WA State Dissolution of Marriage or Domestic Partnership

Washington State recognizes domestic partnerships, and “provides that for all purposes under state law, state registered domestic partners shall be treated the same as married spouses and that provisions of the act shall be liberally construed to achieve equal treatment, to the extent not in conflict with federal law.”

According to the Washington State Family Law Handbook:

In Washington, a dissolution of marriage, which many people refer to as a divorce, is a legal procedure in superior court that ends the marriage. Washington law now provides that all domestic partnerships be dissolved through an identical court action. Before December 2009, some domestic partnerships could be dissolved or terminated by filing documents with the Secretary of State; after December 2009, this procedure is no longer available. Court action is necessary to dissolve a domestic partnership in Washington.

One or both partners can file for dissolution if a partnership falls apart. The law uses the term “irretrievably broken” to describe this situation. A partnership is “irretrievably broken” if one of the partners says it is. The other partner does not have to agree that the partnership is irretrievably broken in order for one partner to file for dissolution. A partner does not have to prove wrongdoing (such as cruelty or adultery) to dissolve the partnership. This no-fault system is intended to help partners settle matters without unnecessary bitterness or resentment. The court will enter orders for parenting arrangements, how children will be supported, dividing the couple’s property and debts, and possibly for maintenance (alimony).

To read more:
WA Secretary of State: Laws and Regulations pertaining to Domestic Partnerships in Washington State
Family Law Handbook: Understanding the legal implications of domestic partnership and dissolution in Washington State