Lauren Thomann is a freelance writer and business owner who covers DIY projects and home renovation on The Spruce. Whether you choose to file for divorce in your home state or your spouse’s may depend on a number of cases. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the laws of the state in which the divorce is filed. However, it is the next set of questions that complicate the issue. That means a spouse does not have to prove the other spouse did anything wrong to get a divorce. What happens to our property and debt if we get divorced? How to Transfer House Ownership After a Divorce. But divorce experts say that's a common misconception. Arm yourself with information and find out exactly what marital abandonment really is, and how it can affect your divorce. If only your name is on the deed, registration document, or other title paper, it's yours. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about property division after a divorce. Washington recognizes domestic partnerships, and the following information applies to both dissolution of marriage (divorce) and dissolution of domestic partnership situations. Entry of a “decree” is required to legally end a marriage, such as a “decree of invalidity” (annulment) or a “decree of dissolution of marriage” (divorce). An overview of the basic divorce process. Home; About Us. our editorial process. Updated March 18, 2018 If you're going through the divorce process, a lot is running through your mind. This includes real estate, spouse’s earnings, pension benefits and 401(k) contributions. There you will find numerous free articles and videos on topics this article only briefly touches upon. This means you can call into your hearing rather than attend in person. Some states allow people to "appear" in court by telephone. Lauren Thomann. These states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 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. Read more testimonials from our past clients + "“Molly and her staff supported me completely through a drawn out divorce. To start a divorce, a spouse (the “petitioner”) must generally file a petition for dissolution and summons, and then serve both on the other spouse to start the divorce action and the 90 day waiting period. Divorce lawyers often see an increase in clients before, during, and after Christmas. 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. In Washington State, all property acquired during the marriage is generally deemed community property and must be divided equally at divorce. In these states, it's usually easy to tell which spouse owns what. Stating the marriage is “irretrievably broken” as the reason is enough. Both the husband and the wife may be eligible for alimony in Washington. Asked in Auburn, WA | Jan 23, 2010 . You can take any separate property you want even before the divorce is finalized. If you wait (and fight) through the season, you may destroy any chances for an amicable split and wind up hashing out your differences in court. Owning a house before marriage of course means it is premarital property. Marital property is everything you've acquired during the marriage. During a stay-at-home order, many divorce hearings will be rescheduled for a future date. In an at-fault divorce state, if you're claiming abandonment, you'll have to prove certain things to the court. Who gets the house? It's important to figure out whether your state is a at-fault or no-fault divorce state. Testimonials. You can also take marital property, as long as you're honest about it during the divorce. Nine states (and Puerto Rico) have community property laws that determine how debt and property are divided in a divorce. Our family law attorneys have helped hundreds of families get through difficult times. Criminal Abandonment . If one of the parties purchased the property before the marriage, it might be considered a pre-marital asset that belongs exclusively to that spouse. As long as you or your spouse has established residency, you can file for divorce within the state. What Happens in a Divorce? Although divorce is common throughout the United States, the divorce process varies depending on the couple’s situation. Washington State has state-specific divorce laws pertaining to property division, child custody, and other divorce-related issues in Washington State. My husband has 30 years ($350,000.00) in his retirement pension fund. 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. 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. What Happens to Divorces During Stay-At-Home or Shelter-in-Place Orders? If the couple didn't make an estate plan, the intestacy laws of the state where they lived would govern who gets what. Read more general information about property division here. Who gets the dog? We were married 14 years (1994-2006). Testimonials. The easiest way to deal with property during a divorce is to decide how to … Most states, except those listed as community property states below, use the "common law" system of property ownership. If your case is straightforward and you and your spouse both agree to the material terms of the divorce, the state where you actually file for divorce may not matter. How does a marriage end in Washington State? Home; About Us. By law, in Washington state, must you divide retirement funds & 401K in divorce settlements? In order to file for divorce in Washington, one of the parties must be either: a) a resident of this state; or b) is a member of the armed forces and is stationed in this state… Since some states operate according to community property principles while others do not, moving from state to state might have some effects on the couple’s property, depending on the specific laws of the new area of domicile. State law doesn't require you to live in Washington for any specific length of time. The biggest part of the analysis for what happens to real estate after a divorce is when the property was purchased. However, in general, property acquired as community property in a … Call (425) 460-0550. So, how is it determined who gets what? The same legal grounds for divorce apply to a legal separation. Here, read more about community property agreements and your marriage. The answer is both simple and complex. Please consult the laws of your individual state before taking steps to divide marital assets. Quite often, we are asked what a person may be entitled to in a divorce in Oregon. Divorce; Advice; By law, in Washington state, must you divide re... Q&A. Washington is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither you nor your spouse need to have grounds for a divorce beyond irreconcilable differences. Just because your name is on the account, or the deed to the house, doesn't mean it's yours alone. Divorce proceedings will not begin until at least 90 days have elapsed since the petition was filed and the respondent has been properly served. We are just now divorcing. Each state, however, has developed its own specific rules regarding property division at the time of divorce. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Your state's property ownership system will take precedence over any drama you bring into the courtroom, so in the interest of self-preservation, it's best to check your emotions at the door. Home Legal Information Family Divorce. Some want to know if they are entitled to support payments from their spouse. This article explains the basics of how Washington courts typically divide property (assets) and liabilities (debts) in a divorce. As with divorce, the distribution of assets following the death of one of the spouses in a community property state depends to some extent on the state. months before the divorce action is filed (i.e., Washington State must have “home state” jurisdiction). Some people are concerned how assets and property will be divided, who keeps the house, or who will be responsible for debts. It's also easier to get used to an empty home before the holidays. An analysis listed Washington State as the eight most expensive place in the U.S. [...] 8. Even so, with more than 61 million married couples living in the U.S., combined with a divorce ocurring every 13 seconds, it's helpful to understand what happens to your mortgage in a divorce. Divorce Issues: Division of Property and Debts. Divorce, dissolution, and annulment are all terms generally used to describe the same event–the end of a marriage. You can file for divorce in Washington as long as you or your spouse are living in Washington on the day you file the petition. Residency requirements & grounds for divorce - In Washington, a divorce is called "dissolution of marriage". These laws tend to vary a great deal among community property states. It also does mean you should have a separate property interest in it during divorce. For readers wanting more in-depth information, we encourage you visit the 'resources' section of our law firm's website. A divorce based on abandonment cannot be filed immediately following the act of desertion. How do I file for a divorce in Washington State? What are the grounds for a legal separation in Washington State? In 2014, she joined Dotdash as an expert writer, focused on fine jewelry topics. Washington is one of only nine states that uses community property laws for marriage. I have $35,000.00 in my 401K. Online Divorce Codes - Washington State Revised Code - Title 26. Divorce and your mortgage. What Happens If We Move from a Community Property State to a Non-Community Property State? Most states require that an entire year has passed since the abandoning spouse has disappeared from the marital home. What are community property laws? It must be divided up according to state law. 8. Our family law attorneys have helped hundreds of families get through difficult times. If you owned a house before marriage and you expect a divorce, you will ask this question. The typical way to transfer house ownership after a divorce is with a quitclaim deed. On Day One as you approach divorce, you may be thinking, “My house is one of my biggest assets.” or “Maybe I want to keep it.” “What you really need to understand is that there’s a lot of due diligence to be done before mak ing a decision on what to do with the house,” says Marilee Wolf, realtor at BHHS Fox & Roach and Real Estate Collaboration Specialist for Divorce. Washington State is a no-fault state. At divorce, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his or her separate property. Don't Forget About Taxes The Washington court does not consider marital fault in determining alimony because Washington is a no-fault divorce state; therefore, it does not matter which spouse caused the marital collapse. If the deserting spouse returns home within that time period, the clock starts again from the beginning. To prove residency, you must maintain a permanent home within Washington and demonstrate the intent to make it your primary dwelling. Understanding the Legal Implications of Marriage and Divorce in Washington State JULY 2019 Family Law Handbook 1. Only seven states follow this system of property ownership: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Divorce ; Advice ; by law, in Washington state factors, including the laws of your state. Read more testimonials from our past clients + `` “ Molly and her staff supported completely... 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