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In June 2014, Addicus Publishing released the book “Divorce in Washington”, which was authored exclusively by David Crouse.view all
No matter how your divorce is resolved, in a settlement, through a form alternative dispute resolution like mediation or arbitration, or at trial, you and your spouse will end up dividing all your shared property—from your house to your bank and investment accounts to your toaster, clothes, and other personal belongings.
Reaching a distribution of all that property between the two of you that you can both live with takes a lot of work, and it starts with an exhaustive inventory of what both of you own individually versus what you own separately. Washington is a “community property” state, which means that anything that either of you acquired during your marriage is shared. The only things that are not equally owned are pieces of “separate property.” These include things you already owned before your marriage and gifts or inheritances you received while you were married. Any profits, proceeds, or rents generated by these pieces of property during the marriage are also separate property.
If your divorce goes to trial, the parties will not necessarily keep all of their separate property, however. Both community and separate property are subject to division in a way the court decides are fair and equitable, based on evidence of the following factors:
A solid understanding of how a court is likely to divide your assets will help you and your spouse be realistic about the terms if you are attempting to negotiate amongst yourselves or with the help of a family law attorney. If you can come to an agreement without a court’s intervention that approximates what the court would have done anyway, you’ll both be better off.
Make sure your family and personal assets are secure and call Crouse Erickson today.