Community Property: Dividing Assets in A Divorce

Dividing Assets In A Divorce

Community Property: Dividing Assets in A Divorce

Washington State is a Community Property state so this means that generally speaking all property will be divided equally but with some exceptions. Determining how to divide your property can become a complicated matter. Therefore, it is important to know what property can be divided and how the court may divide the property. It may be best to seek the advice of a Divorce Attorney to help guide you through the process. An attorney will be able to help you determine the best division of assets and to weigh your future goals in consideration of what the court can and cannot do.

The laws regarding property in Washington State generally say that property that is acquired during the marriage must be distributed equitably and fairly between parties. Property that is owned by one person before the marriage is considered separate from the property that each party equally owns, such as a gift or inheritance received during the marriage, and/or items that were purchased with separate property money. There are some exceptions, and much of how the court views property owned by one person before the marriage is highly dependent upon the length of the marriage, and whether that property was combined with any other property derived from the marriage. An equitable distribution allows for a range of options to fit each families specific financial circumstance. An equitable decision may or may not be an equal division. 

Debts within a marriage are not always divided equally. The court will determine which spouse’s income and ability to pay off the debt in figuring out how to distribute the debt. If a spouse damaged property or lost property, then the other spouse may be awarded more property. Actions like adultery  however, are not considered in property distribution.

Dividing property in a divorce can become complicated very quickly and the knowledgeable Attorneys at LaCoste Law, PLLC almost always recommend having an attorney look over your assets to determine what your options are for dividing property between you and your spouse or partner in the divorce process. 

Need more information? Set up your free consultation by calling (509)382-800 or by contacting us here.


The information contained in this guide is made available by LaCoste Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be considered legal advice. The transmission and receipt of this information doesn’t form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Persons receiving the information contained in this guide should not make decisions or take action without first seeking professional legal counsel. 


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