Update from Family Law regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Activities
Please continue to check this website and the links below for updates about the family law response to COVID-19. Because this is an evolving situation, the guidance below may change.
Self-Represented: If you have questions about how to file a case or have a hearing, please visit Family Law Instructions.
The following court calendars are operating with modified procedures:
Family Law Motions
To schedule your family law motion, visit:
If you have issues with accessing the family law scheduler please try clearing your internet browser cache. If that does not solve the issue contact:
FamilyLawStaffMRJC@kingcounty.gov for motions noted in Kent, or
FamilyLawStaffSeattle@kingcounty.gov for motions noted in Seattle.
All hearings in family law commissioner courtrooms are occurring over Zoom. Click here for information on how to appear for your Zoom virtual hearing:
Important! Before noting a motion, visit Commissioner Calendars for more information.
Agreed Family Law Orders
Agreed family law orders which previously would have been presented in person to Ex Parte or Family Law should be submitted via e-filing through the Orders for Review process. For more information click here.
Important! Agreed final orders (orders that finalize the case) should be submitted as follows:
If there is an attorney agreed or default final orders should be submitted through the e-filing system here:
Cases with children should be submitted to the Order for Review queue.
Cases without children should be submitted through the Ex Parte Via the Clerk.
Effective May 30, 2022, agreed or default proposed final orders in family law cases, with a child support transfer payment of $0, can no longer be submitted through the Orders for Review Queue. If a party is represented, the child support order proposing a $0 transfer payment and all other required and/or proposed final orders, must be submitted with a Declaration in Lieu of Formal Proof and an Attorney's Certificate of Compliance in the following manner:
- Presentation must be set without oral argument in front of the assigned trial judge. (See LCR 7)
- For Trial by Affidavit cases, presentation must be scheduled on the TBA Motions Calendar. Oral argument will not be required.
- When there is no assigned trial judge, presentation must be noted without oral argument before the UFC Chief Judge.
Final orders improperly submitted to the Orders for Review Queue will be rejected. This change does not affect Self-Represented cases which will continue to be presented through the Family Law Facilitators Office.
If both parties are self-represented: Final orders should be submitted through the facilitator’s office. More information can be found here.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders
For information on how to start (file) a Domestic Violence Protection order please visit: Civil Protection Orders - King County
Please note: Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) return or full hearings will occur virtually via Zoom. Do not come to court for your hearing unless you have been directed to do so.
Please visit Commissioner Calendars for more information about the return hearings or for more information on virtual DVPO hearings, visit Virtual Family Law Hearings.
This calendar will be conducted by phone. At least two days before their hearing, parties should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with their case name and number, day of their hearing, and a telephone number where they can be reached between 8:30 and noon.
Trials /Motions before Judges/ Pre-Trial Conferences
Trials: All Unified Family Court (UFC) Judges are now hearing family law trials and holding pre-trial conferences remotely.
All proceedings will be conducted by video conference or telephone except in rare circumstances where the court determines that in-person presence is necessary and appropriate. See example Order from Pretrial Conference: remote Civil Bench Trial - Family Law.
Pro Tem Judges: If your case is assigned to a Pro Tem Judge, both parties must sign and file an agreement (stipulation) before the pro tem judge hears the case. If your case has been assigned to a Pro Tem Judge, please promptly sign and file the stipulation form below confirming that you agree to have the pro tem judge preside over your case.
Stipulation form Pro Tem Schaefer
Writs of Habeas Corpus: Writs of Habeas Corpus are currently being heard by the Chief UFC Judge.
All motions and status/pretrial conferences will be conducted telephonically or by video unless otherwise directed by the judge. Please contact the bailiff for your judge with questions. Contact information for the bailiffs can be found at Superior Court Judges.
Final Decree Calendar
All in-person hearings on the self-represented agreed finalization (final decree) calendar have been suspended. In lieu of in person final hearings the facilitators will work with you to help you present final orders. Visit Family Law Facilitators for more information.
Motions for Default: You can submit motions for default that do not require notice to the other party to the Ex Parte Department via Ex Parte via the Clerk. Submit your motion to Ex Parte only if the other party has not participated in the case in any way.
If the other party has appeared (participated) in the case but has not filed a response, you must provide notice. For motions for default that do require notice, there is a separate calendar on Fridays at 1:30 pm in front of the Chief UFC Judge. The Notice of Court Date for that calendar can be found on the Superior Court Forms webpage. Self-represented parties should talk with the facilitator about how to note these default hearings.
Court Review (formerly called Status Conference)
All Court Review hearings have been suspended. Do not appear for the hearing. You will receive information in the mail, or by email, about the status of your case. If your case is not in compliance, you may be scheduled for a calendar to determine whether your case should be dismissed (show cause calendar).
Please visit Court Review page for more information.
The following court programs are operating with modified procedures:
Parent Seminar/Family Law Orientation (FLO)
In person classes have been canceled. In lieu of in person classes, we will be sending class participants materials to review. If you need to attend the FLO or Parent Seminar you must still register for the class.
For more information please visit:
- FLO: https://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/superior-court/family/family-law-orientation.aspx
- Parent Seminar: https://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/superior-court/family/parent-seminar.aspx
Family Law Information Center/Family Law Facilitators
Facilitators are currently assisting people by phone only.
Please visit Family Law Facilitators for more information.
Family Court Services
If you have any questions about upcoming appointments or mediations please contact your assigned evaluator / conciliator. If you are unsure who your evaluator / conciliator is, please contact the family court services front desk at: FCS@KingCounty.Gov and see more information at our Family Court Services webpage.
If you have questions about your adoption please check the Adoption Services webpage or contact the adoption specialist at:
Early Resolution Case Manager (ERCM)
If you have questions about an upcoming mediation with an Early Resolution Case Manager (ERCM) please contact the ERCM assigned to your case. Please refer to the appointment form for contact information.
Family Court handles all family law matters where children are involved, including:
- Divorce or legal separation with children
- Child or spousal support
- Domestic violence
- Some dependency matters
Several programs are available to serve the public and assist the court in handling family law cases. These include:
- Parent Seminar
- Family Law Orientation (FLO)
- Family Law Information Center (Facilitators Office)
- Family Court Services
- Adoption Services
- Family Law Settlement Conferences
A variety of family law instruction packets are also available online.
Information on Status Conference and Non-Compliance Hearings is available on the Status Conferences webpage.
All family law actions are filed in Room E609 at the King County Courthouse and Room 2C at the Maleng Regional Justice Center.
Some actions require a filing fee which is paid to the Clerk at the time the action is filed. Payment can be made by cash, money order or personal check if it is drawn on a Washington State Bank. If you are unable to afford the filing fee, you may file a Fee Waiver Request.
Retain or consult with an attorney to determine what type of family law action you should file. If you are representing yourself and know what type of action you would like to file, visit the family law facilitators to get the forms you need, as well as information on court processes and procedures.
If you have scheduled a family law hearing, you must confirm it before your court date. The easiest way to do this is to visit our Confirm a Family Law Hearing webpage and follow the instructions posted there.
Family Court operates at two locations: the King County Courthouse in Seattle, and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Most Family Court programs and services are available at either facility; however, please note that calendar schedules and hours of operation sometimes differ.
To contact the Family Court visit the Contact Superior Court webpage.