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Filing For Divorce In Case Your Spouse Does Not Respond

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Recently updated on May 8th, 2024 at 12:06 am


Marriage is a civil contract between two persons who are each at least eighteen years old and who are otherwise capable of getting married. If the couple meets certain requirements about age, marital status, consanguinity (whether and how closely two people are related) and competency, then they may marry. Individuals, who want to marry, must obtain a marriage license from the county auditor. Only qualified individuals may solemnize a marriage. A marriage ends when one spouse dies. It can also end by a court order, such as a “decree of invalidity” (annulment) or a “decree of dissolution of marriage” (divorce). A “decree of legal separation” does not end the marriage, but it can affect property, finances, and raising children just like a divorce. (The word ‘Decree’ means an official order that has the force of law).

Dissolution of marriage is a divorce and legally ends the marriage. In Washington, one or both spouses can file for dissolution if a marriage falls apart. The law uses the term “irretrievably broken” to describe a failed marriage. A marriage is “irretrievably broken” if one of the spouses says it is. The other spouse does not have to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken in order for one spouse to file for a divorce. The court will enter orders for parenting arrangements, how children will be supported, dividing the couple’s property and debts, and possibly for spousal support (alimony). In Washington, a spouse does not have to prove wrongdoing (such as cruelty or adultery) to get a divorce. This no-fault system is intended to help spouses settle matters without unnecessary bitterness or resentment.

To start a divorce, one spouse (called the petitioner) must file with the court a summons (Call/order (someone) to be present in the court) and petition for dissolution of marriage. If both spouses agree to the divorce, they may file the petition jointly. If that is the case, a summons is not needed, but if one spouse gives divorce and the other spouse does not respond the same, then the Court on the application of the petitioner (divorce filer) shall send notice to the other spouse (party) to appear in the Court for the response, and if the respondent does not respond(may he/she be out of reach or country or deliberately ignoring the same) , then the Court shall order to publish the same in newspaper to inform the respondent. After completing the Court process, and presenting all the relevant evidences by the petitioner, the Court on the application of petitioner, can give the Ex Party decision and pronounce the Order/Decree in the favor of the petitioner .An Ex-Party (in favor of one party) divorce allows you to end your marriage, even if your spouse fails to take part in the process either deliberately or otherwise.

Informing the other party

The legal term for delivery of legal documents is called “service of process.” The laws and court rules about serving a petition and summons, and about responding, must be followed carefully. The purpose of the summons is to command the responding spouse to reply to the petition. The petition sets out basic facts about the marriage, such as ages of children, date of the marriage, and date of separation. It also explains what the petitioning spouse wants in the way of a parenting plan, property division, and spousal support. Once served, and depending on the recipient’s location (whether in Washington or elsewhere), the responding spouse has from 20 to 60 days to reply in writing to the petition. This reply, called a "response," may include a "counter-petition," and states the respondent’s position on children, property, and spousal support. If the respondent does not timely file a response, the petitioner may ask the court for an order of default. The court will grant by default only those requests that were filed in the initial documents, so it is very important to make sure those documents are complete and correct before they are filed. You need only to reside in Washington on the date that your petition for dissolution of marriage is filed. There is no requirement that you reside in Washington for any specific amount of time before filing the petition.



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