If someone is seeking a divorce for the first time, they’re likely unfamiliar with Washington’s divorce laws. Spouses often have certain expectations, such as:
- Getting it done quickly
- Having to pay spousal support
- Getting preferential treatment because of the other spouse’s infidelity
- Not having to pay child support because of insufficient income
However, they’re often surprised to find out that reality is different. Below are several laws to consider when hiring a Divorce Attorney in Gig Harbor Wa.
In community property states, all debts and assets acquired during the marriage are divided by the court if the spouses can’t come to an agreement. Property to be divided includes the marital home, money, business interests, retirement funds, tax refunds, investments, art, credit cards, household furniture, and insurance policies. If it was obtained during the marriage, it’s likely that it will be considered marital property.
Many people assume that they’ll receive a larger share of the marital assets or primary child custody if the other spouse was unfaithful during the marriage, but this is not true. Marital misconduct isn’t a factor in the division of assets, and infidelity isn’t considered when determining child custody.
Spousal support awards are determined individually, as agreed on by the spouses or according to the court’s discretion. Washington’s courts consider several factors when determining whether support is needed, including the length of the union, both spouses’ earning capacity and income, their health and age, and more.
Unemployed Parents and Child Custody
Where child support is concerned, an unemployed parent will still have to pay. The courts impute income based on what they believe a parent could make, and if they find that a parent is remaining unemployed just to avoid child support, this step ensures that they’re still held financially liable for their children’s welfare.
Divorce Waiting Periods
Divorces do not come overnight. In Washington, a divorce case’s minimum length is 90 days, and the clock starts ticking when the dissolution petition is filed with the court and served to the other spouse. In the state, it is quite common for divorces to take six months or longer.
Washington’s divorce laws are complex, which is why spouses should consult a Divorce Attorney in Gig Harbor Wa for guidance. Contact the firm to schedule an evaluation with a local divorce lawyer.