Seattle and Bellevue Divorce Lawyers Handling Complex Property Division
Is everything really up for division in a divorce?
One of the biggest mistakes people make during marriage is commingling their separate assets with the assets of the marital community. When this happens, your lawyer had better be prepared to help you untangle this mess. If you are unable to prove that a particular asset is separate, in all likelihood your spouse will end up with half of it.
As you may know, Washington is a community property state. In community property states, each spouse owns a one-half interest in all of the community property. There is very specific case law that defines community and separate property. Your lawyer must be familiar with this issue and should make appropriate inquiries during your early meetings about the source of all assets owned by you or your spouse/registered domestic partner (RDP).
If you intend to claim that a particular asset is separate, it will be your burden to provide admissible legal proof on this issue. It can be a legal nightmare to try and unravel what happened to your separate asset – and truthfully, sometimes this is an impossible task.
Proving Separate Property Claims
Prevailing on a separate property claim almost always requires the testimony of a forensic CPA who has experience in tracing assets.
Separate property claims are among the stickiest of all property claims in a divorce. Tracing these interests is tedious and painstaking. At DuBois Cary Law Group, our Seattle divorce attorneys work with an amazing group of CPAs who do a great job of writing reports and testifying in court about community and separate assets. Often we bring our CPA to mediation when separate property is an issue. The burden of proof on making a separate property claim is quite high, so this is an area where you definitely want a seasoned expert on your side.
At DuBois Cary Law Group, we have prevailed both in settlements and at trial in cases where one party has tangled up their separate property to the point that it was quite challenging to identify and separate out from the community property. We have longstanding relationships with exceptional CPAs who provide compelling reports documenting separate property tracing.
Contact Us Today
Complex Property Division issues can be a nightmare, and we’re here to help. If you have further questions or want to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our Seattle or Bellevue divorce attorneys, please contact us today. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue and can meet with you in one or both of those locations as needed. We look forward to meeting you and helping you with any complex property division issues you may have.