Division of Martial Assets
Vancouver WA | Camas WA | Battle Ground WA
Washington law permits the division of property between two spouses, but if both parties cannot come to an agreement, property will be divided by the court. Washington is a state that follows equitable distribution. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather fair. The court will take into account the facts of each case and determine the most fair way to divide the marital property if the couple cannot reach an agreement on their own.
Determining How Marital Property is Divided
If the court needs to get involved in the division of marital assets,a number of things need to be taken into consideration.
- Whether property was obtained before or during the marriage
- Whether it is owned jointly or individually
- The contribution to the property in question
Other considerations that determine the division of marital property can include taxes, medical bills, and needs of children. Marital property is a broad category and an equitable division can require analyzing any number of factors.
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Marital Property and Separate Property
Marital property is considered all property that was acquired during the marriage. Separate property is any property that was acquired before the marriage, or property received from a third party during the marriage, such as a gift or inheritance. Most often, if property was acquired before the marriage, it is awarded to the original owner. Separate property however can be divided if doing so is equitable and just.
The Washington court system will assume that most property acquired during the marriage was contributed to equally. This means that this property will be split equally unless one member can convince the court that the other did not contribute equally. It’s important to consider that non-monetary contributions such as being a homemaker often count just as much as monetary contributions.
Legal Advice for Division of Marital Property
Whether the court is involved or not, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure both parties are receiving an equitable amount of property from the divorce. Going through a divorce can be incredibly emotional and overwhelming, lawyers are standing by to help make this transition easier.