How do I file for divorce in Grant County?
In Grant County, you must physically file your initial divorce pleadings at the Grant County Clerk's office.
Although you can file documents electronically once you have started the case, you must start the process in the traditional way. This typically means mailing the documents or hiring process server to hand-deliver the documents to the clerk's office.
If you file by mail, you must mail a copy of the summons, the divorce petition, the case information cover sheet, and any motions for temporary orders to the following address;
Grant County Clerk
P.O. Box 37
Ephrata, WA 98823.
The physical address to the clerk's office is 35 C Street, Room 218, Ephrata, WA 98823.
How much does it cost to file for divorce?
As with most counties in Washington, the filing fee in Grant County is $314. This does not include the costs of serving your spouse, and attorney's fees.
Does Grant County offer e-filing services?
Except for the initial divorce pleadings, you can electronically file pleadings. This includes motions for temporary orders, child support, parenting plan modifications, and most other family law documents.
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 first register with the clerk's office.
Can I appear for court remotely?
You can appear via Web Ex for all family law hearings in Grant County. Like Zoom, WebEx is a free, cloud-based software platform used for video communications).
My personal opinion: I find WebEx less functional and user-friendly than Zoom, but it gets the job done, and it is far superior than appearing in-person, especially for shorter hearings.
This page provides the courtroom-specific information for accessing court hearings via WebEx. It also provides instructions for courtroom decorum,
Unlike some jurisdictions, such as Snohomish County, you do not need advance approval to attend your hearing remotely.
Can I appear remotely for trial?
No, unless you receive special permission.
Under Grant County's local rules, you and your attorney must appear in-person for evidentiary hearings and trials. Your witnesses must also appear in-person.
To request virtual appearance, you must file a motion at least 14 days before the scheduled hearing setting forth the basis for your request. Like any other family law motion, you must notify the opposing party of your request.
When are family law hearings held in Grant County?
Unlike some counties, in Grant County the date and time of your hearing depends on whether you have an attorney and what type of family law case you have.
For example, if you are involved in a paternity action, your hearing will be at Thursday at 9:00 am. (This means you are trying to establish your legal rights as a father, or a mother attempting to challenge an alleged father's right to be involved in her child's life).
Most other family hearings are heard on Friday. If you have an attorney, your hearing will typically start at 9:00 am. If you are unrepresented, your hearing will start in the afternoon, at 1:30 pm.
How do I schedule a court hearing?
You must file your pleadings (i.e. court documents) no later than nine (9) days before your scheduled hearing.
After you file your documents, the opposing party gets the opportunity respond. The response is due no later than four (4) 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 two (2) court days before the hearing.
Important: “Court days” do not include weekends or holidays. Two (2) court days, for instance, may mean a lot more than two regular day.
Example: Your temporary orders hearing is set for January 2, 2024. Your reply documents are due on December 28, 2023. Because December 30 is a Saturday, December 31 is a Sunday, and New Year's Day is a holiday, December 29 is considered the first court day and January 2 is considered the second court day.
Is there a limit to 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, Grant 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 26 pages, for example, your reply brief can be a maximum of four (4) pages.
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. In Grant County, hearings are limited to 10 minutes each. Assuming your attorney is doing a good job presenting your case, there will be very little if any time left you for to talk.
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 Grant 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 access your case documents through the clerk’s office.