Washington is one of nine community property states in the U.S. In a community property state such as Washington, all property acquired before and during a marriage is classified as either separate or marital property. Separate property such as a gift, an inheritance or items owned prior to marriage belong to one spouse, individually. Any property classified as marital property is owned equally by both spouses, and both parties are equally responsible for any debts amassed during their marriage.
Marital property is subject to division during a divorce. Many individuals assume that a court will award property among spouses so each receives an equal 50-50 share. While this is possible, a court will typically divide property based on what is fair and equitable given a couple’s unique circumstances.
If you are going through the difficult process of divorce, retaining an experienced family law attorney is the first step to protecting your financial rights and interests. For help in eastern Washington, I encourage you to contact me, Spokane property division attorney Mark D. Hodgson. I am an experienced divorce lawyer who is committed to providing the sound advice and vigorous representation you require.
When possible, it is best for spouses to reach an agreement regarding the division of marital property and allocation of marital debts. Courts have considerable discretion to divide property and debts in a manner deemed equitable, and what a court deems equitable may not seem fair to spouses who have not been able to reach an agreement.
I provide candid advice to my clients and help them understand how a court may view property issues in their case. Where possible, I seek proactive and creative solutions to property division disputes. To do so, I first take time to understand my clients’ needs and objectives.
Each client is unique. For one client, obtaining an award of the marital homestead may be a critical objective. For another client, obtaining a strong share of investment accounts and liquid assets may be a top priority. After I identify the unique objectives of my clients, I attempt to negotiate an agreement with their needs in mind. I am often able to reach an agreement on behalf of my client by negotiation or at mediation, without the necessity of protracted litigation.
Of course, there are times when an opposing party is simply not willing to be reasonable. To provide the strong advocacy my clients require, I prepare for the possibility of trial in each case. When disputes are not resolved by agreement, I have the trial experience to advocate vigorously for my clients’ rights and interests in the courtroom.
Other key issues that may impact your financial security after a divorce include spousal support (alimony) and child support. If you are involved in a high net worth divorce or a divorce involving challenging property division issues, please visit my page on complex property division to learn more about my experience in such cases.
As an experienced Spokane attorney, I will protect your rights and guide you through your case. You do not have to go through this alone; I will help you every step of the way.