Pro Se Dissolution with Children Checklist by legalstuff1

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									                                        Pro Se Dissolution with Children Checklist

STEP ONE:
[]     Filing fee = $250 cash – no personal checks or money orders accepted
[]     Initial forms to file with the Cowlitz County Clerk:
                 SUMMONS (if you need to serve the respondent) OR JOINDER (if respondent agrees to the petition)
                 PETITION – either type or print legibly in black or blue ink
                 PROPOSED PARENTING PLAN
                 If, during the pendency of your action, you are considering requesting an Order having to do with any financial
                  issues – it is recommended that both parties fill out and file a Financial Declaration

[]         Forms the clerk will give you when you file your case:
                  VITAL STATISTICS – (Social Security numbers are needed) fill out at time of initial filing at Clerk’s Office
                  PARENTING CLASS BROCHURE AND SCHEDULE – According to local court rule 94.06, all parents need to attend a
                   4-hour parenting class before finalizing of the family law matters in court.
                  CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION FORM – fill out at time of initial filing at Clerk’s Office

     IMPORTANT NOTICE:
     If either you, your spouse, or a third party receives public assistance for your children in the form of medical assistance and/or Aid to Families
     with Dependent Children (AFDC), now also known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), notice and copies of all pleadings must
     be served on the Prosecuting Attorney’s office for your county, preferably at the time of the initial filing. This is necessary because the State
     of Washington has a right to know about court proceedings when a Decree of Dissolution is entered with a child support order for children
     receiving public assistance. Service of any docket notices for motions for temporary orders that might affect child support obligations for the
     child or children should also be made at least five full working days prior to the scheduled hearing.

     You must serve a copy of the following documents by either personal service or by mailing a copy by certified mail, return receipt requested,
     on the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Support Enforcement Division, 871 11th Avenue, Suite 2, Longview, Washington, 98632.
     Service must be made at least 20 days before your final dissolution hearing.
     Documents to be served:
     Summons or Joinder      Petition of Dissolution of Marriage Any Decree           Docket Notice       Financial Information
     Parenting Plan           Child Support Worksheets            Order of Child Support


STEP TWO:
[]     You are ready to finalize your dissolution if 90 days has passed from the date of service of the Summons and Petition or
       from the day the signed Joinder was filed.
** EVEN IF THE RESPONDENT HAS SIGNED A JOINDER WHEN FILING THE DOCKET NOTICE IT MUST BE PROPERLY
SERVED BY THIRD PARTY AND PROOF OF SERVICE FILED PRIOR TO THE FINAL HEARING DATE.

[]         Final papers could include some or all of the following: MOTION FOR DEFAULT & ORDER OF DEFAULT (to be filed if the
           respondent fails to file a response or sign the joinder), AFFIDAVIT OF NON-MILITARY SERVICE (needed in defaults),
           RETURN OF SERVICE (if no joinder), FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, DECREE OF DISSOLUTION, FINAL
           PARENTING PLAN, RESIDENTIAL TIME SUMMARY REPORT, ORDER OF CHILD SUPPORT, CHILD SUPPORT ORDER
           SUMMARY REPORT, SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEETS, PROOF OF ATTENDANCE AT PARENTING CLASSES.

Local Court Rule 92(A) requires that before you set your final court hearing, you must have your paperwork reviewed by the
Courthouse Facilitator or an attorney.    You will need to set up an appointment with our Courthouse Facilitator, Denise, at the
Clerk’s Office if you do not choose to have an attorney review paperwork. The cost is $20 cash and must be paid at the time the
appointment is set. You will need to bring your final paperwork to the appointment filled out along with any questions you may
have about getting your case finalized. The courthouse facilitator will advise you when you are ready to set it for final hearing.
[]       Appointment set with Courthouse Facilitator for _________________________________.

Contested Matters: Once you have received a response from the respondent that they are NOT agreeing with your requests,
then you will need to have the Judge decide your contested issues. Before you get a trial date, you will need to have a mandatory
settlement conference with the Judge to see if an agreement can be reached without a trial. Settlement conferences can be set by
written notification to the Court Facilitator, forms are available at the front counter in the Clerks Office. If after the settlement
conference it is determined that you need a trial, you will need to obtain a Docket Notice from the clerk to set it for trial
assignment.
When filing Affidavits/Declarations: Pursuant to Local Court Rule 88, Sec.2 A&C – must be typed, double-spaced on
pleading paper, limited to four (4) pages; each party limited to four (4) affidavits in support of or in response to a
motion and two (2) affidavits of two (2) pages maximum in reply.

REMINDER: These are only guidelines, you are representing yourself and doing so you take the responsibility upon
yourself. We have a courthouse facilitator that you can meet with to go over the process and paperwork to get
your matter completed before the court. Provided by the Cowlitz County Clerk, 312 SW 1 st Avenue, Kelso, WA,
98626, phone (360) 577-3016.
J:Pro Se Dissolution with Children Checklist 8/07

								
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