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Washington Divorce & Finances

UPDATED: February 27, 2020

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The division of joint properties represents one of the more unpleasant and worrisome aspects of getting a divorce. You likely have some questions about this process, and others involving your finances after divorce. How is Washington divorce property divided? What are the ramifications of divorce on your taxes? Will you be confronted with estate planning issues? What is the possibility of spousal support (or Washington alimony) payments being awarded? And how will the court determine the details of those payments? The following topics cover Washington laws specific to divorce and finances.

Washington Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

Washington is a �community property� state, meaning that all property acquired during the time of the marriage is considered community property and is divided equally, 50/50, unless the parties are able to come to their own agreement separately. When the court must decide, it will consider, among other factors, the nature of the community property, separate property, length of the marriage, and economic circumstances of the spouses.

Washington Spousal Support:

There is no automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other in the event of a divorce. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called maintenance), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors, including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance;
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and sufficient education/training for that employment;
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage;
  4. Marriage duration;
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance; and
  6. The ability of the prospective supporting spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse.

Washington Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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