Your Washington State Divorce: What You Should Know If You Plan To Leave

Watch my video on The Divorce Process here.

If you are thinking of filing for divorce in Seattle or in Washington State, leaving your spouse, or moving out of your home, don’t do anything until you read this first! I will share with you exactly what you need to do to protect yourself, your children, and your financial future before you commit to one of the most important decisions of your life.

First, let’s understand something: nobody gets married while planning for a divorce, right?

So that may sound strange to you, but there are two or three ways divorce typically starts:

  1. Your spouse files and serves you with divorce papers. This may come out of the blue, or it may have been anticipated by you, but regardless, it has happened.
  2. Another way is that you’re the one who says that you want to get a divorce, and you’re the one who going to be a little more in the driver’s seat and you’re going to be in control of when it happens and how it happens.
  3. The third way is that you both sit down together and you mutually decide it’s time for a divorce and that’s the most amicable way that this can happen and it may stay amicable and it may not.

Today, I want to discuss the second way: you’ve decided to file for divorce, leave, move out, and so forth.

Before you do this, it is critically important to be prepared with all the information you can find. And the very first thing to start with are your financial records.

So, first of all, you’re going to find your bank records, you’re going to find out where you have bank accounts, you’re going to find out where your spouse has bank accounts and sometimes – although not very often – there are bank accounts that you don’t know about. So you need to be part detective here.

Use the time when maybe your spouse is at work, or on a business trip or out with friends or at a soccer match or something . You need to get into those file cabinets and you need to find everything.

You need to find out where your banks are, you’ve got to know exactly what accounts you have, and it’s helpful if you can get the past six months of bank records. If you can’t get the bank records, at least know where the accounts are, so if you end up going to a lawyer, the lawyer will be able to either ask the other side for the copies of the records, or actually send a subpoena and get copies of the records. Because once the divorce process starts, you have the full backing of the court system, which can issue subpoenas. Your lawyer can issue subpoenas to gather all the information that your spouse may or may not want be providing to you.

But it is really hard for your lawyer, or you for that matter, to do that if you don’t know what you have and where it is. So number one is find out where you have bank accounts and find out where there are retirement accounts. Your divorce in the state of Washington will go much smoother when you know, and are familiar with, your financial records.