What Documents are Needed for Your King County Divorce?

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What Documents are Needed for Your King County Divorce?
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 5/1/2023


Much of the struggle in Washington divorce cases is information gathering. To resolve a divorce, you must first have the appropriate documentation to establish both parties’ financial position. In King County specifically, both parties are required to follow the mandate of Local Family Law Rule (LFLR) 10. Essentially, this rule requires the parties to exchange certain financial documents early in the divorce process.

What is Local Family Law Rule 10?

LFLR 10 was implemented in King County to ensure that parties have the information they need to make informed decisions during the divorce process. It also ensures that – in the event of a Court hearing – the parties provide the same information to the judge to help better analyze the financial implications of the requests being made. Failure to follow the rule and provide mandatory information may lead to unfavorable Court rulings and failed settlement opportunities.

What does LFLR 10 require?

The most common requirement of Local Family Law Rule 10 provides that the parties must each submit financial information before relevant court hearings and settlement conferences. The Courts often look for the following evidence:

  • Income tax returns for the past two years
  • Pay stubs or other evidence of income for the past six months
  • Bank statements for the past six months for all accounts
  • Retirement account statements for at least the last six months.
  • Credit card statements for the past six months
  • Loan applications and financial statements prepared within the past year
  • Deeds and mortgage documents for all real estate owned, and
  • Any other financial document that is relevant to the case.

Concurrently with the financial documentation, the rule also mandates the parties to submit an executed Financial Declaration. This court form outlines the parties’ incomes, expenses, debts, and available cash and is useful to allow the parties and Court to better understand what each party can and cannot afford.

Why is it important to gather these documents?

The only way to settle your case or for the Court to make a ruling is to first have the relevant information. King County has deemed these documents the minimum that you and your attorney, judge, and mediator need to determine your financial situation, including your income, expenses, and assets. This information is crucial when it comes to determining issues such as spousal support, child support, and property division.

Second, failure to comply with Local Family Law Rule 10 can result in consequences such as being sanctioned by the court, which can be expensive and time-consuming. In addition, failure to comply with this rule can harm your credibility with the court or mediator, which can negatively impact the outcome of your case.

Third, gathering these documents early in the process can save you time and money in the long run. Having all the necessary documents ready to go will make it easier to prepare for court or mediation and can help to streamline the process.

Can a divorce lawyer help me fulfill this rule?

If you are going through a divorce in King County, it is important to familiarize yourself with Local Family Law Rule 10 and to gather the necessary financial documents as soon as possible. Even outside King County, financial documentation rules exist for the same purposes. Getting these statements early on will help you to make informed decisions, avoid potential consequences, and save time and money in the long run. If you have any questions about expediting your Washington divorce, contact the experienced team at the law offices of Magnuson Lowell PS for a free case evaluation.

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