Kent Divorce Lawyer
We are an experienced team of family law attorneys who understand the special challenges faced in divorce – and we have a local office located right here in Kent.
Kent divorce attorney
From child custody to spousal support, men often face greater challenges when it comes to divorce-related matters. At Divorce Lawyers for Men, our skilled attorneys strive to level the playing field and ensure that men receive fair and equitable treatment during the divorce process.
If you are facing a divorce, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side. Our team of highly knowledgeable attorneys provides men with trusted legal representation to help them protect their rights, assets, and future. When you work with us, you will benefit from years of practical experience and a thorough understanding of Washington State family laws.
Divorce process in Washington State
Each divorce is unique, and the exact process may vary depending on the intricacies of the case. Generally, though, a Washington State divorce involves a few common steps.
1. File and serve the petition
One spouse, the petitioner, must file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the appropriate court that has jurisdiction over your case. They must then have the Petition served on their spouse, the respondent.
2. File a response
The respondent has a limited amount of time — usually 20 days — to formally respond to the divorce petition. One of two things can happen: the respondent can file a response objecting to the petition, or they can agree with the petitioner’s requests.
3. Establish temporary orders
Once the court has received the petition and response, it may issue temporary orders addressing matters such as custody and support payments. These are generally put in place at the request of one of the parties, and stay in effect until the divorce is finalized or until other orders are made.
4. Attend required parent education classes
Washington State requires that both parties in a divorce with minor children attend parent education classes. These classes are intended to help parents understand how their divorce may affect their children and learn how to support them during the transition.
5. Discovery phase
During this phase, both parties exchange information and evidence relevant to the divorce proceedings. Discovery can be done through depositions, issuing written questions or demands for the production of documents, or through subpoenas. The purpose of this phase is to ensure each side has full disclosure of all the facts necessary for a fair trial.
6. Participate in mediation
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can help divorcing couples work together to create an agreement that satisfies their needs.
A mediator will guide the process and help the parties reach agreements on matters such as child custody and asset division. If both spouses agree on all issues at mediation, they can submit a settlement agreement to the court for approval and avoid going to trial.
You will receive a trial date at some point in the early stages of the divorce process. Usually, it will be scheduled for several months in the future. Before that date arrives, both parties will have the opportunity to participate in mediation. This is usually optional, but it can save time and money when successful, even if only some issues get resolved.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement in mediation, the case will move forward to trial. At this point, each side will present evidence and witnesses to support their respective positions. The judge will then issue a ruling that they believe is in the best interests of the children and parents and in accordance with Washington State law.
8. Obtain a Decree of Dissolution
After the settlement is signed or after the trial has ended, a Decree of Dissolution will be issued. The Decree will dissolve the marriage and will contain all child custody, support, spousal support, and property division orders.
Cost of divorce
The cost of getting divorced in Kent varies depending on the complexity of the case, how long it takes to resolve, and whether you are represented by an attorney. When you consult with our attorneys, we will offer a transparent cost estimate so that you can make an informed decision about your legal options.
Contested or uncontested divorce is the greatest factor affecting costs
Perhaps the greatest factor affecting divorce costs is whether the parties have a contested or uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses are in agreement on all matters, while a contested case involves disagreements that must be decided at trial.
Uncontested divorces usually cost less because they require fewer court appearances and less of an attorney’s time. Preparing for trial is the most time-consuming and expensive part of a contested divorce, so if you can find common ground with your spouse, it could be to your financial advantage.
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Many divorce cases are initially contested, but a skilled attorney can satisfy these issues through negotiation, helping avoid a costly trial.
Who pays costs and attorney fees?
In most divorce cases, each party pays its own attorney fees and costs. However, in some instances, the court may order one party to pay all or a portion of the other party’s legal fees and costs. This is usually done in cases where one party has significantly more income or assets than the other, or if one party is thought to have acted in bad faith during the divorce proceedings.
Ultimately, the court has the final say in who pays the costs and fees associated with a divorce. Nonetheless, if you believe you could be entitled to reimbursement, our attorneys might be able to help you make a case for it. On the other hand, if there’s a chance you could be ordered to pay the other party’s costs, we can advocate for a fair outcome.
Legal separation vs. divorce
Washington State offers interested couples the option of pursuing legal separation instead of a divorce. A legal separation is similar to a divorce in that it recognizes the end of the marital relationship, but it does not terminate the legal status the way a divorce does.
Legal separation involves the same process of deciding on asset division, support payments, and child custody, but neither spouse may remarry while legally separated as they are still married under the law.
The primary benefit of legal separation is that it allows couples to remain legally married while living apart and dividing their assets. This can be useful for those who wish to remain on their spouse’s health insurance plans or those who feel uneasy about the finality of a divorce.
Either spouse may convert their legal separation into a full divorce after six months, should they choose to do so. If the conversion is approved, the terms outlined under the Decree of Legal Separation will be the terms of the new Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, the court will provide both parties with copies of all final documents after finalizing the divorce including the Decree of Dissolution and a Parenting Plan.
The terms of these documents are legally binding, so it is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities before signing anything. If you are unsure about the terms of your final divorce documents, our attorneys can review them with you and answer any questions you may have.
When minor children are involved in a divorce, the court will issue a Parenting Plan outlining the custody and visitation rights of each parent. The plan also includes details about decision-making authority, communication between parents, and travel arrangements for the parents and children.
From start to finish, here is how long your divorce could take
The timeline for a divorce largely depends on the complexity of your case — and whether it is contested or uncontested can make a difference of several months.
At a minimum, a divorce in Washington will take no less than three months due to the state’s 90-day waiting period between the filing date and the date the divorce can be finalized. Many uncontested divorce cases can be finalized immediately after this waiting period has ended.
If your case is contested, the timeline could be anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Working out details such as asset and debt division, Parenting Plans, spousal support, and other factors can take anywhere from six months to two years. Further, courts often schedule trial dates several months in advance, so even in less complicated cases, you may need to wait a while for a final resolution.
Why do I need a lawyer for a divorce?
There is nothing quite as emotionally impactful, financially demanding, or logistically overwhelming as a divorce. Every decision will affect your life and the lives of your children for years to come – you need to make sure your interests are protected throughout the process. With a qualified divorce lawyer on your side, you can focus on healing and moving forward instead of worrying about legal details.
It is even more paramount to work with a lawyer when you consider the biases that may be present in the courtroom. In child support and custody matters, courts often favor the parent who has been the “primary caregiver,” and men may be at a disadvantage if they worked while their spouse stayed at home with the children.
Similarly, spousal support may be inequitable if the court fails to recognize the contributions of the male spouse to the household.
Combatting these potential prejudices requires skillful advocacy, which is why it is essential to have a knowledgeable divorce attorney who understands the law and your rights — and is not afraid to stand up for them.
How we can help
At Divorce Lawyers for Men, we work diligently to secure a favorable outcome for our clients. When we represent you in your divorce case, you can expect nothing less than a steadfast commitment to protecting your rights and interests.
Depending on the details of your case, this may involve:
- Exploring your legal options with you
- Helping you file your initial divorce papers or respond to your spouse’s petition
- Negotiating with your spouse and their lawyer to reach a fair settlement
- Collecting evidence and building your case for trial
- Speaking on your behalf in front of a judge
- Helping you interpret the court’s orders and final divorce decree
We strive to resolve your case as quickly and amicably as possible by pursuing an uncontested divorce whenever possible. However, if your spouse is uncooperative or unwilling to compromise, we will not hesitate to fight for you in negotiations or at trial.
Our goal is to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case, and we will explore every available avenue to get you there.
Why you should choose Divorce Lawyers for Men
Fathers and husbands deserve equitable treatment in the courtroom, and Divorce Lawyers for Men upholds that truth each and every day. We have represented more than 10,000 men facing the family court system across Washington State, and we want to help you, too.
Divorce Lawyers for Men is not just a law firm — it is a statewide attorney network with one mission: to ensure that men’s rights are respected and protected in family law proceedings. We cannot understate the difference this makes in terms of results. When you face the court with our team of divorce lawyers in Kent on your side, you can be sure that your interests will be heard and defended to the fullest extent.
We will help you take the first step toward a brighter future.
Our Family Law Attorney Kent, WA Office Serves:
We serve the following areas in and around Kent: Kent, Renton, Covington, Cascade-Fairwood, East Hill-Meridian, O’Brien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Auburn, SeaTac, Orilla, Normandy Park, Tukwila, Maple Valley, Maple Heights Lake-Desire, Ravensdale, Algona, South Center Tukwila, and surrounding areas.
Learn the Divorce Rules for Men
Avoid Costly Mistakes with our Divorce Rules for Men Video
Watch as expert divorce attorney and co-founder of DLFM Law, Frank Morris, teaches you the 11 Divorce Rules for Men that he developed over his 35+ years of representing men in Washington divorce cases. Download the Printable ‘Divorce Rules for Men‘ Checklist. Click the link below, enter your email address and we will send it straight to your inbox!