Even if you have a Spokane divorce lawyer, your divorce must be filed (with all fees paid) at the Spokane County Superior Court Clerk’s office. A case number will be assigned to your case. You or your attorney will have to stamp every document at the top with this case number.
Once your case is filed, the clerk’s office will hand you back two documents:
1. Domestic Case Assignment Order
2. Automatic Temporary Restraining Order
The domestic case assignment order will give the name of the commissioner and the judge that will make the final decision in your divorce. This order will also have the date of the status conference. This is an important date and you should keep careful track of where and when you have your hearing. Even if you have a Spokane divorce lawyer, you will have to attend to this meeting.
The automatic restraining order is simply a form to ensure peace between the parties. It also puts in place several safeguards so parties do not take unfair advantage of the process or each other. This order does not prevent parents from seeing each other or their children.
If a Spokane divorce lawyer is not representing you, you will have to serve these two documents upon the other party. Contact an attorney to help you with the requirements of service of process.
The next requirement you must fulfill so that your divorce is heard by the court is completion of the “Sharing the Children” class. Remember that you must FILE proof of taking this class within sixty days of the original filing date (60 days).
It’s imperative that you serve the initial paperwork to the other party. Remember that a third-party over the age of 18 must do this for you. The only way you can serve documents yourself to the other party is if they accept service. For a fee, the Spokane Sheriff Office can do this for you.
Your Spokane divorce lawyer should have contacts with local companies that will handle serving the documents on your spouse. Regardless of what process you decide to follow, you must file proof of service with the clerk’s office.
You can mail some of the required documents to your spouse; however, you must have a proof of mailing everytime you mail documents to the other party or their attorney.
There is a mandatory 90 day waiting period from the time the divorce is filed, and the time it is finalized. You cannot remarry within those 90 days.
If there are issues (i.e. safety concerns) between the parties during those 90 days, you or your Spokane divorce lawyer can request the court to enter a temporary order. You can do a motion and declaration for temporary orders. However, all the facts you want the court to consider must be in that motion. If you fail to include any fact in the written document, you cannot bring them up in oral testimony.
These motions have very strict requirements; consult with a Spokane divorce lawyer before making a motion to the court.
Here is a short video about filing and serving a divorce in Spokane County:
More Information Below:
Overview of This Area of Law
What is a Marriage? (legally speaking)
Illegal Marriages in Washington (and Spokane)
Prenuptial Agreements in Washington
Divorce: Filing, Deadlines, and Other Issues
Divorce: Temporary Orders and Motions
Parenting Plans in Spokane County
Child support in Spokane County
Division of Assets in a Divorce
Third Party Actions in Spokane County