Your court forms come first.
When we first started Divorce Without Court, we would set up your agreements around parenting and finances first, and then fill out your court forms to match. But we found that people were often very confused by the way the forms work. It made it difficult for everyone to feel comfortable and relaxed.
Now we start with a court form that has been customized for your situation - with or without children, with a name change or keeping your last name, spousal support or no support, etc.
An uncontested, amicable divorce in Seattle/Kent King County requires Mandatory Family Law Forms 201, 130, 140, 231, 241, a Confidential Information Form, a completed Support Worksheet (you can pay us or save money by doing it yourself), a Vital Stats form, and a Settlement Agreement (also known as a Separation Contract or a CR2A). The court forms record your settlement agreement for the court and meet some legal requirements.
We can help you do your court forms, or set up your court forms for you. Then we move to your settlement agreement, which is your customized divorce terms.
Your Settlement Agreement is second.
If you have children, we guide you step by step through all the decisions you want to make regarding your co-parenting in the future. Then we finalize your child support worksheet and child support order (King County Mandatory Family Law Form 130). Finally, we work out your spousal support, asset/debt division, and other financial arrangements.
All of the financial decisions go into your settlement agreement, which includes your child support, spousal support, and everything else that you want to rely on later. Writing things down helps you avoid fights, even if you adjust the terms as your situation changes.
If you don't have children, we jump straight to your financial arrangements. Your settlement agreement must list all of your assets and debts for the court (any asset or property that's left out of the contract may be presumed community property and the title may be clouded if one partner tries to sell the property later).
Your settlement agreement can also cover refinancing property to clear title, quitclaim deeds and excise affidavits, arrangements for pets, division of retirement assets, and any other financial arrangement that you want to make a fresh start.
We mediate as you decide, or just record your agreements.
Depending on what feels most comfortable to you, we may use mediation or simply record agreements you've made together in your final set of documents. Then you sign your settlement agreement and all the court paperwork, and at this point, if you want, you can have another law firm review all the paperwork before you file it in court.
If you are a parent, you will also need to take a mandatory court-ordered parenting class.
We file everything in court for you.
Your settlement agreement covering child support, any parenting agreements, and all your financial arrangements will be effective immediately - just as soon as you sign it.
When you're ready, we take your completed paperwork, including a certificate confirming your parenting class attendance, and file everything in court for you.
You never have to go to court.