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All Press Releases for January 10, 2014 »
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Division of property tips for Seattle couples seeking divorce

If the spouses dispute the division of property, the court will then distribute it as they see fit according to certain factors.
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    January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Although many couples in Seattle and across the country become elated at the prospect of marriage and look forward to spending their entire lives with their significant other, many of the marriages simply won't make it past their twentieth anniversary. In fact, they may be lucky to make it that far. The Center of Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics reports that approximately 20 percent of married couples will file for divorce within the first five years of marriage. That number jumps to over 33 percent of marriages ending after ten years, and nearly fifty percent ending after twenty years of marriage.

While the entire divorce process can be overwhelming and stressful, determining how you are going to separate the property that you've amassed together as a couple over the years can be daunting. Items that once belonged to both of you must now be divided, whether you agree upon it or not. Washington is a "just and equitable" state, meaning that items should be separated fairly; however, this may not always mean equally.

Consideration when dividing property

It is always beneficial if both spouses can agree upon a property settlement. When this occurs, the court will often approve the negotiated agreement; however, if the spouses dispute the division of property, the court will then distribute it as they see fit. They may use the following criteria to reach their decision:
- The extent and condition of shared property.
- The extent and condition of personal property.
- The financial resources and employment status of each individual.
- Determining who is responsible for the bills.
- Any other special circumstances that may exist.

Washington state law also requires careful consideration of the couple's living situation and to make a decision as to whether or not both parents should be allowed to live in the family home in order to maximize the stability of the children involved.

Dividing financial obligations

In addition to dividing the property and belongings of each individual, the debt accumulated during the marriage and the current bills will need to be divided as well. In most cases, all liabilities will be divided, taking into consideration the type of debt and how it arose from the marriage. Most reputable divorce attorneys will recommend that their clients take their names off of the joint credit accounts and open an individual accounts.

Seek counseling

There are a number of ways to ensure that you receive your fair share of property during the division of assets. Enlisting the help of a reputable family law attorney who has extensive experience in divorce law is crucial, and can make all of the difference when it comes to obtaining the property in which you've worked so hard to collect through the years. Not only will they make sure that all of the bases are covered, but they will streamline the process by guiding the settlement conversation and giving recommendations when needed.

Dividing your property and assets when going through a divorce can be heart-breaking, but with the right attorney, it may feel liberating and leave you with the feeling of accomplishment. Make sure that you are awarded the things that are most important to you.

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