How are Assets Divided in a Divorce?

One of the biggest issues in any divorce is the distribution of assets between spouses. Many couples navigating a divorce do not really understand how their marital life is split between them and what assets are divided. At the Hodgson Law Office in Spokane, our team of highly qualified legal professionals is here to provide expert legal advice on the question, “How are assets divided in a divorce?” and all other questions you may have during your Washington divorce. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation of your case.

Washington is a Community Property State

In the United States, the distribution of property is determined by state law. Some states use an equitable distribution method, which requires spouses to split their marital assets equitably, but not necessary equitably. Washington is one of the few community property states, which means that couples split all marital assets equitably between them in a divorce. Issues such as infidelity do not play a role in the distribution of marital assets, although it can impact other areas of the divorce such as the allocation of spousal support. One of the most significant factors when dividing assets in divorce is whether an item is considered separate, marital, or commingled property.

Separate, Marital, and Commingled Property

Separate property is all property that each spouse entered the marriage with or received by gift or inheritance during the course of the marriage. After a divorce, each spouse retains their separate property. This can range from real estate to vehicles or personal property. Pets are also considered separate property if purchased or adopted by one spouse prior to the marriage. Marital property is all property that was acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage. Marital property can include a family home, vacation real estate, vehicles, collectibles, clothing, artwork, furniture, household items, and more. Marital property does not have to benefit both spouses, it merely must be acquired by either spouse during the marriage using marital funds. The value of all combined marital assets is appraised and then split equitably between spouses. The last category of property is commingled property, and the identification of commingled items is often an issue in divorce cases. Commingled property are items that began as separate property but were then paid for, improved upon by, or otherwise commingled with marital property and funds. This transforms the separate property into commingled property, and commingled property is subject to distribution like marital property in a divorce. Talk to an experienced Washington divorce attorney today to learn more about the different types of property identification and how they may ultimately affect your divorce settlement.

How are Assets Divided in a Divorce? Call Us Today

The identification of property as separate, marital, or commingled can have a substantial impact on your finalized divorce settlement. If you have questions about dividing assets in divorce, call or contact the Hodgson Law Office in Spokane today to schedule an evaluation of your case.