In Washington, the terms divorce and dissolution of marriage are synonymous. The distinction between the terms is the Washington State Legislature’s choice to use “dissolution of marriage” as the legal term for divorce. In order to obtain a divorce decree in Washington, you are required to meet the following conditions:

■ You must be legally married or have achieved common-law marriage status in a state that recognizes common-law marriage. Washington does not recognize common-law marriage.

■ Either you or your spouse must be a Washington resident and plan to remain living in Washington. If you or your spouse is a member of the military, and will be stationed in Washington for a minimum of 90 days after the Petition for Dissolution is filed and served, the residency requirement is satisfied.

■ At least one spouse believes the marriage is irretrievably broken.

■ As the party filing for divorce, you must properly serve a Summons and Petition for Dissolution upon your spouse.

■ Subsequent to filing and serving the Petition for Dissolution, at least 90 days must pass.

At Smythe & Jones PLLC we represent your best interest in divorce and all other family law matters. Our attorneys, along with the assistance of our skilled staff, will work with you in preparing all necessary documents and presenting your needs to the court in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Through decades of practicing family law, the attorneys at Smythe & Jones PLLC have provided legal advice and assistance to over a thousand people in divorce proceedings.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is known by many names:

  • Spouse abuse
  • Partner abuse
  • Battering
  • Domestic abuse

Domestic violence occurs when an individual uses force to inflict physical injury or the threat of force, with a person they have or had a relationship with. Domestic violence can occur between spouses, partners, parents and children, grandparents and children and between siblings. Domestic abuse is color blind and does not discriminate based on age or gender – victims can be any race, age or gender. In Washington State, people do not have to be related to be involved in domestic abuse crimes; however, there is either some relationship between them and/or they reside together for it to be Domestic Violence as opposed to harrassment.

If you are Accused of Domestic Violence

If you have been accused of domestic violence or actually charged with a domestic violence crime, the allegation is serious. Sometimes however, it is a ploy set up by a disgruntled spouse who is filing or has filed for dissolution. We look for the evidence that it was a set-up and can assist you in resolving the domestic violence charge in conjunction with your dissolution matter.

If you are a Victim of Domestic Abuse

If you or a child you know is a victim of domestic violence our experienced attorneys can help you get domestic violence protection orders and advise you throughout the process. If your spouse is abusing you, we are here to assist you through the process of choosing between dissolution and treatment for your spouse. The sooner you seek counsel from us the better. Call for an appointment immediately. 

If you know that you are in imminent danger from experiencing domestic violence, please find a safe place for you and seek the help of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 800-799-7233. Follow their instructions to situate yourself in a safe place.

If you need to leave your home in a hurry, try to do these things: 1. Obtain all financial records that you can such as tax returns and business general ledger information. 2. Write down all passwords that are saved in any computer that you are leaving behind. 3. Take all cash or things of value that are yours in the home. 4. Once you leave, change your passwords to email or change your email completely, change your passwords to your phone, apple ID, social media, bank account and financial institutions; and then change every password that you kept in your computer making sure that your email is the only email affiliated with the account.

There is a lot more to do, including saving hard drives, but if time is short, those basics will get you a long way in being free from Domestic Abuse.