Same Sex Marriage and Divorce in Washington State
Gay marriage is now allowed in Washington State. Washington State now recognizes same sex marriages from other states and in order to end a marriage entered into in Washington or any other state, the marriage can only be dissolved by way of divorce.
Washington State allowed same sex couples to enter register domestic partnerships starting in 2007. With the recent approval of same sex marriages, all domestic partnerships, unless dissolved, will convert to marriages in 2014. And just as there is a required dissolution (divorce) process if a marriage is irretrievably broken, there is a clearly-defined and mandatory process for the formal dissolution of a registered domestic partnership in Washington State, provided the couple didn't marry after registering the domestic partnership.
If you and your partner have entered into a registered domestic partnership in Washington State but find that one or both of you believe the partnership is broken beyond repair, then there are specific steps that must be taken to dissolve the partnership. In fact, you must go through the same dissolution (or divorce) process as married couples. Just like in a divorce, there are mandatory forms that are required to be completed.
How to Dissolve Your Domestic Partnership in Washington State
To complete the paperwork required for the dissolution of your Washington State Domestic Partnership, you need to first know whether your particular dissolution will be a contested or uncontested one. If it is uncontested - meaning you and your partner are in agreement on all issues regarding the dissolution then you have several options.
First, you can access the court-required documents at http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/index.cfm. You can download all the documents. Then you will need to determine which documents apply to your situation and circumstances. You will then need to prepare the necessary documents by entering your information, adding language that describes your situation and circumstances and remove all language that doesn't apply or isn't desired. You may then file your documents with the superior court to initiate the dissolution of domestic partnership.
Or, you can use our online service. Our experienced Washington State family law attorneys prepare all of the documents you need to file and finalize your dissolution of domestic partnership -including detailed county-specific instructions to guide you through each phase of the process.
How to Dissolve Your Same Sex Marriage
Even before Washington State permitted same-sex marriage, the state recognized same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions as domestic partnerships. However, now same sex marriage from other states are now recognized as marriages in Washington State. This means that same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions have the same rights and responsibilities as any married couple.
If you were married in Washington State or another state and either you or your spouse are a resident of Washington State you may qualify to use Washington Divorce Online to begin the process to dissolve your marriage.