Snohomish County

In family law cases in Snohomish County, the court is asked to adjudicate or enforce the rights of the parents or their children regarding the determination or modification of child custody, visitation, parenting plan, child support or spousal maintenance, or the temporary distribution of property or obligations.

The family law attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson are experienced in help clients in a wide variety of family law proceedings in Snohomish County. We represent clients in Everett, WA, and the nearby cities of Arlington, Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Snohomish, Stanwood, Sultan, and Woodway.

Call us at (206) 712-2756 to find out more about the impact of automatic temporary orders issued in family law cases in Snohomish County.

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Types of Family Law Cases in Snohomish County

The attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson represent clients in a wide range of family law cases in Snohomish County including;

  • Dissolution / Divorce;
  • Legal Separation;
  • Invalidity;
  • Committed Intimate Relationship; or
  • State Registered Domestic Partnership Actions.

Family law proceedings in the County of Snohomish include actions seeking any of the following:

  • Parentage or Paternity
  • Declaration of Invalidity

Our Snohomish County family law attorneys also represent clients in actions brought by parties to committed intimate relationships, state registered domestic partnerships and actions involving parenting or the distribution of assets and liabilities.

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Filing for Divorce in Snohomish County, WA

The first step to achieve a dissolution of marriage is to understand the framework and requirements of Washington’s divorce process. In most cases, one spouse will file for divorce against the other spouse through a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Depending on the circumstances, you’ll either receive a summons or you’ll be filing the paperwork.

If you’ve received a summons, you’ll have 20 days to respond. It’s important to understand the way you respond to the summons will affect your case. That is why we encourage you to secure legal representation early on so they can review your summons and petition carefully.

The steps provided below give the typical divorce process in Washington from before the petition to the decree. Please note the steps assume there is a sole petitioner. If you and your spouse are filing for divorce together, the process may look a little different.

  • Establish the Jurisdiction:
    • Determine which county you and your spouse can file for divorce.
  • Complete the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage Form
    • This must be filed with the court clerk. Depending on the county, it may restrain or disallow any disposal of marital assets and community property.
  • Serve the Summons and Petition
    • Ensure your spouse receives copies of the summons and petition as soon as possible after filing for divorce.
  • Respond & Counter Petition
    • Your spouse can either file a response to the petition, file a counter petition, or can choose not to respond at all. If they choose not to respond, your divorce will be uncontested, and you can proceed to the settlement portion of the process. If your spouse responds, then you can file for a temporary order(s).
  • Temporary Orders
    • Depending on the circumstances, you can then file motion for temporary orders regarding child support, parenting plans, and how finances will be used while the case is pending. If both you and your spouse agree on these matters, then the temporary order and a hearing may be unnecessary.
  • Mandatory Parent Education Courses
    • If you’re a parent to a minor child, then you must attend a mandatory parenting education course within 60 days of service on the non-moving party.
  • Discovery Phase
    • At this phase, you can obtain information from your spouse and in turn provide information to your spouse needed for the divorce.
  • Mediation
    • You may be able to resolve all divorce matters with the assistance of an impartial mediator. They can also be brought before an arbitrator.
  • Settlement
    • If you and your spouse are able to resolve all issues before trial, then you can present a written settlement document.
  • Moving into Trial
    • In most divorce cases, the two parties are able to resolve their issues with each other privately if it’s through mediation or arbitration. However, some couples still cannot reach a conclusion. In these instances, the case is brought to trial. From there, a judge will decide on all issues, approve final orders, final judgements, and ultimately finalize your dissolved marriage.
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Snohomish County Divorce Paperwork

For most, divorce is a stressful event that impacts every member of the family differently. It requires a lot of time, in some cases a lot of money, and unfortunately paperwork.

Washington is a no-fault state, so the only permissible ground or reason for divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Meaning there isn’t a chance the two parties will be able to resolve their issues and maintain the relationship. The state does not allow divorce couples to dissolve the marriage by assigning blame or other reasons why the relationship deteriorated.

To file for divorce in Snohomish County, both you and your spouse must be residents. You can prove the residency with your mailing address, driver’s license, or voter’s registration. Once that’s completed, the state will require both spouses to complete several family law forms.

The main document you must fill out is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The document will outline how you and your spouse wish to divide your property, spousal support, possible allocation of joint debts, proposed custody/parenting plan for any minor children, and other pertinent issues that may arise.

In addition to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, you may also have to fill out:

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Custody, Parenting, or Visitation Modifications in Snohomish County, WA

The attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson help mothers and fathers file motions to modify custody, a parenting plan, visitation, or support. We can also help you obtain temporary relief while the case proceeds through the system by filing a by motion or show cause order that requests temporary relief or a threshold hearing based on affidavits.

In contested matters involving modification of support or maintenance, we can help you during the arbitration process or at trial if a resolution between the parties cannot be reached.

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Automatic Temporary Orders in Family Law in Everett, WA

In these cases in the family law courtrooms in Everett, WA, the court will, on its own motion, automatically issue a Temporary Order that includes the following provisions:

  • The parties shall be restrained from transferring, removing, encumbering, concealing, damaging, or in any way disposing of any property except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life or as agreed in writing by the parties. Each party shall notify the other party of any extraordinary expenditure made after the order is issued.
  • The parties shall be restrained from assigning, transferring, borrowing, lapsing, surrendering, or changing entitlement of any insurance policies of either or both parties, or of any dependent children whether medical, health, life, or auto insurance, except as agreed in writing by the parties.
  • Each party shall be immediately responsible for his or her own future debts whether incurred by credit card, loan, security interest, or mortgage, except as agreed in writing by the parties.
  • Both parties shall have access to all tax, financial, legal, and household records. Reasonable access to records shall not be denied. This provision does not apply to documents protected by the attorney-client or attorney work product privilege.

When the family law action involves children, the court in Snohomish County also enter an Automatic Temporary Order that provides:

  • Each parent shall be restrained from changing the residence of the child(ren) until further court order, except as agreed in writing by the parties. Subsequent orders regarding parenting issues supersede previously issued orders to the extent that the orders may be inconsistent.
  • Each parent shall have full access to the child(ren)’s educational and medical records, unless otherwise limited by court order.
  • Each parent shall ensure that the child(ren) not be exposed to negative comments about the other parent. Neither parent shall make negative comments about the other parent in the presence of the child(ren).

For purposes of the automatic temporary order, the term “parent” is limited only to those persons listed on a valid birth certificate or a presumed father under RCW 26.26.116.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution in Snohomish County Cases

In many types of family law cases, the court will require alternative dispute resolution. For example, all contested issues must be submitted for a settlement conference, mediation, or other ADR process with a neutral third party who offers ADR services in the following types of cases:

  • petitions filed under RCW 26.09 –Legal Separation;
  • petitions filed under RCW 26.10 –Non-parental Actions for Child Custody;
  • petitions filed under RCW 26.26 –Uniform Parentage Act;
  • committed intimate relationship cases;
  • petitions for modifications of final orders exclusive of Child Support/Maintenance Modification actions, which are in mandatory arbitration.

ADR shall NOT be required in the following cases heard in Snohomish County:

  • For good cause shown upon motion and approval by the court.
  • Where a domestic violence restraining order or protection order (excluding Ex-Parte orders) involving the parties has been entered by a court at any time within the previous twelve (12) months.
  • Where a domestic violence no contact order exists pursuant to RCW 10.99;
  • Where the court upon motion finds that domestic abuse has occurred between the parties and that such abuse would interfere with arm’s-length mediation.

When required, the parties must complete ADR prior to trial confirmation. Either party may by motion request an order requiring mediation sooner upon good cause shown.

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Additional Resources

Local Rules for Family Law Proceedings in Snohomish County – The Snohomish Court Superior Court recently changed the local rules for family law proceedings effective on September 1, 2017. Find the amended and new local rules for SCLSPR 94.04 Family Law Proceedings.

Parenting Seminars in Snohomish County – For all cases for parents with children under the age of 18 years old involving a parenting plan or a residential plan filed under Ch. 26.09, 26.10 or Ch. 26.26 of the RCW including dissolutions, legal separations, major modifications and paternity actions (in which paternity has been established). In these cases, the parents must participate in, and successfully complete, an approved parenting seminar within 60 days after service of a petition, or an initiating motion, on the responding party. After completing the seminar, the parties must file a certificate of attendance/completion with the court.

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Everett Divorce Attorney, Washington | Family Lawyer in Snohomish County

Our attorneys for Everett, WA, in Snohomish County, represent clients in dissolutions, legal separations, major modifications and paternity actions both before and after paternity has been established. Our attorneys can help you develop a proposed where a parenting plan or residential plan.

We help our client resolve their case by confirming the case for trial, presenting any final order affecting the parenting/residential plan, and seeking affirmative relief in these proceedings.

In Snohomish County, our family law attorneys represent clients in Everett, WA, and the nearby cities of Monroe, Lynnwood, Woodway, Sultan, Stanwood, Snohomish, Mukilteo, Mountlake Terrace, Mill Creek, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Granite Falls, Gold Bar, Edmonds, Bothell, Brier, and Arlington. Our family law attorneys also represent clients in the bordering counties of King County and Pierce County.

Call (206) 712-2756 today to schedule a consultation.

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