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 can download each of the forms in Word format, to fill out and save.
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. You are able to create an efiling account to file papers online at https://dja-efsp.kingcounty.gov/EFiling/Logon/Logon.aspx. Under select circumstances, there is a small service fee for submitting paperwork through email instead of in person. If you qualify (request to file In Forma Pauperis), the court may waive the initial filing fee.
LAWS (also known as statutes) regarding family law are available on the internet under Revised Code of Washington (RCWs) at https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=26. 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. 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.
Third party (non-parental) custody case laws that were formerly in RCW Chapter 26.10 have been replaced by RCW 11.130, uniform guardianship, starting in 2021. De facto parentage laws went into effect in 2019, and are contained in RCW 26.26.A.
PROTECTION ORDER (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) CASES may be started at the courthouse with help from a Domestic Violence (DV) Advocate through the Protection Order Advocacy Program. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can complete a form asking the court to waive it. Domestic Violence laws and forms have been consolidated in RCW 7.105.
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.