Washington State requires equitable division of marital assets during a divorce as well as equitable debt division. Marital assets are generally those acquired after the couple makes their commitment a legal one through a wedding ceremony or civil union process. Marital debt has a similar definition. Problems can develop when a couple has numerous outstanding obligations and don’t want to be tied to each other by finances. A Divorce Attorney in Bremerton Wa helps them sort through the complexities.
Some exceptions can be made in regard to community debt, although a judge must approve the final agreement. One spouse may have accumulated a certain amount of debt alone, and that amount spent was only for his or her own use. An example would be a retail store credit card held by a wife who only used it to buy clothing for herself. A Divorce Attorney in Bremerton Wa might include this in the debt division agreement by listing it as the wife’s sole responsibility.
Marital mortgage debt must be addressed either by selling the property and splitting the proceeds, or by refinancing so the property is only in one person’s name. An attorney with a firm such as Lindsay & Lindsay can help determine whether keeping the real estate is feasible for one person.
If the spouses absolutely cannot agree on how to divide debts, they must proceed to court, where a judge will decide. This seldom happens nowadays, but some couples reach a complete stalemate that even mediation sessions cannot resolve. A judge orders each spouse to be responsible for certain obligations so the amount is divided as equally as possible.
In some instances, a judge will order one spouse to be responsible for all the community debt. This is most likely if the other spouse has been a homemaker and the couple had been married for many years. It’s even more probable if the working spouse will be paying alimony and the non-working spouse has little chance of starting to earn a living wage. However, if the non-working spouse is receiving a substantial amount of assets through the community property division, the judge may rule otherwise.