Divorce laws are decided on a state by state basis. What is true in one state may not be in another. This includes family law issues, such as divorce. So, if you are new to Washington state and you want to file for a divorce, then you need to learn about residency requirements. This is how long you must live in a state before you can file for divorce. Some states are incredibly strict about residency requirements, but the Washington Courts explain that this state is not.
Many states require that you live in the state for a specific period before you can file for divorce. They may allow exceptions if your spouse lived in the state but you just moved there. However, many require one of you to have lived in the state prior to filing. In Washington, that is not the case.
You only need to live in the state on the day you file your petition with the court. While this is great for the actual filing of the case, there are complications that may result if you have not lived in the state for very long.
Residency is also a consideration when setting child support or alimony amounts. It also may affect property division. It can complicate custody issues as well. This is because the jurisdiction where the children live is ultimately in control. So, if you lived in another state prior to filing for divorce, that state may have jurisdiction over the children. To avoid this issue, just wait to file for divorce until you have lived in the state for six months with your children. This information is for education and is not legal advice.