crucial to understand the state laws that govern your case.

A basic understanding of the divorce process can also help you know what to expect as your case proceeds.

How Is the Seattle Divorce Process Initiated?

The divorce process is initiated by one spouse serving divorce papers on the other. “Service” means that one party formally delivers the divorce documents to the other. Whoever files divorce papers is called the “petitioner,” and the party that receives divorce papers is the “respondent.” 

Technically, the legal term for a divorce in Washington is “dissolution of marriage.”

What Grounds Are There for Divorce?

Washington is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. When the petitioner files the initial divorce papers, they must state that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. 

There are no fault-based grounds for divorce in Washington state. You can obtain a divorce in Seattle without alleging any fault or wrongdoing. The judge can also grant your divorce even if your spouse does not agree.

What Requirements Do I Need To Meet for a Divorce?

To obtain a final divorce decree, the following must be true:

  • At least one party is a legal resident of Washington or a member of the armed forces stationed in the state
  • 90 days have passed since the divorce petition was filed and served on the respondent
  • The petition for divorce states that the marriage is irretrievably broken

The divorce papers will also be filed with the court in the county where one of the parties lives.

What Happens After Divorce Papers in Seattle Have Been Served?

In an uncontested divorce, the recipient will only have to sign an “acceptance of service” document to show they have received the divorce papers. 

Financial declarations will be necessary before the court finalizes your divorce. These documents provide information on assets, income, debts, and expenses. 

While there is no such thing as an “at-fault divorce” in Seattle, parties frequently disagree on issues that must be settled before the divorce is finalized. In these cases, it’s important to consult an attorney. Either party may subpoena records, interview witnesses, and collect evidence to support their positions on various issues.

Is There a Waiting Period For a Washington Divorce?

Is There A Waiting Period For A Washington Divorce?In Washington, the waiting period for a divorce is 90 days. Your divorce cannot be finalized until after the 90-day waiting period. This time allows you and your spouse the opportunity to consider reconciliation, make a thoughtful decision, and regain composure.

While the waiting period is 90 days, it can take much longer to dissolve a marriage. Disputes involving child custody, spousal support, and property division can significantly impact the time it takes a court to enter a final judgment.

Our Lawyers in Seattle Can Help With All Aspects of Your Divorce Case

Agreeing to file for divorce is typically only the first step. Many other issues must be resolved before your divorce settlement is finalized. 

We’re prepared to help with every aspect of your divorce case, including:

Child Custody

Spouses must develop a parenting plan before the courts will finalize their divorce. 

The parenting plan will address:

  • Physical custody, or the child’s living arrangements
  • Legal custody, or the right of each parent to make important decisions about the child’s life
  • Visitation, or the right of the non-custodial parent to spend time with the child
  • How the parents will resolve major disagreements about the child

As in other states, when two parents cannot agree to a child custody arrangement, the courts will decide for them based on what is in the best interests of the child.

Courts will consider:

  • The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs
  • The relationship between each parent and child
  • Each parent’s judgment-making abilities
  • Special needs of the child
  • Any history of abuse or domestic violence
  • If the child is old enough, the child’s preferences
  • Any other factor the courts deem relevant

Many different types of child custody arrangements are possible. Our lawyers can help you develop a plan that works for your family and protects your children above all else. Contact us today to learn more about this area of law.

Child Support

Each parent is required to support their child financially. Courts award child support to the custodial parent based on each parent’s income, using standardized worksheets.

These worksheets are used to determine the basic amount of child support obligations. However, additional factors may be relevant. 

For example, if a child spends significant time living with a non-custodial parent, their child support may be reduced. If the non-custodial parent is also supporting other children, their obligation may be reduced in that circumstance as well.

Property Division

Washington is a community property state. Nearly all assets and debts acquired while the spouses are married are presumed to be marital property. These assets generally will be equally split between the spouses in a divorce.

Marital property includes:

  • All earnings of either party (including investment interest and retirement accounts)
  • Any assets purchased with earnings during the marriage
  • Property acquired with community funds

Exceptions include:

  • Inheritances
  • A gift to only one party
  • Assets acquired prior to being married
  • Property acquired in a non-community state during the marriage if the couple later moves to Washington

Of course, it is possible that you could agree on your own division of assets and debts. Some assets are impossible to divide equally unless the parties agree to liquidate all assets and split the cash. That’s rarely necessary or advisable. 

With the help of an attorney, you greatly increase your chances of reaching a favorable solution.

Spousal Support

In many cases, one spouse is the primary breadwinner and the other contributes to the partnership in other ways. After a divorce, one person may need financial assistance to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed beforehand.

Courts consider various factors when awarding spousal support, or alimony.

Those factors include:

  • The resources of the party requesting alimony, including the assets awarded
  • The length of the partnership
  • The standard of living established
  • The ability of either party to pay spousal support while meeting their own needs and financial obligations
  • The timeline required for the person seeking maintenance to obtain education or training and find employment

Because Washington only recognizes no-fault divorce, courts cannot consider the misconduct of either party when deciding alimony.

We Can Assist With All Types of Divorce Cases

We can help you with any type of divorce, including those involving:

If you have any questions about your case, don’t hesitate to reach out to our award-winning Seattle attorneys today.

What Tools Are Available to Help Me Navigate My Seattle Divorce?

If you are facing a divorce in Seattle, WA, you and your spouse may disagree on how best to dissolve your marriage. There may be a custody battle or complex property division disputes. When this happens, there are vital tools available to help you navigate this challenging process and reach an amicable solution.


Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method. It can be a beneficial resource if you and your spouse disagree on one or more issues regarding the dissolution of your marriage. Mediation allows you and your spouse to seek common ground and potentially reach an agreement with the help of a neutral third party. 

Through mediation, you and your spouse can decide what’s best for you and your children. Once a mutual agreement is reached, the court will then decide whether to approve it and grant a divorce. 

Contact our experienced divorce lawyers to learn how we can help you throughout the mediation process.


Arbitration is an available method of alternative dispute resolution. If your divorce is contested, an arbitrator can oversee the arguments and consider relevant evidence.

Unlike in the mediation process, arbitration involves a private judge who will make binding decisions regarding your divorce and related issues. 

Arbitration often leads to a final agreement that you may not be able to appeal. It is essential to hire a skilled attorney to help you successfully navigate arbitration. 

Book a Free Consultation With Our Respected Seattle Divorce Attorneys

The strain of a divorce can quickly start to take a toll. We are here to make things as easy as possible. 

A trusted divorce lawyer in Seattle can help you identify your priorities and formulate strategies to help you move on with your life. Reach out to our lawyers at (206) 590-7085 to set up a case review with our team today.

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