Puyallup Divorce Lawyer
DLFM Law is an experienced team of family law attorneys who understand the special challenges men face in divorce – and we have a local office located right here in Puyallup.
Location: 2102 E Main Ave #203,
Puyallup, WA 98372
Divorce attorney in Puyallup
Men face a unique set of challenges during divorce proceedings. While the family court system should remain impartial and treat men and women equally, the reality of how men are treated is often unfair.
Fortunately, you do not need to face these inequities alone. With the help of a dedicated divorce lawyer who is focused on leveling the playing field, you can protect yourself against unfair treatment and protect your rights.
At Divorce Lawyers for Men, we are committed to providing quality legal services to men facing divorce in Puyallup, Washington. When you trust us with your case, you will benefit from our experience, resources, and unwavering commitment to your success. Contact us at (360) 866-7393 to schedule a consultation and learn more.
Table of contents
- Cost of divorce
- Why you need a lawyer for divorce
- Who pays attorney costs and fees
- Legal separation vs. divorce
- How we can help
- Divorce process in Puyallup
- Length of divorce
- Final documents
- Why choose Divorce Lawyers for Men
Cost of divorce
Divorce is a notoriously costly process, but each divorce costs a different amount depending on the specifics of the case. Some common expenses associated with divorce proceedings include:
- Attorney fees
- Court filing fees
- Mediator fees
- Expert witness fees
- Appraisal or evaluation fees
Contested or uncontested divorce is the greatest factor affecting costs
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested will be the most significant determining factor in the cost of your divorce. Because a contested divorce involves more court appearances and a trial, its cost can be significantly higher than that of an uncontested divorce.
While not all divorce cases may be resolved without going to trial, it is in the parties’ best interests to attempt to reach an agreement through mediation because it can greatly reduce the cost and length of the divorce process.
Why do I need a lawyer for a divorce?
There is no legal matter quite as life-altering as divorce. Every decision you make during the process can have long-term implications for your future, so having a knowledgeable Washington State divorce lawyer on your side is essential.
With the help of an experienced Puyallup divorce lawyer, you can spend less time worrying about the legal complexities and more time focusing on what matters most — moving forward with your life.
The importance of hiring a lawyer for a divorce cannot be overstated, especially considering the gender-based biases of the family court system. Child custody battles can be particularly difficult for fathers because they are often wrongly seen as less capable of providing a nurturing home environment.
Financial matters such as child support and spousal support can also be influenced by gender-based assumptions, often resulting in men being forced to pay an unfair share. A skilled divorce attorney in Washington State can help protect your rights and interests from these possible outcomes while also advocating for the results you desire.
Who pays attorney’s fees and costs?
In most Puyallup divorce cases, both parties are responsible for paying their own expenses, including filing fees and attorney fees. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For example, if one party has a significantly lower income than the other or if one party is found to have acted in bad faith during the divorce proceedings, they might be ordered to make a contribution to their spouse’s fees.
Legal separation vs. divorce
Separating spouses have two options when parting ways in Washington State: divorce or legal separation.
A legal separation has considerable similarities to a divorce. For example, both options involve orders from the court on matters such as asset division and child custody. The major difference is that a Decree of Legal Separation does not terminate the marriage. This means that neither party can remarry until their Decree of Legal Separation is converted to a Decree of Dissolution.
However, this arrangement comes with certain advantages such as allowing the parties to continue receiving their spouse’s health insurance benefits and certain tax-filing benefits.
If either party wishes to convert their legal separation into a divorce, they may do so after at least six months have passed since their decree was filed. If the court approves the conversion, the terms of the original legal separation decree will become the orders of the divorce decree.
How we can help
When you work with Divorce Lawyers for Men, you can be confident that your best interests will be represented with skill and integrity. Depending on the unique needs of your situation, we may provide any of the following services during your divorce proceedings:
- Discussing your legal options
- Helping you file the divorce petition or file a response to your spouse’s initial petition
- Assisting with out-of-court negotiations and mediation
- Gathering documentation to support your case
- Representing you at trial
- Advising you on how best to comply with court orders
Our attorneys strive to resolve divorces in the most effective and affordable manner possible. Whether your case requires strategic negotiations, mediation, or a full-blown trial, we are ready to fight for you every step of the way.
Divorce process in Puyallup
Although the exact process of filing for divorce in Puyallup will vary based on your circumstances, there are a few general steps that most cases follow.
1. File and serve the petition
To officially begin the divorce process, one spouse, the petitioner, must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the court that has jurisdiction over their case. The petitioner must then have the respondent served with the petition.
2. File a response
The respondent must file a formal response with the court within 20 days of being served the petition. The respondent can either agree with the contents of the petition or object to them. If they object, they will need to detail their objections in the response.
The response will determine how the rest of the divorce process proceeds. If they agree to the terms of the petition, the couple can move forward with an uncontested divorce. If the respondent objects, they will proceed with a contested divorce.
3. Establish temporary orders
After the court has received the petition and the response, it may hold hearings to establish temporary orders as necessary such as for custody and support. These temporary orders will remain in place until a further agreement between the parties or a new order is issued by the court.
4. Attend required parent education classes
In Washington State, both parties to a divorce involving minor children are required to attend parent education classes before the divorce can be finalized. These classes are designed to inform parents about the impact divorce can have on their children and provide resources for ways to support them to minimize negative effects.
5. Discovery phase
The discovery phase of the divorce process is when both parties collect information from each other to establish a full financial picture. This includes exchanging financial documents such as income statements, tax returns, and bank statements.
In addition to the mandatory exchange of financial information, discovery can be conducted through written questions or demands for the production of documents, subpoenas, or by conducting depositions. By having a complete understanding of the entire financial picture, both parties can begin to negotiate a fair division of their assets and liabilities.
6. Participate in mediation
If your divorce is contested, the court will schedule a trial date after receiving the initial paperwork. However, court backlogs and mandatory waiting periods mean that the trial could be several months down the road. To expedite resolution, you and your spouse can participate in mediation.
Mediation can help divorcing couples reach an agreement that satisfies both their needs with the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator. A mediated agreement can be on any issue of the divorce: child custody, support, and asset division.
If all issues are agreed to in mediation, the settlement agreement can be submitted to the court for approval. If the judge accepts the agreement, it will become a final order and you can avoid going to trial.
7. Move forward with trial
At trial, both parties will present their cases to the judge, who will then make decisions on all disputed matters. At the conclusion of trial, the court will issue custody orders that are in the children’s best interests, child or spousal support, and the terms of property division in accordance with Washington State law.
8. Obtain a Decree of Dissolution
Whether it is following a mediated agreement or an order from trial, a Decree of Dissolution will be entered. The Decree will contain all child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division orders and will dissolve the marriage.
From start to finish, here is how long your divorce could take
The length of your divorce depends on a number of factors, such as whether it is contested or uncontested. In general, an uncontested divorce can be completed in as little as three months, whereas a contested divorce could take up to one year or longer.
Washington State has a mandatory 90-day waiting period for divorce cases to be finalized. This period begins when the initial divorce papers are filed and served. Uncontested divorces are often ready to be finalized as soon as this waiting period is over, while contested divorces usually take longer. Waiting for trial can be a large portion of this timeline.
Upon completion of your divorce, you will receive your Decree of Dissolution and a Parenting Plan if you have minor children. The terms of these documents are legally binding, so it is important that you review them with your attorney and fully understand them before signing.
Divorces involving minor children require a Parenting Plan that outlines how the parties will share their duties and responsibilities as parents. This plan will include the schedule for visitation and custody, how holidays and other special occasions will be handled, rules for communication between the parents, decision-making authority, and more.
Why choose Divorce Lawyers for Men
Divorce Lawyers for Men is a statewide attorney network of family law attorneys with a shared commitment to protecting men’s rights in Washington State. The difference that we make in the lives of our clients is what motivates us to provide top-notch legal representation – you will see this devotion reflected in all that we do. Over 10,000 men have already benefited from our services, and we look forward to helping you too.
If you are ready to take the next step, contact Divorce Lawyers for Men today at (360) 866-7393 to schedule your consultation. Our attorneys are ready to provide the counsel and advocacy you need to build a brighter future.
Our Puyallup Divorce Lawyer Office Serves:
We serve the following areas in and around Puyallup: Fife, Waller, Summit, Puyallup, North Puyallup, Sumner, Alderton, McMillin, South Hill, Bonney Lake, Milton and surrounding areas.
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Real People, Real Results
“I never thought my wife would agree to anything. After a few discussions though, we were able to agree on a lot of issues concerning the children. Divorce Lawyers for Men helped me put those agreements in writing and resolve my divorce with less conflict.”
“Divorce Lawyers for Men was very helpful with my case. The staff and attorneys are very knowledgeable and provided great advice. They provided me understanding of various courses of action and brought to light specific things I wouldn’t have thought of. Most importantly respected my decisions and beliefs in finalizing my case.”
“My wife wanted to live in our house with her new boyfriend while I kept paying the mortgage. Divorce Lawyers for Men made sure the court saw all our property and debts. We sold the house and split the proceeds. I didn’t have to pay for any free rides.”
“I never wanted to get divorced. One day my wife came home and said that she had met someone else. Why do I have to lose my house and my children just because she is done with our marriage? Thankfully, I hired Divorce Lawyers for Men.”