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Everett Community Property Division Lawyer Advises Divorcing Spouses

Firm assists Washington clients with securing their rightful share of marital assets

Under Washington’s community property law, nearly everything that is purchased or earned by either spouse belongs to both spouses in equal shares. When the parties go their separate ways in a divorce, problems can arise over the division of the marital estate. Located in Everett, the Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. conducts a thorough review of a couple’s assets and debts, then works diligently to finalize an agreement that helps clients end their marriage with the financial resolution that they deserve.

Skillful attorney handles distribution issues related to homes and vehicles

Getting a divorce can be very emotional, but it’s important to retain an attorney who can safeguard your interests so you start the next chapter of your life on sound financial footing. My firm offers comprehensive counsel on community property issues such as:

  • Valuation — While dividing the proceeds from a joint bank account seems fairly simple, spouses could take very different positions on the valuation of jewelry, art or antiques that need to be allocated. When necessary, I bring in appraisers and other experts to provide an informed perspective on how particular items should be valued.
  • Marital home and vehicles — Finding a mutually agreeable way to assign ownership of the marital home and the couple’s vehicles might be difficult. The process gets more complicated if there is a mortgage on the residence or car payments that still must be made. My firm works with clients and their spouses to determine how major assets should be dispersed and to arrange appropriate remuneration for the party who is giving up their ownership stake.
  • Investments and other complex assets — Community property doesn’t just include tangible assets, but also investments, retirement accounts, work benefits and business interests. After reviewing the pertinent financial information, I can negotiate an appropriate allocation using various potential solutions, including the use of instruments such as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to address assets that might not be utilized for many years.  

For more than 25 years, my firm has established a strong reputation among Washington clients for providing insightful guidance on a full range of concerns related to the division of community property.

Separate versus community property

The key question in a dispute over the division of a marital estate is often whether a particular asset should be classified as community property or separate property. Assets that are earned or acquired from the wedding up until the divorce filing are considered community property with the exception of gifts and inheritances designated for one of the spouses. You might be engaged in a disagreement over property that might have been owned by one party prior to the marriage but grew significantly in value since you wed. Whatever circumstances exist in your case, I’ll provide an honest evaluation of the facts and advocate for a resolution that accurately portrays the nature of key assets and debts.

Knowledgeable attorney counsels on the impact of a prenuptial agreement

An enforceable prenuptial agreement gives Washington couples the ability to allocate assets and debts outside of the standard community property rules. For example, if one spouse owns and operates a business, they might negotiate an agreement that classifies the business and any income generated by the business as separate property. There are limits to what provisions will be enforced. Whether your marriage is ending and you have questions about the application of a marital agreement or you’re engaged and are considering drafting such a document, I can help.

Contact a Washington lawyer to discuss your community property issues

The Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. advises divorcing spouses in Snohomish and Skagit counties on matters relating to community property and other issues. To make an appointment for a free 10-minute phone consultation, please call 866-360-8050 or contact me online. My office is in Everett.

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