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Washington is a community property state, which means any property acquired throughout a marriage is divided equally in divorce. Our Bellevue divorce lawyers are here to explain asset division for a Washington divorce.
The court must first determine which assets are community property, their fair market value, and which are separate (belonging to only one spouse). For example, that can include:
Spouses are entitled to an equal share, but that does not mean the court will split each asset in half.
The court may also consider the following factors when dividing community property:
Unless the spouses come to their own agreement, the court will have the final say on how marital assets are divided and when property will remain separate.
Any property and debts belonging to one spouse before the marriage and after the date of separation are not considered marital property but separate property. Separate property typically includes:
However, separate property can become commingled with community property. For instance, if both spouses’ names are on the deed to an inherited house, or money from an inheritance was deposited into a joint checking account. As a result, it may be challenging to convince the court that your commingled separate property should not be subject to division.
In Washington, the court may order spousal support based on a spouse’s duty to support the other after divorce if dependency has been established. The amount and duration are decided after consideration of factors, such as:
Fault in the marriage will not be taken into account, and the court will not punish the higher-earning spouse. However, spousal maintenance may be a part of a property award so that each party’s economic position is equal.
Working with one of our Bellevue family law attorneys experienced in property division can help your case. Contact us today.