Washington State Uncontested Flat Fee Divorces
Particularly in complex or highly adversarial cases, one of the most important initial steps in planning for a divorce or family law related matter is to get legal advice by speaking with an attorney. Even a brief half-hour or one-hour consult can provide invaluable divorce advice to help you at any point in the divorce process and prevent you from signing a decree you will regret later.
If you are considering an uncontested Seattle divorce and want to know more about your options, please contact Weintraub Law Office at (425) 374-4045 or contact us online to request a consultation.
Uncontested Flat Fee divorce in Seattle
Every divorce involves at least two main issues (four if minor children are involved):
1. Division of community and separate property and debts
2. Spousal support
3. Parenting (custody) of any children
4. Payment of child support (if applicable)
In Washington State, an uncontested divorce requires agreement on ALL issues. If agreement is not reached in advance of filing the petition for dissolution or legal separation, then the divorce is “contested.”
When has agreement been reached on “all” issues
Though a couple may have broad agreement on the primary issues, until every provision in every form (i.e., petition for dissolution, child support order, parenting plan order, etc.) has been reviewed and agreed to, you don’t.
It is common for parties to have a general agreement, but then disagree over specific form provisions brought to their attention. For example, a husband may pay child support, but not realize daycare expenses can be requested in the forms besides child support. To make sure all issues are properly addressed and your uncontested divorce will be accepted by the court, it’s important that an attorney be involved to answer questions, address problems, and prepare and finalize the paperwork.
The Uncontested Divorce Process
At Weintraub Law Office, the uncontested divorce process is simple:
- The client schedules an initial consultation. At the meeting, all of the major issues in the divorce and settlement terms reviewed. A flat fee agreement is signed.
- The client completes a divorce questionnaire to provide details to complete the divorce paperwork.
- We review the paperwork and return it for final signature.
- The paperwork is filed with the court, and after the 90 day waiting period, entered with the court.
It may be costly to save money
Many people take care of an uncontested divorce and complete online Washington divorce forms by themselves. Unfortunately, there is significant risk in doing so. The final orders may be vague, unclear or unworkable. Child support calculations may be inaccurate. Important details, such as tax implications, may be overlooked. It is not the court’s task to correct these matters. Such oversights can cost significant amounts of money and generate ill-will later on. Changing the terms of a decree after the court has signed it (i.e., vacating a divorce judgment) is only available under very narrow, specific circumstances such as fraud.
Uncontested Seattle divorce vs. Mediation
Uncontested divorce may seem similar to mediation. The main difference between an uncontested divorce and mediation is the role of the professional. In mediation both parties work with the divorce mediator, who is neutral and gives no legal advice. In an uncontested divorce, only one person works with the divorce attorney. The attorney represents only that spouse and provides him or her with legal advice. The other spouse may have a different attorney review the documents if he or she chooses to. In an uncontested divorce (or any divorce) an attorney can only represent one spouse. It is unethical for both parties to work with the same attorney unless that attorney acts as a mediator.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce in Washington State and want to know more about your options, please contact Weintraub Law Office at (425) 374-4045 or contact us online to request a consultation.
Weintraub Law Office has offices in Seattle, Bellevue, and Bothell and represents clients in King, Snohomish, and Pierce County.