Say you and spouse signed a joined (agreed) property and divorce petition, no notice required, in April, but it did not get filed until December, 8 months later. This time-frame exceeds the 90 day cut-off between summons and filing for civil cases... would the petition still be valid?

So the joined petition sign-date would be equivalent to service or summons as it's an agreement to the petition, but the filing is the commencement of the case.

[Wothers, 101 Wn. App. at 76] An insured did not properly commence the action under RCW §4.16.170 by filing the lawsuit without effecting proper service within 90 days.]

"If the plaintiff first served the defendant and does not file a complaint within 90 days, the lawsuit is deemed not to have commenced. "

A divorce or other family law matter petition can expire in TX, called a dismissal for want of prosecution or “DWOP.” Is this true for WA?

p.s. I did research the law and appellate cases as quoted above.

1 Answer 1


If that’s what both of the parties want

Technically the petition has expired but Australian courts are pragmatic over technicalities. If both parties still want to proceed, the court will probably allow it.

However, if one of the parties no longer wants to proceed, the court will uphold the invalidity.

  • The WA abbreviation, I'm fairly sure, is Washington State and not Western Australia.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 17, 2022 at 14:49

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