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8.8.09

SENATE BILL 5564
_______________________________________________

State of Washington 55th Legislature 1997 Regular Session

By Senators Stevens, Zarelli, Anderson, Swecker, Hochstatter and Schow

Read first time 01/31/97. Referred to Committee on Law & Justice.
AN ACT Relating to petition for divorce

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. For the purposes of RCW 26.09.030, a
marriage is irretrievably broken when reasonable grounds exist.
Reasonable grounds include the following:
(1) The commission of adultery by the other party;
(2) The other party was infected with a sexually transmitted
disease before or after the marriage, which disease was not contracted
from the spouse filing the petition, and was not known to the spouse
filing the petition for divorce at the time the marriage was solemnized;
(3) The spouse filing the petition for divorce or legal
separation has been abandoned by the other spouse for one or more years
preceding the filing of the petition;
(4) The other party is habitually addicted to alcohol or drugs;
(5) Imprisonment of the other party in a state, federal, or
foreign prison for two or more years, during which time the petition for
divorce or legal separation is filed;
(6) Treatment of the petitioning spouse, or a family member
residing in the home of the parties, by the other party, which
constitutes physical abuse, extreme mental cruelty, or sexual abuse;
(7) Determination that the other party suffers from a mental
disorder or is criminally insane and is committed under the commitment
laws set forth in RCW 71.05.030; or
(8) Incompatibility of husband and wife characterized by rift,
discord, or conflict, which has destroyed their relationship as husband
and wife and no reasonable possibility for reconciliation exists, and if
the conditions set forth in RCW 26.09.030 and section 3 of this act have been met.

Sec. 2. RCW 26.09.030 and 1996 c 23 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
When a party who (1) is a resident of this state, or (2) is a
member of the armed forces and is stationed in this state, or (3) is
married to a party who is a resident of this state or who is a member of
the armed forces and is stationed in this state, petitions for a
dissolution of marriage, and alleges that the marriage is irretrievably
broken, there are no dependent children, and the wife is not pregnant,
and when ninety days have elapsed since the petition was filed and from
the date when service of summons was made upon the respondent or the
first publication of summons was made, the court shall proceed as
follows:
(1) If the other party joins in the petition or does not deny
that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall enter a
decree of ((dissolution)) divorce.
(2) If the other party alleges that the petitioner was induced
to file the petition by fraud, or coercion, the court shall make a
finding as to that allegation and, if it so finds shall dismiss the
petition.
(3) If the other party denies that the marriage is irretrievably
broken the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the
circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition and the
prospects for reconciliation and shall:
(a) Make a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken and
enter a decree of ((dissolution of the marriage)) divorce; or
(b) At the request of either party or on its own motion,
transfer the cause to the family court, refer them to another counseling
service of their choice, and request a report back from the counseling
service within sixty days, or continue the matter for not more than
sixty days for hearing. If the cause is returned from the family court
or at the adjourned hearing, the court shall:
(i) Find that the parties have agreed to reconciliation and
dismiss the petition; or
(ii) Find that the parties have not been reconciled, and that
either party continues to allege that the marriage is irretrievably
broken. When such facts are found, the court shall enter a decree of
((dissolution of the marriage)) divorce.
(4) If the petitioner requests the court to decree legal
separation in lieu of ((dissolution)) divorce, the court shall enter the
decree in that form unless the other party objects and petitions for a
decree of ((dissolution)) divorce or declaration of invalidity.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. When a party who (1) is a resident of
this state, or (2) is a member of the armed forces and is stationed in
this state, or (3) is married to a party who is a resident of this state
or who is a member of the armed forces and is stationed in this state,
petitions for a dissolution of marriage, and alleges that the marriage
is irretrievably broken, and there are dependent children or the wife is
pregnant, and when one hundred eighty days have elapsed since the
petition was filed and from the date when service of summons was made
upon the respondent or the first publication of summons was made, the
court shall proceed as follows:
(a) If the other party alleges that the petitioner was induced
to file the petition by fraud or coercion, the court shall make a
finding as to that allegation and, if it so finds shall dismiss the
petition.
(b) Whether the other party denies or does not deny that the
marriage is irretrievably broken or joins or does not join in the
petition, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the
best interests of the minor children, the circumstances that gave rise
to the filing of the petition, and the prospects for reconciliation and
shall transfer the cause to the family court for mediation, or refer the
parties to another counseling service of their choice until the time the
parties have reconciled or one year of mediation or other counseling has
been completed, whichever occurs first, and request a report back from
the mediator or counseling service at such time. Upon review of the
report, the court shall:
(i) Find that reasonable grounds exist to find the marriage
irretrievably broken under section 1 (1) through (7) of this act and
enter a decree of divorce;
(ii) Find that the parties have agreed to reconciliation and
dismiss the petition; or
(iii) Find that the parties have not been reconciled, and that
either party continues to allege that the marriage is irretrievably
broken. When such facts are found, the court shall enter a decree of divorce.
(c) If the petitioner requests the court to decree legal
separation in lieu of divorce, the court shall enter the decree in that
form unless the other party objects and petitions for a decree of
divorce or declaration of invalidity.

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