Vern McCray Law Firm P.L.L.C.
413 NE Everett St, Camas, WA 98607

Comprehensive Guide to Asset Division in Divorce

As you start to explore your options for ending your marriage, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and slightly intimidated by the process ahead of you. In addition to coping with the emotions accompanying the ending of your relationship, you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse must make several significant decisions that shape the paths of your lives after the divorce becomes final. One of the most time-consuming and challenging aspects of a divorce is determining the division of your assets to ensure that you and your ex have the resources you need to begin the next phase of your lives. It’s important to recognize that even spouses who have agreed to an amicable separation can find it difficult to work their way through property division negotiations, as disagreements may arise at any time during these conversations.

One of the best actions you can take to move through the divorce process as smoothly as possible is to enlist the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced Camas divorce attorney. Your divorce lawyer will remain by your side at every step of the divorce process, answering your questions and addressing your concerns as they arise. Let’s take a look at how asset division is typically handled in Washington divorces and why working with a skilled and caring divorce attorney is the best way to ensure the most fair and favorable outcome.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

First, it’s essential to understand the difference between community property and separate property in Washington. Washington is one of only nine community property states. For the most part, any property or assets that you have acquired during the course of the marriage are considered community property. For example, if you purchased a home or new vehicle together, these assets would belong to both spouses—even if only one person’s name appears on the title. Additionally, the income each spouse earned while they were married is considered community property.

In contrast, separate property refers to assets that you owned before you entered into the marriage. For instance, an inheritance you received from a grandparent before you married your spouse may be considered separate property. However, separate property may become more challenging to identify if the couple resided together before marriage. If you have questions about your specific situation, reach out to a dedicated and experienced local divorce lawyer to learn more.

Just and Equitable Division of Assets

When the Washington court approaches a divorce case, it will seek a division of assets that is considered “just and equitable.” However, equitable division does not always mean an even 50-50 split. Instead, the court will weigh several factors to arrive at a division that enables both parties to move forward with the continuity and stability they need to make the transition. For example, the court will consider the ages of the spouses, the duration of the marriage, the earning capacity of the spouses, and any health conditions or other needs when determining an equitable division of assets. If one spouse needs time to attend classes or obtain certification to find a steady source of income, the court may consider implementing a spousal maintenance order to support this party during this period of transition. Whatever the unique circumstances of your divorce or legal separation may be, it’s highly beneficial to work with a dedicated and experienced Camas divorce attorney who will protect your best interests at every opportunity.

If you are exploring your divorce option in the Camas or Vancouver area, reach out to The Vern McCray Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss your needs and goals with a dedicated divorce attorney. Call (360) 834-6262 today to get started.

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