How do I file for divorce in Clallam County?
In Clallam County, you may file the summons, divorce petition, and motions for temporary orders electronically.
E-filing is not mandatory—you may file your documents the old-fashioned way, by mail or through a process server—but I highly encourage e-filing. It is simpler, less stressful, and cheaper.
Before you can e-file documents, you must register with the Court, which basically consists of requesting permission from the court clerk. You can find the application process on the clerk's website.
How much does it cost to file for divorce?
As with most counties in Washington, the filing fee in Clallam County is $314. This does not include the costs of serving your spouse, and attorney's fees.
Can I appear for court remotely?
You can appear via Zoom for all family law hearings in Clallam County. This page provides the Meeting ID and Passcode numbers for each courtroom and general instructions for courtroom decorum.
Unlike some jurisdictions, such as Snohomish County, you do not need advance approval to attend your hearing remotely.
You may also attend in-person. The address of Clallam County Superior Court is 223 East 4th Street, in Port Angeles.
How do I schedule a hearing?
If you want to schedule a hearing, you must file your pleadings (i.e. court documents) no later than nine (9) days before your scheduled hearing.
In Clallam County, family law motions are heard on Friday mornings. This means, typically, you must file your paperwork on the Wednesday the week prior.
After you file your documents, your spouse gets the opportunity respond. The response is due no later than two (2) days before the hearing. At. this point, you have the option of filing additional materials (called a reply).
You must file your reply documents no later than 12:00 pm the day before the hearing (typically Thursday).
In addition to filing documents with the clerk's office, you have to provide the court commissioner with a bench copy of your documents. (A bench copy is an extra copy of your documents that goes directly to the judge). You will actually have to write or type the word “bench copy” at the top right corner of the first page of each set of documents.
I need to file a motion for temporary orders. How many documents I can file?
Every divorce case is complex, and your tendency will be to file as many documents and exhibits as you possibly can. Do not do this.
Like many courts, Clallam County imposes strict limits on how many pleadings you can file in family law cases. Per the superior court local rules, you cannot file more than 30 total pages for any given motion. If your initial pleadings total 25 pages, for example, your reply brief can be a maximum of five (5) pages.
Note that exhibits count towards this page total.
Example: You are responding to your husband's motion for temporary orders. As part of your response, you want to include 20 pages of text messages and Facebook messages. Your written response, therefore, can only be 10 pages.
As with everything in family law, there are exceptions. Financial declarations do not count against your 30-page total.
Consult the Clallam County Superior Court Local Rules for a detailed breakdown of the exceptions. The rules dealing with family law motions are LCR 94 and 95.
How do I file a motion for child support?
The same procedure applies to child support. In Clallam County, however, child support hearings are only heard on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month at 11:00 am. Like other family law hearings, you can appear remotely via Zoom.
Will I get to testify at the hearing?
The court makes a ruling on motions after reviewing the declarations, affidavits, and exhibits that the parties have filed in the advance.
You may also get the opportunity to testify at the hearing, but in most cases, the court commissioner will rule based solely on the written materials. That is why it is crucial to make your written pleadings as clear, specific, and as detailed as possible.
My spouse has already filed for divorce in Clallam County. How do I get copies of what my spouse filed?
By law, your spouse must serve you copies of the summons, divorce petition, in addition to any subsequent court pleadings. However, if you think are missing something, you can make a formal request for documents using the clerk's OnBase Document Access system.