It is Possible to Go Through The Divorce Process Without Spending a Lot of Money?
We aren’t rich. I don’t want to spend what little money we have on lawyers. Can’t we just keep this simple?
Anyone going through a divorce can be taken advantage of by a hungry lawyer. You must find someone who understands how to process your case cost-effectively and efficiently to achieve the affordable divorce you are looking for. Most experienced lawyers can tell you early on in your case how your assets and debts will likely be divided. So, look around and see if you can find some cost-effective, affordable divorce options to get your case resolved efficiently.
Washington is a community property state. This generally means that all property earned during marriage may be up for division. The legal standard is “equitable distribution” of property. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal. There are legal factors that govern equitable distribution of property. The reason that property is distributed along these lines is that each party is considered to have equally contributed to the marriage as though it were a partnership and therefore is usually entitled to about half of the assets; and that usually includes retirement saved during marriage, or sometimes even cohabitation.
It is important to understand the tax consequences of dividing property. Both parties must have a full understanding about which assets will have taxes associated with them if these assets are later sold, so it may be a good idea to meet with an accountant before agreeing to a property settlement.
In some cases, the non-working spouse may be awarded a greater percentage of the assets because the working spouse is better equipped to acquire assets in the future than the non-working spouse.
In addition to dividing assets, you will also need to divide debt. This can be tricky because often one party has better credit or more income than the other. It’s important to find out if it is even possible to put debt into the lower wage earner’s name. One example is a mortgage. Sometimes the lower wage earner wants to stay in the home, but is unable to transfer the mortgage into his or her name. This needs to be investigated fully before entering into settlement negotiations. If you find yourself in this position, we can refer you to a mortgage broker or real estate agent with whom we work closely so you can be sure you will receive excellent service.
If you have further questions about affordable divorce in Seattle, Bellevue or Redmond, or want to arrange a confidential consultation, please contact us today. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue-Redmond and can meet with you in one or both of those locations as needed. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve the affordable divorce solutions you seek.