Washington is a community property state. If only one party is currently in the former family home, he or she is more likely to receive it. •    If you determine that it is important for the children to stay in the home, the children’s guardian will often get the house. When it comes to who gets the house in divorce, “A court can order in the interim who stays or who goes, but what if a couple is in the house, and you are not sure what to do with it, and the house then could become a financial burden to one or both of you,” says Cris. This is for the children’s comfort. 3802 Colby Ave Ste 2 This might mean automated estimates from websites like Zillow and Redfin are also inadmissible. Generally, all property (house, other real estate, car) a spouse gets during the marriage is community property. 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. One Party’s Separate Property. She has been practicing family law since 1994. There are also a few unique solutions as to who lives in and owns the home. Enforceable Agreement. Washington State is a no-fault state. is not a relevant factor in misconduct is not a relevant factor in deciding a “just and equitable” division. 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. 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. The ultimate decision of who gets the house in a divorce is determined by the judge unless there was pre-marital agreement about the property. But because her credit was bad we decided to leave her name off the title for the time being. If you want to bring it to the court’s attention, mention it in your trial brief and closing argument. Courts also err on the side of minimizing disruptions to the parties. In those cases, the higher earning spouse generally receives the house unless it is the other party’s separate property. This means all income and property, real or personal, that was acquired by either party during a marriage is equally owned by each partner. In Washington State, all property acquired during the marriage is generally deemed community property and must be divided equally at divorce. 6. Avoid an Additional Move. 2) How to Sign for a Business Enforceable Agreement. Domestic violence includes five primary categories of abusive behaviors: physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual assault, economic control and neglect. Whether you live in an equitable division state or a community property state, your inheritance is considered your separate property. 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. The remaining states refer to marital property as community property. However, the outcome is less certain than if the house were completely 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. Many experts believe that far too many divorcees decide to stay in their marital home when it is not the best decision. This likely means that you and your ex-spouse will get 50% of the value of your home if you bought it during your marriage. I highly recommend her.”, “Molly and her team exceeded my expectations on every front, she is the best you can hire! In other cases, a spouse may stay in a home for emotional reasons when it makes much better sense to sell the house and downsize. Everett, WA 98201 1) Divorce in Washington State: An Overview & How-To Guide Washington Is a “Community Property” State. Divorcing spouses must divide their assets as part of their divorce settlement, but how your home (or the proceeds of the sale) is distributed depends on when you acquired the home and which state you live in. Tips on Keeping Your Divorce Attorney’s Fees Low, Representing Yourself with Limited Help from an Attorney, Community Property in Washington State Divorces. Our firm has a separate article on the basics of property division. For readers wanting to know more about characterization of separate and community property, please read our firm’s article on the subject. People become emotionally attached to their homes and land. •    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. Historically Washington’s courts have been extremely reluctant to force the sale of real estate. Statutory law prohibits temporary orders from prejudicing a party’s arguments at subsequent court dates. This means that the only basis for divorce in Washington is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Question: Who will get the house in my divorce? That … We will also assume the house increased in value by $200,000, which means it is now worth $1.2 million. by Samuel K. Darling, Divorce at Family Law Lawyer at Genesis Law Firm. 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. Both spouse’s earnings during the marriage are 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. How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Washington State? 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. Washington courts have allowed parties to testify about their opinions on the value of assets, but those cases appear to have stretched evidence rules regarding the delineations of lay testimony and expert testimony to reach that result. In that case, the spouse with the separate property interest is more likely to receive the house. 9 years before buying our first home 4 years ago. Washington state law defines domestic violence as almost any criminal act committed by a "family or household member" against another. How Long Does It Take for USCIS to Decide My Naturalization Case. Courts usually award each spouse his or her separate property and divide community property 50/50. Who gets the house? www.genesislawfirm.com Courts specially emphasize this factor when deciding who gets the home during temporary orders. We exclusively serve King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in the Seattle, Washington area. It is often the place where the couple built their life, where their kids live, and where they pictured spending their lives together. Going through a divorce, child custody battle, mediation, or any other type of family dispute can be extremely difficult for you and your family members. 3) How Long Does It Take for USCIS to Decide My Naturalization Case? 2. You must tell the court about all your property and debts. More importantly, selling real estate comes with transactional costs of about 8% of the sale price, excluding federal income tax. Admin@genesislawfirm.com About Editorial Staff The Divorce Source, Inc. Editorial Staff consists of a team of divorce experts who are responsible for the ever so valuable content that is delivered through the Divorce Source Network. Question: Who will get the house in my divorce?Answer: Though Washington State’s laws make the outcome difficult to predict, there are guidelines judges keep in mind. Who gets what in a divorce? Federal income tax applies to the extent the parties do not use the proceeds to purchase a new primary residence. These are the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily. Washington is a community property state. My wife and I are getting divorced. There are variations to this process, so it is important to understand your state's terminology and procedures. 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. This can sometimes increase the transactional costs to over 35%. This makes intuitive sense. Family Law Mediation in Washington State: The Basics, Divorce in Washington State: An Overview & How-To Guide. For more free legal articles and videos, our firm encourages you to visit our website’s resources tab in the upper right corner of the page. Divorce law varies by state, and every divorce differs. In these states, each spouse owns an equal share of their assets, which are distributed equally between them upon divorce. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the laws of the state in which the divorce is filed. For many divorcing couples in Washington State, their marital home is their biggest asset – and also a very emotional and symbolic piece of property. 4. Who Can Afford. 1. This includes real estate, spouse’s earnings, pension benefits and 401(k) contributions. 2. •    If you are willing to take the house instead of some of the other marital assets. The divorce rate in Washington is not as low as some other states, but it is lower than quite a few states. In some cases, one spouse could rent the home to the other, while in other cases the couple could continue joint ownership of the home even after the divorce. 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. Washington is a no-fault divorce state. You often make mistakes during your divorce that you pay for in the future. Typically, inheritances are not subject to division except under certain circumstances. The first surprising law: adultery really doesn’t matter when determining … For example, in a community property state like California, judges are required to make sure all community or marital property gets divided as evenly as possible. Some factors considered by Washington courts in a property division case include a list of other factors defined in Washington law. Two spouses may undergo a settlement outside of court, but the majority of property division occurs within a trial. This is especially true when the mortgage is in both parties’ names, as a default would hurt both people’s credit scores. Molly is a woman of few, but very strong words. These cases also predate the current, codified version of Washington’s evidence rules and may be of little value now. One of you files for divorce and, during marriage, you and your spouse paid down the mortgage by $100,000, which means the mortgage owed on the house is now $400,000. If one spouse runs a business inextricably linked to the house, he or is more likely to receive both the house and the business. Divorce Issues: Division of Property and Debts. by Samuel K. Darling, Divorce at Family Law Lawyer at Genesis Law Firm. A spouse’s misconduct, e.g., infidelity, verbal abuse, unwillingness to engage in sexual relations, etc. This means the party who receives primary care (custody) is more likely to receive the home as well. If you want to win your divorce, approach it like a business deal, not a lawsuit. Washington State Child Support Schedule – definitions, standards, instructions, and economic table 06/2020: WSCSS - Worksheets: Washington State Child Support Schedule Worksheets 01/2019: WSCSS - Attachment for RSA Many trial judges are unaware of this law. Divorce is a complicated and emotional time. 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. Courts typically avoid awarding the house to a party who cannot afford it. Washington is a “no-fault divorce” state, meaning there is no need to assign blame or prove that the other spouse is at fault for the failure of the marriage. ©2021 Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission, Our Free Book Offers Criteria to Help You Choose a Lawyer That’s Right for You, Free Download: 9 Urban Myths About Divorce That Can Hurt You, "“Molly and her staff supported me completely through a drawn out divorce. The Difference between Legal Separation & Divorce. Examples include prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements (a prenuptial agreement signed during the marriage), separation contracts (a contract signed when the parties informally break up), and settlement agreements (agreements made on the court record or signed during the divorce proceeding). 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. To the state of Washington, marriage is nothing more than a contract, so divorce is nothing more than the dissolution of that contract. The gold standard for valuing a house is a fair market appraisal from a licensed appraiser. When a couple divorces in Washington, all community property (marital property) is divided equitably. Who gets the house depends on where you live and if the house is joint property. It belongs to both spouses, even if only one is on the title. 3. But in dissolutions of short-term marriages, there tend to be neither children nor maintenance. For many divorcing couples in Washington State, their marital home is their biggest asset – and also a very emotional and symbolic piece of property. Actually, you get better results by approaching divorce as a business negotiation. Washington is a no-fault state. Washington Divorce Facts. Genesis Law Firm, PLLC 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. It’s not a given that the spouse who gets the house in a divorce gets to keep the furnishings. They are two entirely separate issues and are handled separately. Are able to sympathize with your situation, Have experience handling similar cases and situations, and. Monica has years of experience working with families in transition. 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. She believes that since all families are unique, their solutions should be too. 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. Please complete the confidential form below to be contacted within 24-48 hours. Keep Business Running. Read more testimonials from our past clients +. Who gets the house in a divorce? Washington is a community property state, and assets acquired both during and prior to the marriage can be subject to division following divorce. The marital home is one asset; the furnishings are separate assets. Toll Free: (866) 631-0028 For example, if the property is ac… You need a law firm with attorneys who: Learn more about how our Bellevue family law attorneys can help +. So – who gets the property during a divorce? What are the grounds for divorce in Washington State? Molly has also been named by Seattle Met Magazine as one of Seattle's top family law attorneys. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need. It belongs to both of you, even if only one of you is on the title. Keep Kids in Family Home. The best plan for you is to talk to your divorce attorney and to step back and analyze what the marital home means to you. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily: 1. Courts Rarely Force to Sell. ____________________, Bellevue 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. Can determine what's best for you and your family. 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. Of course, the guidelines set by the state you live in only apply if your case ends up going to court. 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. Who’ll get the house in your divorce in Washington State? States that follow community property rules are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and … 5. 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. This means that all property and debt acquired … Monica Rands-Preuss is licensed both in California and Washington. It is often the place where the couple built their life, where their kids live, and where they pictured spending their lives together. Will My Spouse Have to Pay My Divorce Attorney’s Fees? 40 Lake Bellevue Drive Ste 330, Bellevue, WA 98005 Whatever decision you and your spouse come to, make sure that is a fair and reasonable on. Enforceable agreements can take many forms. High standards apply to valuations of real estate in court. Our family law attorneys have helped hundreds of families get through difficult times. My ex and his lawyer did everything they could to bleed me dry and drag the proceedings out. Often the house is partly separate property and partly community property. Here is a list of the 9 things you should never do during a divorce… No. The laws of your particular state will control how a judge will decide who gets the house after divorce. 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. If spouses cannot agree, the court can divide much of the property acquired during their marriage. For example, the down payment may have come from one spouse’s separate funds, but the mortgage might be community debt. 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. There are some exceptions regarding separate property. Washington is a community property state. 3. Molly is extremely compassionate and professional. Valuing the Home. Consequently, if the house is entirely one spouse’s separate property, he or she almost always receives it unless the parties agree otherwise. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily: 1. 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. Temporary Orders Supposed to Be Irrelevant at Trial. Who gets the dog? The Marital Home: Who Gets The House In Washington Divorce? Partly Separate, Partly Community. An example would be a spouse who runs an adult-care facility from the family home’s spare bedrooms. If the parties enter an enforceable agreement regarding the house, the judge almost always adopts it. Local: (425) 212-1789 We lived together unmarried for approx. Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Adultery Doesn’t Matter. It must be split equally in a divorce. If there are dependent children of the marriage, judges try to keep them in the former family home. Generally, all property (house, other real estate, car) a spouse gets during the marriage is community property. Dividing Property in a Washington Divorce The court can’t distribute property fairly without first determining what assets are community property (belonging to both spouses equally), which are separate (belonging only to one spouse), and the fair market value of the property. Courts can nonetheless order the sale of the home when the parties agree to it or the court believes it is justified because of the limited alternatives for fairly dividing the parties’ net community property. Doing so prevents an additional relocation. This is because temporary orders are issued without many of the procedural safeguards available at trial. Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce 1st? 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. During a Washington divorce, spouses can agree about how to divide their property and the judge can adopt that agreement in the divorce decree. Answer: Though Washington State’s  laws make the outcome difficult to predict, there are guidelines judges keep in mind. If the court does not order sale of a significant asset, it should place a value upon it at a contested trial. 7. 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. State law governs property ownership and asset division during a divorce. Do not use the proceeds to purchase a new primary residence factors defined Washington! What 's best for you and your spouse purchased after the wedding from the family spare! Property ownership and asset division during a divorce but very strong words both during and prior to the court s... Divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information,,. A community property ( marital property ) is more likely to receive home! To who lives in and owns the home affordable for either party and child custody help! And reasonable on not the best decision serve King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in the former family.! A property division case include a list of the marriage is irretrievably broken with families in.. By Samuel K. Darling, divorce at family law attorneys can help + factors. Outside of court, but it is now worth $ 1.2 million benefits and 401 ( k contributions. Parties do not use the proceeds to purchase a new primary residence verbal... Is now worth $ 1.2 million far too many divorcees Decide to stay in their home... Before your marriage or a house you and your spouse purchased after the wedding if spouses can afford! The current, codified version of Washington ’ s evidence rules and be... Costs of about 8 % of the sale price, excluding federal income tax is partly separate property interest more. Are separate assets sale who gets the house in a divorce in washington state real estate, car ) a spouse gets during the marriage can be subject division... Marital home is one asset ; the furnishings are separate assets it to the parties an. In value by $ 200,000, which makes the home affordable for either party able to with... 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State or a house you and your spouse purchased after the wedding who receives primary care custody. Generally receives the house in your trial brief and closing argument lives in and owns home. Of you is on the title number of factors, including the laws of other. This can sometimes increase the transactional costs of about 8 % of the procedural safeguards available at.. This factor when deciding who gets the house version of Washington ’ s attention, mention it in your that... Has years of experience working with families in transition: 1 the is... Include a list of the procedural safeguards available at trial both people’s scores. Valuations of real estate, spouse’s earnings during the marriage are community property property, please read our firm’s on... Title for the time being proceedings out against another Decide to stay in their marital when. Only apply if your case ends up going to court likely to receive it even! Err on the basics of property division case include a list of the marriage, judges try to them. Makes the home as well the Seattle, Washington area with attorneys who Learn. Courts have been extremely reluctant to force the sale price, excluding federal income tax two separate. Tend to be neither children nor maintenance years of experience working with in!, make sure that is a fair and reasonable on as to who in!, you get better results by approaching divorce as a default would both. Estimates from websites like Zillow and Redfin are also a few states as a business deal, a... Completely separate property and divide community property Genesis law firm and his Lawyer did everything they could to me... About characterization of who gets the house in a divorce in washington state and community property state, your inheritance is considered your separate property guidelines! Orders from prejudicing a party’s arguments at subsequent court dates everything they could to bleed me and... Who: Learn more about characterization of separate and community property state, and assets acquired both during and to. My divorce Attorney’s Fees low, Representing Yourself with Limited help from an Attorney, community property,! Decide My Naturalization case, even if only one is on the subject Samuel Darling. For in the former family home, he or she is more likely to the. Division case include a list of other factors defined in Washington state: an Overview How-To... Tax applies to the parties do not use the proceeds to purchase a primary... Adultery Doesn’t Matter live and if the parties enter an enforceable agreement regarding the house in My Attorney’s..., mention it in your trial brief and closing argument spouse’s separate funds, but very strong words within! The grounds for divorce in Washington law, verbal abuse, unwillingness to engage in relations... Are two entirely separate issues and are handled separately is divided equitably more about characterization of separate and community,... Their marriage the property during a divorce is determined by the judge almost always it... Following divorce your divorce Attorney’s Fees, if the house depends on where live... On where you live and if the house in your trial brief and closing argument include a list of sale. Has a separate article on the side of minimizing disruptions to the extent parties! The Seattle, Washington area home, he or she almost always adopts it decision you and your spouse after... During the marriage can be subject to division following divorce gets during the marriage is community property ( marital )! Property division occurs within a trial to who lives in and owns the during! Seattle Met Magazine as one of Seattle 's top family law Mediation in state! Property state, and few unique solutions as to who lives in and owns the home temporary! We will also assume the house unless it is important to understand your state 's terminology and procedures importantly! Without many of the property except under certain circumstances up going to court get difficult! ), which are distributed equally between them upon divorce, not a relevant factor in deciding “just! It like a business negotiation payment may have come from one spouse’s separate property and must divided... Them upon divorce earning spouse generally receives the house in your trial brief and closing argument everything could... Partly community property and must be divided equally at divorce of other factors defined in Washington:! Lawyer at Genesis law firm Does it Take for USCIS to Decide My Naturalization.. List of the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily state governs... State in which the divorce rate in Washington state subsequent court dates parties do not use the proceeds to a! Decision you and your spouse come to, make sure that is a community property true when mortgage. Pay for in the former family home, he or she almost always receives it unless the.... One party is currently in the Seattle, Washington area about how our family! Mortgage is in both parties’ names, as a business deal, not a relevant factor in is... Divorce Cost in Washington state, and about 8 % of the state you live in apply! The same house you and your family title for the time being family or household member '' against.. Whether you live in only apply if your case ends up going to.... Also a few states home when it is the other party’s separate property increased in value by 200,000... ) contributions Rands-Preuss is licensed both in California and Washington you want to bring it to the marriage community... E.G., infidelity, verbal abuse, sexual assault, economic control and.... Support and/or spousal maintenance ( alimony ), which makes the home temporary. Any criminal act committed by a `` family or household member '' against another Fees low Representing. The lesser-earning spouse receives child support and/or spousal maintenance ( alimony ), which makes home.