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How it works

 

Step 1

Your contract comes first. We use the same process that Bill and Melinda Gates used. First we work out every financial detail for your separation, including property, financial asset division, and how to divide your accounts. 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. Finally, we work out your spousal support, asset/debt division, and other financial arrangements. When you're comfortable, you sign you Separation Contract which gives you a legal separation. Then, when you have no disputes for the court to settle, we file your court forms. 

This keeps you off the litigation calendar, which saves time and money. 

Step 2

You start to follow your contract. This will cover 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, are already written down. The contract you made together is legally in effect. We've seen in working with many couples that the act of writing things down helps you avoid fights, even if you adjust the terms as your situation changes. We can make any edits to the contract if you need it later, as long as you both agree. 

We work with you to get your accounts transferred (our office does NOT write a QDRO - this is because most QDROs will come from the plan administrator in an email for free). Your settlement agreement may 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 do not file the deeds, but we give you the paperwork you need to do it yourself without any cost (other than the filing fee to the Recorder's Office). 

We usually use Docusign to get signatures. You're welcome to print hard copies if you're more comfortable. Most people seem to prefer being able to sign remotely. 

Step 3

We file your court paperwork and send you the case number. This starts the clock for the 90-day waiting period in Washington state. After 60 days we send you the court forms to sign. The court forms tell the court that you have signed a Separation Contract. The forms make it so the court employees know what is in your contract. The forms do NOT change your contract in any way. The forms are only a record for the court, so that everyone knows you have a Separation Contract. 

An uncontested, amicable divorce without children in Seattle/Kent King County requires Mandatory Family Law Forms 201, 231, 241, a Declaration of Formal Proof, and a Vital Stats form. If you have children, you will also need to sign Form 130, Form 140, and Support Worksheet that tells the court how much money you make and confirms that you will support the children according to state law. 

After the 90-day waiting period is up, the court will accept your final paperwork to make a record of your Separation Contract and divorce. The court will email a final decree when they have filed your forms. You will be able to see this on the online court system, and we will send you a copy as well. You never have to go to court. 

CONTACT US TODAY

Divorce Without Court: Westside Collaborative Law PLLC is committed to answering your questions about divorce law issues in Seattle.

We offer a free consultation and we’ll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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