Divorce (also known as a “Dissolution of Marriage”) can be a frightening and complicated process for all parties involved. Every marriage is different and brings unique challenges. There are many complicating factors to a divorce – such as the length of the marriage, the assets acquired during the marriage, and the presence of children. Every divorce is already emotionally challenging, so it helps to make it as legally straightforward as possible.
So. You’ve made the decision to get divorced. What next?
IF YOU ARE FIRST TO FILE
First, if there is no case currently pending, you need to file. The filing fee for a divorce in Yakima is currently $314.00, and they do not accept credit cards or personal checks so be sure to bring enough cash.
If this is too expensive for you, you can file a fee waiver. ( What If I Can’t Afford the Filing Fees? – Fee Waivers in Yakima )
When you file for a divorce, you need to include: (click on documents to download)
- Summons: Notice About a Marriage or Domestic Partnership
- Petition for Divorce (Dissolution)
- Confidential Information Sheet (Note: this does NOT include the filings you will need if you are filing a divorce and there are underage children in common. Nor does it include the documents needed for Temporary Orders or Restraining Orders.) If you and your spouse agree on the assertions in your Petition, your spouse can sign a Joinder, or Agreement to Join Petition.
You will need to file your case with the Yakima Superior Court Clerk at 128 N 2nd St. #323, Yakima WA 98901.
Bring the originals to file, plus TWO extra copies – one copy for yourself and the second for the other party.
After you file the originals with a clerk, they will give you a case number stamp. Stamp all your documents with the case number AND conform the copies with the “filed” stamp to show the date you filed the case.
Secondly, you will probably need to serve the filings. (If the other party signs a joinder, service is not necessary.) Any competent person 18 or over, other than yourself or your attorney, can serve the other party. After serving the other party, the person who served will need to sign a Proof of Personal Service , which you will need to go back and file with the court. You can just stick it in the filing box and conform your extra copy, you don’t need to wait in line for the clerk again.