Divorce Without Court is ideal if:
You’re still able to work with your spouse, you’d prefer to keep your personal lives private, you want to be able to predict the cost of your divorce, and you’d like control over the divorce terms.
Common Divorce Without Court Options:
Reach an agreement with your spouse and work with your lawyer to prepare the paperwork.
Sit down with a professional mediator who will guide you through each step in the process.
About the process
What to expect from a divorce without court
During your first meeting, we’ll find the divorce option best suited to your family’s needs. The next step is to begin working on the agreement. This may be done in a group, one on one with your lawyer, or at home between you and your spouse. Once we’ve reached an agreement we’ll draft the documents and file the paperwork. Often we file by mail, which means you never have to set foot in a courtroom.
Can you get a divorce without going to court?
You may be surprised to hear that you can divorce without going to court, but it’s true. The key to a divorce without court is that all elements of the divorce are agreed to. Once both people agree on the divorce terms, there are two options to finalize the case in Washington.
You can divorce without going to court by either:
1) filing your paperwork by mail in Lincoln or Wahkiakum County or 2) Hiring a local attorney to present the papers to the judge on your behalf.
An agreed divorce is often referred to as an uncontested divorce. In order to reach an agreement you can use a variety of methods, such as mediation, collaborative discussion, or attorney advice. Just remember, if you can’t find a way to agree you will need to go through the courts.
How to divorce without going to court?
We recommend three methods to divorce without going to court: uncontested divorce, collaborative divorce, and pro se divorce. In each case, we work through the issues and then file the paperwork to remove the need to appear in court.
In an uncontested divorce our client provides the basics of an agreement they’ve discussed with their spouse. We analyze the terms and present feedback that will improve the agreement, making it last long term. The goal is to create an agreement that is consistent with the spouse’s initial plan, but strengthened by the input of an attorney.
In a collaborative divorce, each spouse will work directly with their own attorney and negotiations will take place in a group setting. Often outside experts, such as financial planners and child specialists are brought in to help the process. The goal is to reach an agreement, based on a deep understanding of the issues and what’s ideal for the family.
In a pro se divorce, you take responsibility for much of the divorce process. Often that means drafting certain documents and filing the paperwork on your own. You’ll reach an agreement in private and fill out the paperwork accordingly. We’re available to draft and review specific forms and we provide easy to follow instructions, so you can file by mail.
Your lawyer is your representative in court and can represent you during a divorce without you being present. In a divorce without court, this is common when presenting final documents to the judge.
If a divorce was filed locally, not by mail, you need to request the court to review the final documents in order to make the divorce official. This is done in the ex-parte courtroom. In Washington, your attorney will ask you to sign a Formal Proof Declaration. This document gives your attorney permission to ask the judge to sign the divorce decree on your behalf.
Whether you’re busy with work, unable to find childcare, or live out of state, your attorney will be able to finalize the case with your permission.
Depending on the circumstances your divorce can be finalized without a court hearing. The most common way to finalize a divorce without a hearing in Washington is to file by mail.
Both Lincoln and Wahkiakum County process divorce by mail and finalize the case without a hearing. When you file by mail the clerk’s office will send you a letter with a case number and finalization date. That finalization date is the date that your forms will be reviewed by the court and signed. There is no formal hearing and you do not need to appear in person.
A divorce can also be finalized in ex-parte court. In family law cases, attorneys can bring agreed paperwork to ex-parte court for approval without setting a hearing date. Similarly, if you filed for divorce and your spouse refused to participate, you can request a default and an ex-parte judge can approve your divorce without a hearing.
Is a truce right for you?
Take the quiz to see if divorce without court will work for you.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
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Tiffany B. | Yelm, WA
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“I could not have made a better choice in attorneys than Justin of Truce Law. The direct one-on-one help and willingness to work with me off-hours when I needed it was really above and beyond.”
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“Professional, available, empathetic, and honest. He provided excellent advice, processed three quit claims, reviewed a QDRO, a separation agreement (discovering in the process a major accounting error as well as missing real estate property)”
Russ F. | Seattle, WA
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Cynthia D. | Bothell, WA
Prompt + Knowledgeable
“Justin made the stressful and difficult divorce process much easier. He was professional, prompt, and knowledgeable. I recommend him if you are in need of a divorce settlement lawyer.”
Adam R. | Seattle, WA
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