No Fault Divorce - Rather than making a determination as to who is at fault when a marriage is broken, the Washington State Legislature has determined that their priority is to protect the best interest of the child by reducing the stress of the divorce proceeding. In King County, some form of mediation of other alternative dispute resolution is a requirement before progressing to trial. Far and away, most couples resolve their separation through this process.
Drugs, Alcohol and Domestic Violence- Family law commissioners are particularly intolerant of drug and alcohol use. Commissioners routinely require that while children are with a parent who enjoys such indulgences, that parent must refrain from alcohol and recreational drug use completely. There is zero tolerance for domestic violence. Immediate temporary protection orders are available, with a hearing for both parties before a commissioner in 14 days. In situations where children are involved, and it is unclear whether or not there is a threat of violence, a risk assessment will be ordered. Training programs may be mandated for anyone with a history of abusive tendencies.