Legal Separation in Washington state

For some people, divorce is easier said than done.  Sometimes people are unsure about a divorce, but need separation and flexibility to figure out whether or not reconciliation is in the cards.  For other people, there is no question that a divorce is needed but considerations around finances, health or religion make a divorce problematic.  A legal separation can provide the legal framework to secure residential time with children, support, insurance coverage and property ownership while a couple negotiates the act of separation.

How to file for legal separation in Washington state

The process for a legal separation is very much like a divorce in that it is commenced with the filing a petition and summons. All that’s required of you is that you are a resident of Washington and you file in the Superior Court of your county of your residence or in the residence of your spouse if they live reside in a different county.  Thereafter, if the parties are in agreement with the legal separation a separation contract defining the specific terms of the separation is typically drafted and filed with the Court.   Where the parties are not in agreement, a party can still seek temporary orders from the Court to address specific needs just as would be done in a regular divorce action.

What if we want to end the separation and live together again?

As long as both people agree to reconcile, a court can approve a motion to withdraw, dismiss or vacate any petition or orders relating to the legal separation.

What if we decide to divorce later?

A spouse can convert the legal separation into a divorce after six months of separation. Keep in mind that both spouses do not have to agree to get a divorce as long as the other spouse is legally notified.

Legal separation: How to handle child arrangements

A Legal Separation may be one way to assist children in the adjustment to their parent’s failed marriage. A separation agreement can provide for:

Contact a Washington separation lawyer

If you would like to obtain a legal separation, or if you are already involved in a family law dispute, it is important to seek legal counsel experience with family court to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected.

To schedule a consultation to discuss your family law case, contact our experienced Vancouver family law attorneys at Spencer & Sundstrom. After that initial consultation, we will thoroughly review your case and expectations. You can rely on our experience to provide solid legal counsel and guidance for you and your family.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search