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In June 2014, Addicus Publishing released the book “Divorce in Washington”, which was authored exclusively by David Crouse.view all
To make sure you on the best possible financial footing after your divorce is finalized, you need to start planning your financial future before your divorce begins. This includes carefully documenting all of the marital assets, even ones that you don’t think you want. Washington is a “community property” state, which means that all property acquired by either spouse after the marriage is shared between both of them, and subject to division between the parties in the event of divorce. However, it can be difficult to get documentation of any assets that you don’t know already know about once the divorce process begins. And unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide income or assets from their spouse so they can avoid giving up their fair share, especially when the couple has a particularly complicated financial picture or when one party feels that the end of the marriage is the other party’s “fault.”
By making sure you know about and can document all the marital assets before the divorce proceeding starts, you will be in a better position to trade away assets you don’t want in exchange for ones you do. For example, you may have less than zero interest in taking your spouse’s prized collection of rare, antique bowling balls that have accumulated over the course of your relationship. But because you are just as entitled to half of the bowling balls as your spouse is, you can trade away your share for more desirable, practical assets.
You should also be realistic about what you will be able to afford when you are no longer married. It is common for one spouse, usually the wife, to give up a lot so that she can keep the marital home. But the reality is that women’s standard of living tends to decrease by twenty-seven percent immediately following divorce. Though it can be difficult to admit, it is possible that neither party can truly afford the house once they are no longer married.
For these reasons, the best investment you can make if you are seeking a divorce is in a frank analysis of what resources you need to support yourself after divorce based, and sound legal and financial advice to help you make it happen. With the right planning and advice, it is possible for both spouses to come out of a divorce with a share of the marital assets, and possibly some form of maintenance income, to be financially healthy as they move forward with their lives. Make sure you are protected and call the trusted divorce attorneys at Crouse Erickson today.