How do I file for divorce in Snohomish County?
In Snohomish County, you can e-file your documents through the clerk's office.
You may also file documents in the traditional way, such as mailing the documents to the clerk's office or hiring a process server to hand-deliver documents to the clerk's office.
The court clerk's address is Snohomish County Courthouse, 3000 Rockefeller Avenue, M/S 502, Everett, WA 98201.
Upon receiving your summons and divorce petition, the court will enter automatic temporary orders. As part of these orders, you and your spouse cannot transfer or dispose of any of your marital property and bank accounts.
Upon receiving a copy of the automatic temporary order, you must serve your spouse. The court will not do this for you.
As the filing party, you have additional requirements. Within 6 months of filing your divorce petition, you must provide proof to the Court that you have served your spouse, or else your petition will be dismissed.
How much does it cost to file for divorce?
As with most counties in Washington, the filing fee in Snohomish County is $314. This does not include the costs of serving your spouse, and attorney's fees.
Can you electronically file documents in Snohomish County?
You can e-file documents in all family law cases in Snohomish County. This includes divorce, modification, child relocation, and appellate proceedings.
Before you can e-file documents, you must first register with the Snohomish County clerk's office.
Can I appear for court remotely?
Unlike King and other counties, however, the remote policy is more strict. You can generally appear most temporary motions hearings remotely, but for some hearings (contempt hearings, for example) you must appear in-person unless you have received permission to appear remotely.
When will my trial take place?
Unlike King County, for example, Snohomish County will not assign you a trial date when you file your divorce petition. You can request a trial date once you have satisfied the court's alternative dispute resolution requirement (see below).
When are family law hearings held in Snohomish County?
You can schedule a family law hearing every day of the week. Hearings on Thursday start at 9:00 am. Every other day of the week, your hearing will start at 1:00 pm.
Which judge will preside over my hearing?
Unless and until your case goes to trial, a court commissioner will preside over your court hearings, including any temporary order hearings.
A court commissioner is a full-time judicial officer who supports the judges in managing their family law caseload. Although they are not technically judges, they exercise the full power and authority as a judge.
If you are unhappy with the commissioner's decision, you have the right to file a motion for revision. This is a special type of appeal in which you ask one of the full-time judges to review the commissioner's hearing. The judge may modify or change the hearing based on further argument.
Under RCW 2.24.050, you have up to 10 days to file a motion for revision.
How do I schedule a court hearing in Snohomish County?
You can file and schedule your motion online through the clerk's office. You have to file your motion and all supporting documents with the clerk's office no later than 12 calendar days before the hearing.
If your spouse has filed the motion, your response is due no later than 12:00 pm, five (5) court days before the hearing. The moving party must file an optional reply brief no later than three (3) days before the hearing.
(You can these deadlines, as well as all other rules governing family law hearings in Snohomish County, in the superior court's local rules).
Important: “Court days” do not include weekends or holidays. Two (2) judicial 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?
For any motion, you cannot file more than 25 pages of declarations. Your reply declarations and affidavits cannot be more than 5 pages.
If you are the responding spouse, you cannot file more than 20 pages.
Will I be able to testify at the hearing?
Given the volume of cases, the court does not have time to hear testimony from the parties. Each party (or attorney, if you are represented) will get about 5-10 minutes to summarize your arguments before the court rules.
Normally, the court rules on the basis of the written declarations, affidavits, and exhibits that the parties have filed in advance.
My spouse has already filed for divorce in Snohomish 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 Washington State Digital Archives.
Do my spouse and I have to engage in mediation before trial?
In Snohomish County, you have to engage in mediation or some type of alternative dispute resolution. Under the court's local rules, you will have to engage in some type of mediation within 9 months of filing for divorce, assuming you have not already settled the case.
You may mediate the case before a sitting judge. Mediating with a sitting judge has benefits and drawbacks. Because judges preside over family law trials, they understand how their colleagues will decide issues like child support and child custody. On the other hand, because judges are busy, you won't get nearly as much time to work with a judge, whereas you can pay a private mediator up to a full day or longer to try to hammer out the disputed issues in your case.
Note: The judge who mediates your case cannot serve as the trial judge.
Will I have a jury trial?
In Snohomish County, as in all divorce cases, you do not have a right to a jury trial. A judge will preside over your case. In rare cases, a court commissioner will hear your case.