by Samuel K. Darling, Divorce at Family Law Lawyer at Genesis Law Firm. The gold standard for valuing a house is a fair market appraisal from a licensed appraiser. More importantly, selling real estate comes with transactional costs of about 8% of the sale price, excluding federal income tax. Courts usually award each spouse his or her separate property and divide community property 50/50. 1. Toll Free: (866) 631-0028 These cases also predate the current, codified version of Washington’s evidence rules and may be of little value now. There are also a few unique solutions as to who lives in and owns the home. This means all income and property, real or personal, that was acquired by either party during a marriage is equally owned by each partner. Once a divorce is underway, the question of which spouse is going to leave the house is usually one of the first issues to come up. Molly uses her knowledge of the law and the rules to keep on a straight and narrow path.”, “Through her knowledge, patience, and understanding, the matter was totally settled. Washington State is a no-fault state. Federal income tax applies to the extent the parties do not use the proceeds to purchase a new primary residence. 2. If you wonder who will get what when you and your spouse break up, the answer will depend on many factors, including where you live, how long you were married, and what each of you brought to the marriage in terms of property. Enforceable Agreement. If one spouse runs a business inextricably linked to the house, he or is more likely to receive both the house and the business. If only one party is currently in the former family home, he or she is more likely to receive it. Tension in the household has probably been building for some time, and once one spouse actually files for divorce, the emotional strain tends to skyrocket. A marriage is irretrievably broken when it can no longer be saved, or when both parties in the marriage agree that the marriage is over. Who gets the dog? During a Washington divorce, spouses can agree about how to divide their property and the judge can adopt that agreement in the divorce decree. It belongs to both spouses, even if only one is on the title. Many trial judges are unaware of this law. Monica has years of experience working with families in transition. Typically, inheritances are not subject to division except under certain circumstances. Tax assessments and lackluster analyses are inadmissible to prove fair market values for real estate, and comparative market analyses come into evidence only under certain conditions. High standards apply to valuations of real estate in court. Molly is rated AV - the highest possible rating- by her peers through the Martindale and Hubble rating process and has been recognized as a Superb Family Law attorney and Client's Choice 2012 by Avvo.com. To the state of Washington, marriage is nothing more than a contract, so divorce is nothing more than the dissolution of that contract. Washington is a community property state. Local: (425) 212-1789 So – who gets the property during a divorce? In Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, all property of a married person is classified as either community property (owned equally by both spouses) or the separate property of one spouse. Can determine what's best for you and your family. 4. Who Can Afford. Washington state law defines domestic violence as almost any criminal act committed by a "family or household member" against another. Tips on Keeping Your Divorce Attorneyâs Fees Low, Representing Yourself with Limited Help from an Attorney, Community Property in Washington State Divorces. Partly Separate, Partly Community. The Difference between Legal Separation & Divorce. For example, some states issue temporary orders, but other states' laws provide for "divorce from bed and board," which has the effect, among other things, of separating the spouses legally while their actual divorce action is pending. There are some exceptions regarding separate property. An example would be a spouse who runs an adult-care facility from the family homeâs spare bedrooms. It is often the place where the couple built their life, where their kids live, and where they pictured spending their lives together. by Samuel K. Darling, Divorce at Family Law Lawyer at Genesis Law Firm. Washington is a community property state. Domestic violence includes five primary categories of abusive behaviors: physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual assault, economic control and neglect. Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce 1st? For many divorcing couples in Washington State, their marital home is their biggest asset – and also a very emotional and symbolic piece of property. Adultery Doesnât Matter. Who gets the house depends on where you live and if the house is joint property. This is especially true when the mortgage is in both partiesâ names, as a default would hurt both peopleâs credit scores. Whether you live in an equitable division state or a community property state, your inheritance is considered your separate property. Family Law Mediation in Washington State: The Basics, Divorce in Washington State: An Overview & How-To Guide. However, the outcome is less certain than if the house were completely separate property. Consequently, if the house is entirely one spouseâs separate property, he or she almost always receives it unless the parties agree otherwise. Divorce is a complicated and emotional time. The remaining states refer to marital property as community property. • If there is sentimental value attached to the house, such as if you were a stay-at-home parent in the home of if the home has been in your family for years. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the laws of the state in which the divorce is filed. One Partyâs Separate Property. Local: (425) 458-2414, Divorce at Family Law Lawyer at Genesis Law Firm, characterization of separate and community property, reluctant to force the sale of real estate, temporary orders from prejudicing a party, Property Division in WA Divorces: The Basics, Divorce in Washington State: An Overview & Guide, Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) in Washington State. We lived together unmarried for approx. Admin@genesislawfirm.com If the court does not order sale of a significant asset, it should place a value upon it at a contested trial. Who gets what in a divorce? For readers wanting to know more about characterization of separate and community property, please read our firmâs article on the subject. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily: 1. The marital home is one asset; the furnishings are separate assets. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2011, the divorce rate in the state of Washington in 2011 was 4.1 out of every 1,000 residents. Read more testimonials from our past clients +. The divorce rate in Washington is not as low as some other states, but it is lower than quite a few states. There are variations to this process, so it is important to understand your state's terminology and procedures. In some instances, a spouse may try to stay in their home and continue raising their children, even though the alimony provided is not enough to cover all of their costs. This includes real estate, spouseâs earnings, pension benefits and 401(k) contributions. Because of Monica, we were spared the stress and money of further legal proceedings and were able to walk away with our dignity intact.”, Assets You Should Consider During Your Washington Divorce, Continuing to Co-Own the House After a Divorce. Some factors considered by Washington courts in a property division case include a list of other factors defined in Washington law. Many experts believe that far too many divorcees decide to stay in their marital home when it is not the best decision. 2)Â How to Sign for a Business Avoid an Additional Move. If the parties enter an enforceable agreement regarding the house, the judge almost always adopts it. We exclusively serve King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in the Seattle, Washington area. Washington is a no-fault divorce state. Courts typically avoid awarding the house to a party who cannot afford it. The Marital Home: Who Gets The House In Washington Divorce? My wife and I are getting divorced. During your Washington divorce, all your property and all of your debts, even those you have separate from your spouse will be divided and awarded to one party or the other, sometimes with the assistance of the court. Enforceable Agreement. This means that the only basis for divorce in Washington is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. But in dissolutions of short-term marriages, there tend to be neither children nor maintenance. Washington's marital property laws recognize the concept of "community property," in which almost all property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be jointly owned by the spouses and therefore subject to equal division upon divorce. If spouses cannot agree, the court can divide much of the property acquired during their marriage. Washington Divorce Facts. When a couple gets divorced, one of the main concerns apart from children is what to do with the property (and debts) shared by the couple. Or call our firm toll free at 866-631-0028 to speak with one of our family law attorneys in Snohomish County or King County, Washington. This might mean automated estimates from websites like Zillow and Redfin are also inadmissible. I would highly recommend The Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny”, “What I loved about Molly was her ability to always stay focused and strong throughout the entire process. How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Washington State? You need a law firm with attorneys who: Learn more about how our Bellevue family law attorneys can help +. My ex and his lawyer did everything they could to bleed me dry and drag the proceedings out. As a result, a trial judge should not consider who is in the former family home if the spouse gained exclusive use of it through a temporary order. If you want to win your divorce, approach it like a business deal, not a lawsuit. Often the house is partly separate property and partly community property. It can be the same house you lived in from before your marriage or a house you and your spouse purchased after the wedding. Monica Rands-Preuss is licensed both in California and Washington. That â¦ Of course, the guidelines set by the state you live in only apply if your case ends up going to court. The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Divorce in Washington, The Thinking Man’s Guide to Divorce in Washington, Free Divorce eBook: Keeping Your High Schooler on Track During Conflict, Learn to Tell If Your Kids Are Coping with Your Divorce by Reading This Free eBook, In-Depth Articles on Family Law in Washington, Learn More About Recent News in Family Law, Watch Our Videos on Family Law in Washington, Download One of Our Free Family Law Books, Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington. The laws of your particular state will control how a judge will decide who gets the house after divorce. 3. According to Washington state laws, only one spouse in the marriage must believe and declare that the marriage is irretrievably broken in order for the divorce decree to be granted. We will also assume the house increased in value by $200,000, which means it is now worth $1.2 million. Frequently the lesser-earning spouse receives child support and/or spousal maintenance (alimony), which makes the home affordable for either party. Just as in so many other aspects of a divorce, who gets the marital homes depends heavily on the other circumstances of your divorce. www.genesislawfirm.com In these states, each spouse owns an equal share of their assets, which are distributed equally between them upon divorce. Doing so prevents an additional relocation. A spouseâs misconduct, e.g., infidelity, verbal abuse, unwillingness to engage in sexual relations, etc. She has been practicing family law since 1994. 1) Divorce in Washington State: An Overview & How-To Guide This is for the childrenâs comfort. Question: Who will get the house in my divorce? Don't take our word for it, read testimonials from our past clients to get an idea of how we can help your family get through this difficult time. 3. If there are dependent children of the marriage, judges try to keep them in the former family home. Everett, WA 98201 No. 5. These are the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily. States that follow community property rules are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and â¦ Courts also err on the side of minimizing disruptions to the parties. State law governs property ownership and asset division during a divorce. 7. I highly recommend her.”, “Molly and her team exceeded my expectations on every front, she is the best you can hire! Generally, all property (house, other real estate, car) a spouse gets during the marriage is community property. For more free legal articles and videos, our firm encourages you to visit our websiteâs resources tab in the upper right corner of the page. Keep Kids in Family Home. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily: 1.
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