Division of Property in Washington Divorce
One of the primary objectives of divorce is dividing property. Property includes not only assets, but also liabilities. When a couple chooses to divorce in Washington, the court is tasked with dividing all property equitably.
The experienced divorce lawyers at McKinley Irvin are here to help guide you through this process to secure a fair division of property.
How Does the Court Divide Property?
Washington is a community property state. Some community property states require that community property be divided equally upon divorce. In Washington divorce cases, the court is required to divide all property equitably, whether the property is characterized as community or separate.
Under Washington law, assets and debts accrued during the marriage are typically considered as belonging to the marital community, while assets and debts acquired pre-marriage or post- separation are considered separate property and usually remain with the respective spouse. However, a court may sometimes choose to award one spouse's separate property to the other spouse in order to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of property.
We understand that dividing assets and debts can be a difficult issue in divorce. Frequently, our approach is to negotiate a property settlement and reach a fair agreement outside of court. However, in the event an agreement cannot be reached, we are always prepared to litigate to protect our client's best interests.
We are also experienced in cases with complex property divisions, which often include valuable assets, high-net worth community estates, business interests, or international investments.
What Factors can Determine How my Property is Divided?
There are a variety of factors that can influence how your property is divided in divorce. Some of those factors include:
- How long you were married.
- The ages of both spouses.
- Current income and income potential.
- Education level.
- The existence of non-marital resources (ex: a trust).
- Financial needs.
- Medical conditions that create a financial need.
- Prenuptial agreement.
- Whether the couple lived together before marriage.