Property division is one of the most common points of contention between divorcing spouses. Washington is a community property state, which means all assets and debts acquired during the marriage will generally be divided equally. To ensure your rights are protected, arrange a free consultation with a trusted Bellevue Property Division Lawyer today.
Why Choose A Bellevue Property Division Lawyer at Twyford Law?
We understand the complexity of property division and have over 40 years of experience assisting clients with these matters.
We prioritize achieving the best outcome in your case and have vast knowledge in dealing with high-value assets.
Our clients are guaranteed personal access to our attorneys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Community Property vs. Separate Property in Washington
Half of all assets and debts accrued during a marriage belong to each spouse in Washington. For example:
401(k) retirement accounts
Tangible assets (e.g., vehicles, furniture, electronics, and other personal items)
Shares in businesses and partnerships
Worker’s compensation and social security benefits
Debts (e.g., credit card, medical, loans)
On the other hand, separate property not subject to division in a divorce are assets or debts accrued prior to the marriage or through gift or inheritance. However, any increase in the value of separate property during the marriage becomes community property.
Separate property can become commingled or mixed with community property. If that were to occur, whether intentionally or not, it can become very challenging for a spouse to prove an asset is separate property. For example, if one spouse’s inheritance is deposited into a joint checking account both spouses use. If an asset has become mixed in with marital property to the point that it cannot be traced back to when the assets were separate, it will be considered community property. Determining whether part of an asset should remain separate rather than community may require the assistance of an attorney, forensic accountant, or a judge. A judge will examine and distribute commingled property on an asset-by-asset basis.
How Property is Divided in Washington
When dividing community property, the court may consider the following factors:
The amount of community and separate property.
The length of the marriage.
Each spouse’s financial situation.
The court will not allow division that leaves one spouse wealthy and the other very poor. The final ruling will attempt just distribution and the judge will not consider negative behaviors, such as an affair. Alternatively, spouses can reach their own agreement on property division and submit it to the court for approval. Typically, spouses are far better off agreeing to a settlement they each find fair rather than leaving it to a family law judge who has the final say.
Speak to a Bellevue Property Division Lawyer Today
Before attempting property division, arrange a free consultation with a Bellevue property division attorney at Twyford Law Office. We will ensure you do not miss out on assets to which you are entitled, can help you navigate divorce proceedings, and advocate for your rights. Call (509) 327-0777 or send us a message online to arrange your free consultation.