Washington State is one of the very few states employing the legal model of community property when it comes to divorce. This essentially means that most assets and debts acquired during a marriage are presumed to belong equally to both spouses. However, the court has discretion when it comes to the distribution of community property in a manner that it determines to be appropriate. If you are in the midst of a divorce or planning to file, it is critical to have an experienced Clark County division of assets lawyer on your side. Contact Cohen Family Law, LLC today for your free consultation.
In a community property state, the amount each spouse has earned is not taken into account when assets are divided. All assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are to be split equally between the parties during a divorce, under RCW 26.16.030. For example, that can include:
Although spouses are entitled to an equal share, it doesn’t mean each asset will be split in half. For example, the marital home will likely be awarded to the residential parent or the parent with whom the child will be living. The court may also consider the following factors:
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, making it challenging to convince the court it is not subject to division. 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.
The divorce process and ensuring your assets are protected can be overwhelming. Rest assured that our Washington division of assets lawyers will fight vigorously to help you achieve your goals. Reach our Vancouver office at (360) 953-5000 or send us a message online today.