Room 314, 128 North 2nd Street, Yakima, WA 98901
Honorable Robert W. Inouye
Honorable Lani-Kai Swanhart
Honorable Gayle M. Harthcock
YAKIMA COUNTY COURT FACILITATOR
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
A Dissolution of Marriage can be filed in Superior Court. You may purchase a “Divorce book” in room 323 of the courthouse for $50.00. This book contains all forms, samples and instruction necessary to start and finalize your dissolution. The filing fee is$280.00.
If you need assistance in completing this book, the court provides a class called “Divorce Orientation” which is designed to answer basic questions and explain the divorce process. The class is one hour long and costs $25.00 per person. The fee must be paid in advance in room 323 in the courthouse. (For more information on dates and times please click on Divorce Orientation)
1. Do I need an attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney and you may represent yourself. You may also hire an attorney at any time.
2. Who can help me fill out the forms if I have questions?
If you have already attended the divorce orientation, you may contact the Facilitator to schedule an appointment. She can be reached at (509) 574-2695.
3. How long does a divorce take?
In Washington State, there is a mandatory 90 day waiting period which must elapse before a Judge can sign a Decree. The 90 days starts on the date of filing (if agreed) or the date of service (if contested).
4. Can I get an annulment instead of a divorce?
An Annulment is actually called a Declaration of Invalidity. You must meet very specific criteria in order to file for Invalidity. For example: mental incapacitation or prior undissolved marriages.
5. Does it matter who files for divorce first?
Either party can file for divorce. The person who files the divorce is called the Petitioner, and the other party is called the Respondent. Either party can request relief, regardless of who filed first.
6. What if I cannot find my spouse?
You may request court permission to serve them by mail to a last known address or family members address.
7. What if my spouse does not agree with my request?
Your spouse will be served with copies and may file a Response to Petition for Dissolution with the court. They should also mail a copy to you.
8. Can I get an emergency custody order?
Yes. You may request the court grant you emergency custody. If the court feels it is appropriate, the judge may sign an order immediately.
9. Is there a certain age in which children get to decide where they want to live?
No. There is no specific age at which children can make legal decisions. The court may take the child’s wishes into account if they are of sufficient age and maturity.
10. Will the Judge speak with the children?
If the court feels it is appropriate, the judge may interview the children or appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to speak with the children outside of court. The GAL may also speak to you and the other party.
11. Do I have to ask for child support?
Yes. Even if you have an administrative support order through DSHS, you are still required to file a Child Support Worksheet with your divorce.
12. Can we agree on our own dollar amount for child support?
The court uses a child support worksheet in each case to determine a standard amount of support. The court generally orders the standard amount unless there is a specific reason to deviate. Agreement of the parties is not a basis for deviation.
13. Do I have to take a parenting class?
If you have children under age 18 involved in your divorce, you must take the mandatory class called Children Coping with Divorce. Both parties are supposed to attend this class, but the minimum requirement is that the Petitioner completes the class. The Judge will not finalize your divorce unless you have taken this class. (For more information click on Children Coping with Divorce).
14. Do I have to go to court?
If your case is contested, you will have to go to court.