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You may or may not have young children. Your incomes and finances may or may not eliminate the need for spousal maintenance. In Washington, however, if you are getting a divorce you still need to divide your property. Fairly.

What's fair? 50/50? Maybe. But oftentimes the answer is not so simple.

Washington is one of only nine states that is a 'community property' state.  'Community property' in a divorce refers to the property either spouse acquired during the marriage. Property a spouse brought into the marriage with them is exempt from the 'marital pile,' but still must be 'fairly' allocated in a divorce.

A woman and her teenage son bond playing a computer game after she attended a property division hearing, being represented by Wysocki Law.
A father shares a playful moment with his toddler daughter as she pulls his ears at their home in Seattle, WA.

Assets could be:

Bank account(s)





Unsurprisingly, this can get complicated, especially where there isn’t agreement on who gets what.

There are many 'except fors' to be wary of while compiling a final inventory of assets. Yes, the bank account you had long before you were married and kept for years after may be your separate property. Unless, at any point during the marriage it was commingled with your soon to be ex’s bank account. What constitutes commingling? If we answered that here the web page would be the War and Peace of family law websites.

The same goes for an inheritance you received before the marriage but used to help fund your spouse’s business. Maybe.

Debts are also treated the same way, of course. Once the assets 'of the marriage' are compiled it’s time to distribute them 'fairly.' The court will consider several factors - past, present, and future - in determining what is 'fair.'

Factors may include:

Length of marriage

Educational and health needs

Prenuptial agreement

Potential earnings post-marriage

Income of the spouses

Special needs

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Get the answers you're seeking

If you're not sure what's fair, contact us. If you think you know what's fair, contact us. We can help you rest assured that the assets in your divorce are fairly divided between you and your spouse.

A man and his teenage daughter read books as they sit quietly after a property division hearing in Seattle, WA


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