PROTECTION ORDER (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) CASES may be started at the courthouse with help from a Domestic Violence (DV) Advocate. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can complete a form asking the court to waive it.
OTHER FAMILY LAW FORMS are available on-line, by searching Washington Courts, selecting Forms, and then clicking on the type of case you have. There are standard forms for most types of family law cases. You are able to download each of the forms in Word format, to fill out and save. You may also buy a packet of paper forms from Attorney’s Information Bureau, at Room C-603 at the King County Courthouse, or online through their website at: http://aibinc.net/.
The King County Family Law Facilitators office also provides family law instructions available online at their web site. These instructions include links to the required forms.
FEES for filing are posted on the King County Superior Court website. The cost to file a Petition for Dissolution is currently $314. If you qualify, the court may waive the fee.
LAWS (also known as statutes) regarding family law are available on the internet under Revised Code of Washington (RCWs). The laws include definitions of terms. They outline the basic process and the factors that are considered in resolving issues such as dividing property and debts, paying spousal support or drafting a Parenting Plan.
Laws used in divorce (dissolution of marriage) and legal separation are found in RCW Chapter 26.09. Domestic Partnership laws are found in Chapter 26.60. Third party custody case laws are contained in RCW Chapter 26.10. The laws regarding child support are in RCW Chapter 26.19. The child support calculator is available at: https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/dcs/SSGen/Home. The related child support schedule and instructions may be found online at: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.contribute&formID=73.
Domestic Violence laws regarding Protection Orders are at Chapter 26.50. The laws dealing with Anti-Harassment Orders are in Chapter 10.14.
HELP to complete the forms is available on-line from the Northwest Justice Center at www.WashingtonLawHelp.org.
Specific links to Washington law Help: If you would like an overview of divorce, click on one of the links below.
- General Information about Divorce
- Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
- Ending Your Marriage or Domestic Partnership in Washington with Children – The Basics
- Ending Your Marriage or Domestic Partnership in Washington without Children – The Basics
FACILITATORS at each courthouse are available to assist with procedural questions. They cannot give legal advice, but will review documents for completeness before you file them. There is a Facilitator’s Office at both the King County Superior Court (516 Third Avenue, Seattle) and the Kent Regional Justice Center (401 – 4th Avenue North, Kent).
KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT has a helpful website with contact information and forms. The King County Local Rules are also available on this website. The website has a list of RESOURCES – agencies and programs that provide help and information. KING COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION and the WASHINGTON STATE BAR ASSOCIATION have programs for attorney referrals and/or Neighborhood Legal Clinics that provide some help to get started.
THE FAMILY LAW ORIENTATION (FLO) seminar is now required for pro se parties after the filing of most types of family law cases. The class will help explain the court process and give you an opportunity to ask questions.