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What does marital property, community property and separate property mean in a Washington State divorce?

If you’re getting a divorce, you likely feel stressed about what this will mean for you financially. What will happen to your assets? And what will happen to your debts? In Washington State, the judge presiding over your divorce has a lot of room to use his or her own discretion regarding these matters, so there is no way to know for sure what will happen. However, getting a better idea of how property division is approached can help you feel more prepared. In today’s blog post, we’re answering some commonly asked questions about property division in Washington State.

What is the difference between marital property and separate property?

Marital property, also known as community property, refers to anything you and your spouse have acquired together since marrying, including income, investments, and purchases. Separate property refers to assets acquired by one individual before the marriage and inheritances.

I’ve heard Washington is called a community property state. What does this mean? 

This means that, as a general rule, marital/community property is split up equally during a Washington divorce. Not all states recognize community property.

Will I get to keep my separate property?

As a general rule, yes, you will. However, you must disclose all your property to the courts, separate and marital alike.

Who will get to keep the house?

It will depend on several factors. Two of the biggest are: What are the financial circumstances each person will face? Which parent will any children spend the majority of their time with moving forward?

My spouse is to blame for our divorce because of infidelity or abuse. Will this impact property division?

No. Washington is a no-fault state. This means that the role each person played in the dissolution of the relationship is not considered a factor in matters like property division. 

Who can help me during the property division portion of my divorce?

You need an attorney by your side at every step along the way in the divorce process. Akiona Law is here to help. We will represent you in matters related to property division and beyond. If you have questions about our services; or, if you’re ready to work with an experienced legal team, we encourage you to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!