When you decide your marriage is truly over and want to divorce, you face a lot of unknowns about the future. You may not know who will get to keep your home in the divorce or if the divorce will impact your business. You also may not know what Washington’s laws about divorce are. For example, how does Washington handle property division in divorce?

Having a better understanding about Washington’s divorce laws will help you know what to expect during the divorce process. So, here are seven things you should know about divorce in Washington:

  1. You don’t have to live in Washington for a specific amount of time to seek a divorce here.
  2. Washington allows no-fault divorce. Only one spouse has to file for divorce and the other spouse doesn’t have to agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
  3. Washington has a waiting period to finalize a divorce: 90 days.
  4. Washington is a community property state. That means spouses will divide any marital assets evenly – 50-50. So if you began a business while married, you may have to split its worth with your spouse.
  5. Bad behavior from one spouse, such as having an affair, doesn’t affect how spouses divide property and debts – unless one spouse does something to destroy or lose community property.
  6. Washington will have jurisdiction for child custody if a divorcing couple’s children have lived in the state six months. Or if your children had been Washington residents and recently moved, while one parent continues to live here.
  7. Washington courts grant spousal maintenance based on economic or financial factors, not whether one spouse was at fault for the divorce.

Working with a divorce attorney can help you as you navigate the challenges of finalizing a divorce in Washington. An attorney can help you determine what marital assets and debts you and your spouse have and help you negotiate dividing them, as well as help you create a parenting plan with your former spouse.