Property and debt division in a divorce can have consequences that last years and sometimes decades beyond the dissolution of the marriage. Washington is a “Community Property” state, which means that all property acquired during the course of a marriage is presumed to be community property. However, there is a common misconception that this means the community property is to be divided equally between the spouses when they divorce. This is not the law. In Washington, a court dissolving a marriage is required to make a “fair and equitable” distribution of all property, separate and community. “Fair and equitable” does not necessarily mean equal and there are many factors a court will consider when fashioning a property and debt division.
It is extremely important that you have an attorney who has experience in property and debt division. Some common property and debt issue include:
- Real property such as the marital home, second homes, vacant land, and timeshares
- Tangible personal property such as cars, boats, recreational vehicles, jewelry, computers, tools, and art
- Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, retirement accounts, copyrights, and interests in a business
One aspect of property and debt division that is easy to overlook is the process which follows the divorce. Even when the parties agree on a particular division of property and debts and the court orders properly reflect the division, the parties must still perform the necessary steps to untangle each party’s rights and obligations with respect to the property. Common examples of this include the division of retirement accounts or benefits which may not become an issue for years to come, and the division of real property by dealing with the mortgage obligation that will not be affected by the divorce order. Without the proper follow through these issues can have major consequences years into the future. We help you get it done right the first time around.
Experience on Your Side
Chris Maharry has been practicing family law in the South Sound since 2003 and has nearly two decades worth of experience with property and debt divisions. We understand the importance of preserving wealth and obtaining a clean break financially. It is our goal to bring our clients through the process with efficiency, effectiveness, compassion and cost-sensitivity.
Managing Your Legal Separation Case in A Cost-Effective Manner
We focus our practice exclusively on family law. This narrow focus has allowed us to develop not only extensive knowledge in the area of family law, but also business practices making us as efficient as possible, which keeps our clients’ costs to a minimum while maintaining a high level of representation. We cannot guarantee the cost of fees involved in any legal case; however, all our work is performed with the goal of being effective and efficient.
Area of Coverage
We serve clients with property and debt divisions throughout the Pierce, Kitsap, and South King County areas.