Washington is a community property state. What does this mean exactly? In general, this means that each spouse receives fifty percent of all property (debts and liabilities) acquired during the marriage. However, you may not receive exactly fifty percent of property in a divorce, depending on the circumstances. And, you may be able to keep some property that is deemed “non marital.” If at all possible, it’s best to divide the property through divorce negotiations, else you may not get what you want if a court has to divide the property.
Non-marital property usually consists of property you owned prior to the marriage or a gift or inheritance you received during the marriage. For example, if your grandmother wills you her estate, that is your separate property, even though you are married. If the property gifted to you comes with a liability, you also keep that liability to yourself. In some circumstances, the court may order separate property to be divided between you and your spouse.
Regardless of the amount or worth of the property you and your spouse acquired during the marriage, division starts out at fifty percent. In some rare cases, the court may order an unequal division of property. For example, if one spouse has an affair and spends a great amount of marital funds on the affair, the court may order a more than fifty percent split to the aggrieved spouse.
“No Fault” Rules
Washington State is a “no fault” state. That means that you do not have to allege a wrong to get a divorce. However, this also affects distribution of property. Using the example above, if your spouse had an affair, but did not waste an inordinate amount of marital assets on the affair, you most likely will not get a “special award” for more of the assets, regardless of their worth.
Contact Clement Law Center
With high asset divorces, property distribution is often more complex. That is why it is so imperative to reach out to a seasoned divorce attorney in Washington.
Contact our office to schedule a consult with our high-asset divorce attorney. Whether you are planning on settling amicably or if you need litigation counsel, we can help.