Divorce & Property Division in Washington State
Dividing property can result in one of the most heated debates during a divorce. If you are concerned about your divorce’s property division in Washington State, our dedicated team can outline the expectations for you, so you’re fully informed throughout the proceedings.
What Is Considered ‘Property’ in a Divorce?
The term ‘property’ refers to both parties’ assets and liabilities. Some examples of assets include real estate, vehicles, bank account balances, stocks and investments, and retirement funds. Liabilities may be debt, outstanding loans, back taxes, or other financial deficits. When marriages dissolve, the division of assets and liabilities is often where the conflict between parties begins.
What Is the Difference Between Separate and Community Property?
Any asset or liability that you obtained during the course of the marriage is considered community property. Separate property refers to gifts or inheritances that are bestowed solely to one party. In addition, any property that you purchased before the marriage counts as your own separate asset. Conversely, any student loan debt you might have taken on before marriage remains your separate responsibility.
Although the law defines separate and community property in this way, it’s important to remember that during divorce proceedings, separate property may become community property if the court decides that it’s appropriate.
How Do State Laws Address Property Division?
Each state governs property division in its own way. In Washington State, divorce laws regarding property division dictate that the final settlement or ruling must be “just and equitable.” This doesn’t mean that parties split everything 50/50—instead, a judge may consider each party’s personal circumstances to determine the fairest result. In some cases, this may mean one party receives more financial assets than the other.
How Can You Ensure Fair Treatment During Property Division?
Washington State divorce lawyers have intimate knowledge of the state’s property division laws as well as precedent in cases similar to yours. At Lacoste Law, our family law attorney can represent your interests and uncover any hidden assets that your partner may not be disclosing. Whether you decide to settle or go to court, our team will help you obtain the most “just and equitable” outcome.