The Division Of Assets And Debt
The division of assets and debts in a Washington divorce is based on fairness and equity. Washington is a community property state, meaning assets and debts acquired or incurred during the marriage are presumed to be community property and divided equally between both spouses. However, this can be challenged by presenting evidence and argumentation based on various factors, including the financial circumstances of each spouse, their contributions to the acquisition of assets or debts, the duration of the marriage, any financial misconduct, and other relevant matters. Ultimately, the court will carefully assess these factors and decide on the division of property and debts that is fair and equitable under the specific circumstances of the case.
Distinguishing Between Marital And Non-Marital Property
Washington recognizes three types of property: community property, separate property, and quasi-community property. Community property refers to assets acquired during the marriage and is divided equally between spouses as a result. For example, if a couple purchases a home together during their marriage, it would be considered community property and subject to a 50/50 division.
Separate property consists of assets acquired by a spouse before the marriage or through inheritance or gift during the marriage. These assets are generally not subject to division and remain the sole property of the individual spouse who owns them.
Quasi-community property is a category that arises when separate property is treated as community property due to the commingling of funds. For instance, if a spouse uses communal funds, such as a portion of their income earned during the marriage, to pay for separate property like a house they acquired prior, the other spouse gains an interest in the property by virtue of community funds being used to make payments on it. In such cases, the spouse that does not own the separate property house can argue they have a claim to it due to the use of community funds.
Determining Residence During A Divorce
Assuming a couple’s home is community property, both spouses would be legally entitled to continue living in it. However, if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent and unable to move out, the court may prioritize keeping them in the home to maintain stability for any children there are. In such cases, the court may even order the other spouse to contribute towards the mortgage payments if they no longer reside in the home. The court will also consider the financial abilities of both spouses, including whether the spouse who has to move out can afford their own rent and continue to meet their financial obligations. Ultimately, the decision regarding who gets to stay in the family home will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case.
For more information on the Division Of Assets In A Washington Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 276-7390 today