Let’s face it, not everyone is blind-sided by divorce. Though we might try to ignore the signs, most of us can anticipate the agonizing talk about divorce even before our spouse brings it up. For those of our Washington readers who can see their own impending divorce just around the corner, we have one important piece of advice that can save a lot of stress down the road: come to your divorce talks organized and prepared.
A recent appellate court decision may impart valuable advice to Washington residents wanting to prevent protracted dispute over complex asset division during divorce. The litigants were a couple who executed a prenuptial agreement to exempt all gifts, inheritances and personal business profits from equitable property division in the event of marital dissolution. During their marriage, the woman quit her career to stay home with the couple's four children, and the man built a telecom business that became successful within a year of their high asset divorce. When he later defaulted on court-ordered spousal and child support payments of more than $4,500, the ex-wife went back to court. Her ex-husband pleaded lack of income caused by no longer having an ownership interest in the company and subsistence solely on gifts from his former business partner and in-laws.