Alternatives to Divorce in Washington State

While divorce is sometimes necessary, in certain cases an alternative may be more suitable. Most spouses will likely find that a regular divorce process is still needed, but if you’re able to fit the criteria for any of these alternative divorce options, they may be able to save you time, money, and emotional baggage.

Legal Separation

In a legal separation, you will not be divorced in the eyes of the law. Legal separation is often used by those who object to divorce because of religious views, or because they’re unsure that they want to completely dissolve the marriage. Because you are still legally married you retain the benefits of being married, such as remaining on your spouse’s health insurance or keeping your current tax status. It also means that you won’t have to deal with the downsides of a divorce, such as the division of assets.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is used when both spouses agree that they want a divorce, and can agree to the terms. Uncontested divorces are normally less expensive and significantly faster than the regular divorce process because it doesn’t have to go through the courts. You also retain control over the division of assets and other decisions that would normally be made by a judge in the divorce process.


Annulment is only available in select circumstances. It will dissolve the marriage, and legally, it will be as if you were never married at all. There are several reasons by which you may be eligible for an annulment, which includes but is not limited to: 

  • Your spouse already being married prior to your marriage; 
  • Either spouse being pressured into the marriage; or,
  • One of the spouses was unable to consent to the marriage.

Annulment is usually reserved for when there are circumstances that should have disallowed the marriage in the first place, but the marriage occurred anyways. Keep in mind that during an annulment, a judge will make a ruling on whether or not the annulment is appropriate, and they will also decide the circumstances of the separation, such as child custody, division of assets, and alimony.

Regardless of how you decide to end a marriage, quality legal counsel is necessary to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and your rights are protected. Contact McMahon Law Group today for counsel that has years of experience in family law and is dedicated to making your divorce process as simple as possible.

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McMahon Law Group

Legal issues of any type can be a frightening and overwhelming experience, and certainly something you don’t want to face alone. Attorney Jacque McMahon and the McMahon Law Group will work closely with you to ensure you not only get the best legal representation possible, but that you are well-informed throughout the process. If you are facing legal issues, please contact us to discuss your situation and get the help you need.

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