When a Washington marriage ends, there are numerous legal issues that must be resolved. Regardless of which spouse files for divorce, both must focus on negotiating appropriate terms for a settlement. If they are parents, child custody, support and parenting time issues will be a high priority. Property division, as well, can spark complications, such as determining what is marital (community) property and what is separate.
A particular issue that can be complex has to do with wedding rings. Are they community property or separately owned? There is no one answer to this question because state laws vary, and the court in one state may rule differently than a court in another.
This state operates under community property rules, which means marital assets and liabilities are typically split 50/50 between spouses in divorce. It sounds simple but various issues can complicate matters, especially regarding wedding rings. For instance, what if a bride was given a ring that is an heirloom in the groom’s family? In some cases, this could be considered an inheritance, therefore falling under the separately-owned property category.
If a Washington couple chose simple, inexpensive bands, they might not be all that concerned about what happens to their rings during property division proceedings. However, many spouses purchase rings that are valuable, perhaps worth tens of thousands of dollars or more. A spouse who wishes to protect his or her rights in divorce regarding property division or other issues is wise to seek support from an experienced family law attorney.