Divorce & Separation in Washington State

Basic Information


Washington State Courts

Family Law Handbook:

Divorce & Separation: 

Washington Law Help

Family Law Issues: htts://

Divorce & Separation: 

Types of Divorce

Washington is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither spouse needs a reason for divorce aside from irreconcilable differences.

          Uncontested Divorce: when spouses agree upon the following basic issues:

          Contested Divorce: when spouses disagree upon one or more of the basic issues

          Uncontested-Contested Divorce: when spouses agree to resolve contested issues through mediation and negotiation with the help of a mediator



Filing for Divorce 

State Family Laws

Washington family laws governing divorce and separation are located in Chapter 26.09 of the Revised Code of Washington.


Procedural Rules

There are rules that govern the procedures of every Washington State court.

          Washington State statutes:

          Washington State case law:

          Washington State Court Rules – Superior Courts:

          Findlaw (a national site with state specifics for legal information): 

Washington Forms

There are certain required forms to use in family law matters.


Washington State Largest Counties Information:

King County:

          Family Law Instructions:

          Family Law Court Rules:

Snohomish County:

          Court Forms:

Spokane County:

          Court Rules:


References to Professional Legal Help 


Washington State Bar Association’s Legal Directory:

Washington Law Help: 

Collaborative Lawyers and Other Professionals 

Mediators/Alternative Dispute Resolution

Free services

Volunteer Settlement Conference Program

          Seattle: 206-477-1353

          Kent: 253-852-2345

Volunteers of America (Snohomish/Skagit Valley/Island County): 

Lower Cost Services

State Programs:

          Moderate Means Program:

          Northwest Justice Project:

Local Legal Clinics & Programs

          King County Bar Association: 206-267-7070

          International District: 206-624-5633 ext. 4111

          Rainier Valley Legal Clinic: 206-695-7639

          Eastside Legal Assistance Program:

Limited License Legal Technicians: 

Qualified Private Services

Washington Mediation Association:

Dispute Resolution Centers

          King County:

          Kitsap County:


          Yakima/Kittitas County:

Minority Bar Associations

          Asian Bar Association of Washington:

          Disability Rights Bar Association:

          Filipino Lawyers of Washington:

          Hispanic National Bar Association:

          Korean American Bar Association of Washington:

          Latina/o Bar Association of Washington:

          Loren Miller Bar Association:

          Mother Attorney Mentoring Association of Seattle:

          Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington:

          National Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc:

          National Association of Women Lawyers:

          National Bar Association:

          National Black Law Students Association:

          National Conference of Women’s Bar Association:

          National Lesbian and Gay Law Association:

          QLAW Association:

          South Asian Bar Association of Washington:

          Vietnamese American Bar Association of Washington:

          Washington Attorney’s with Disabilities Association:

          Washington Women Lawyers:

Washington State Bar Association Referral Service:

King County Bar Association Referral Service: 


Domestic Abuse Resources & Information 

Eastside Legal Assistance Program 

National Resources

CALL: 211 (help by zip code)

TEXT: “HOME” to 741741

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 (hard of hearing: 800-787-3224)

Peace in the Home Helpline: 888-847-7205 

WA Legal Help

WA State Domestic Violence Information & Referral:

WA State Protection Order Resources:

King County Sexual Assault Resource Center: 888-998-6423

DV Family Law Clinic (Vashon Island): 206-940-6430


Mental Health Resources 

Substance Use/Gambling Resources

Washington Court Certified

          Washington State Directory of Certified Resources:


          Washington Recovery Helpline (24-hour):

          Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:  

General Mental Health Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness (WA):

American Psychological Association:

American Psychological Association Psychologist Locator: 

Washington State Resources

Washington Mental Health Counselors Association:

Washington Association of Family Therapists:

Multicultural Therapists: 

Military Families 

Support Groups

Parent Trust:

Divorce Lifeline:

Parenting & Children Resources


Washington Court Certified Parent Education Classes 

Parenting Professionals

Organization of Parent Education Programs: 

Child Abuse

WA State Child Protective Service: 

Child Support

Child Support Guidelines: 

Alimony/Spousal Support/Maintenance 

Financial Resources 

Free Credit Reports 

Pensions and retirement plans

General information: Settlement-164.shtml 

Social Security 

You can get a Social Security statement that will tell you if you have sufficient credits to receive Social Security and gives you an estimated benefit.


For information about eligibility based on your ex-spouse’s benefits, see 

Internal Revenue Service – Pension, IRA and retirement information

Types of Retirement Plans:

Retirement Plan FAQ:

IRA accounts:

Distributions from IRA: 

Internal Revenue Service – Tax issues

IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals: 

Free Tax Preparation Services

AARP Tax Aide Sites:

Free Tax Filing Assistance:

Military OneSource Tax Service:


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