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RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41003
Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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I filed on February 26, 2016. I served my spouse same day.

Customer Question

I filed for divorce on February 26, 2016. I served my spouse same day. He has not responded, except 3 days ago filed with the court a Joinder -- except he didn't fill out the Joinder, only sign and date it. I filed a Motion for Default the day before that.
Is this Joinder valid? If so, will he need to sign the final documents and attend the hearing? If it is not valid, how does it impact how I finalize the case? Can I proceed with default?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you.

In Washington if the Respondent may be agreeable with everything that the Petitioner is asking for, in the Petition of Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation, the Respondent has an option of “joining” in the Petition. Signing a “joinder” can happen two ways. The Respondent can actually sign a joinder in the Petition itself, or the Respondent can sign a separate document called a Joinder. In either case the Respondent acknowledges that s/he is in agreement with everything that the Petitioner is requesting in the Petition – this would include how the assets and debts are to be divided, whether there is a need for spousal maintenance (also know as alimony) (how much and for how long) and if there are minor children, what the parenting plan should be.

Here the joinder is likely going to be accepted.If he waived further notice you may proceed here, if he asked for notice he has right to be noticed of final hearing.

You would just need to have court set the matter for final hearing and notice him here.If he signs them then he would not have to attend, otherwise you notice him if you are going to have the court enter the decree and property division.


Your next step is to see if he will sign the documents, otherwise you would need to notice him of the final hearing on the divorce.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again and have a Happy Easter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ray,The Joinder asks the respondent to either a) waive notice of the decree or b) demand notice. My spouse did not check either box or list an address when he filed his Joinder.He has otherwise not responded or appeared in the case. Do I need to get him to sign anything?
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Then you will have to notice him of the final hearing to be safe,He is not disagreeing with anything, the court will hear it and grant you what you plead for here.But you have to notice him and you can take it in front of the judge.He doesn't have to sign the decree/property settlement, the court will approve it here.

Thanks again.I wish you the best here moving on.