You may want Temporary Family Law Orders. The court enters these quickly. They can last until trial or the end of your case. A parenting plan saying whom the children will live with until the divorce is final.
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Until you have an order, each parent has an equal right to custody. If your spouse will not let you see the children, a parenting plan can give you visitation. Restraining orders keeping a spouse from getting rid of property, taking out loans in both your names, or taking your name off insurance policies. Appointment of a guardian ad litem GAL or parenting evaluator.
If there is an emergency, you may need an Immediate Restraining Order right away. The judge often enters this without giving the other spouse any notice, or very little notice. The other spouse later can have a hearing. The judge decides there if the order will continue. You may need this order if you cannot wait one to three weeks for a hearing to get help from the court. Yes, any time before your divorce is final. To ask the court to change a temporary order, you file another Motion for Temporary Family Law Orders.
If you are afraid that your spouse may hurt or threaten you or the children, the court can issue special orders to help protect you. If you have been a domestic violence victim, or your spouse has threatened you, you can ask for a Domestic Violence Protection Order anytime. You can also ask for a permanent protection order as part of the final divorce orders. You must tell the court about all your property and debts. Washington is a community property state.
Generally, all property house, other real estate, car a spouse gets during the marriage is community property. It belongs to both of you, even if only one of you is on the title. Your Divorce Petition proposes how the court should divide the property and debts. The court in the Final Divorce Order decides who gets what. Separate property belongs to only one spouse.
Generally, it is property you got before the marriage through inheritance or as a gift before or during the marriage , or after separation. Talk to a lawyer. Generally, all debts either spouse incurred during the marriage are community debts.
Court Forms: Divorce (Dissolution)
Both spouses are equally responsible for them. You incur separate debts before the marriage or after separation. It depends. The court can make any division that is just and equitable , after considering:. It will depend. If you have children, the court looks at who gets custody.
The court will probably let the parent with custody keep living in the family home, if possible. The court may award that parent more property and fewer debts, especially if the other spouse cannot pay much child support. The court will also consider what condition property and debt division will leave you each in post-divorce. It generally does not want one spouse very wealthy and the other poor.
It will consider your. You have not worked much outside the home. The court may award you more community property or long-term maintenance so you do not end up much poorer than your spouse is. You cannot work. The court may award you more community property. In most cases, the court will award each spouse their separate property and order each to pay their separate debts.
How to File a Divorce in Washington
You may have signed a written agreement before marrying stating how you would divide your property and debts if you divorced. We often call this a prenuptial agreement. You may have signed an agreement during the marriage stating which of your property is community and separate. We call this a Community Property Agreement.
Couples sometimes do these as part of an estate plan. You might have signed an agreement after separation dividing property and debts. If you think you have any written agreement about your property and debts, have a lawyer look at it. This might determine how the court will divide property and debts in your case.
Property you bought with money earned during the marriage is community property. Your income during the marriage is community property.
Anything you buy with your income belongs to you both. The judge will divide the car and other property according to what they decide is just. They bought it before your marriage. This could happen if, for example, you refinance it in both names. It could rule you have no community interest in the house because of the value you got from living there.
Example : can just one of you pay the mortgage? If not, awarding one of you the property may lead to foreclosure and damage your credit. It might be safer to sell it.
Do not create a post-divorce situation where title is in one name, the debt in another. Example : The divorce court awards you title to the home. No one takes action to make this official. Your spouse falls behind on payments. Yes, even if one spouse objects. The court will most likely do this if one of these is true:. Retirement and pension benefits, including k plans, earned during the marriage are community property. Both spouses have a legal interest in them. Pensions earned both before and during the marriage: the portion earned during the marriage and the increase in value of that portion is community property.
Disability benefits substituting for pension benefits might be community property. If you believe your spouse has a pension including a military pension , k , IRA, or other retirement or disability plan, talk with a lawyer about what your rights. Read it or call them at The court may consider if your spouse wasted marital assets without your consent OR tried to hide assets from the court.
Maintenance alimony is a payment one spouse makes to the other for financial support. The court does not always award maintenance.
Filing for divorce in Washington State
It must look at things such as:. On the other hand, you can get maintenance even if you are working, if the court decides you should enjoy the same standard of living you had during the marriage. You are more likely to get maintenance if both of these are true:.