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How long does an uncontested divorce take in Washington?

Right after the winter holidays, married couples often assess the state of their relationship with one another. There’s something about a new year that encourages people to re-evaluate their lives and make some hard decisions.

When both spouses realize that they are mutually dissatisfied with the state of the marriage — and like the desire to do the work to fix it — they may agree to an uncontested divorce.

What does that mean here in Washington?

An uncontested divorce in Washington is basically a no-fault divorce. These are only granted when the parties agree to the terms of the split and state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Even so, an uncontested divorce is not immediate. Washington Revised Code Section 26.09.002 requires couples to go through a three-month mandatory waiting period before the court will grant the divorce. 

Are there any other requirements for an uncontested divorce?

Yes. One or both residents must be residents of Washington, but there is no requirement for the length of the residency. Then, the petition for divorce has to be filed at the courthouse in the county where they live. One spouse (the petitioner) must file the document, which will then be served upon the other spouse (the respondent),

Since this is an uncontested divorce, the respondent acknowledges that they received the petition for divorce by signing a document known as the acceptance of service. When the 90-day waiting period has elapsed, the final divorce decree is signed by the court and filed with the clerk of court’s office.

Is that all it takes?

Yes. While an uncontested divorce is a fairly simple process, it is always a good idea to get professional assistance with your legal situation to ensure that the documents are error-free and comply with the law.