When a couple gets married, their assets are often commingled, or combined. In the event of a divorce, though, commingling can be a bit of a financial mess to wade through. If you are filing for divorce in Washington State and have commingled assets, reach out to a Washington attorney for help tracing assets in a divorce.
What is Commingling?
Traditionally, there are two ways to categorize property owned by those in a marriage: community property or separate property. Commingling of property occurs when the separate property of one spouse is combined with the separate property of the other spouse. For example, when spouses decide to open a joint bank account into which they both make a deposit from their own personal savings and continue to deposit into that account throughout the course of the marriage, then the account is considered commingled.
Commingling and Divorce
Commingling of assets can be a complicated issue in divorce. This is because in Washington State, all community property in a marriage is subject to equitable division in the event of a divorce, whereas separate property of a spouse is not. Separate property, as defined by RCW 26.16.010 is, “property and pecuniary rights owned by a spouse before marriage…” Community property, on the other hand, is defined by RCW 26.16.030 as, “Property…acquired after marriage…” As such, if you are going through a divorce in Washington, separating commingled assets will be important in protecting your rights to your own property under Washington’s domestic relations laws.
Tracing Your Assets in Divorce
If you and your spouse have commingled assets -- as you most likely do -- you will trace these assets before dividing up marital property. If you have not kept a record of your financial contributions -- i.e., how much money you deposited into a joint account prior to getting married, how much money you paid for a down payment on a house prior to getting married, etc. -- then this will be more difficult to do.
Any inherited money, even if acquired during the course of the marriage, is also considered separate property. As such, it is important that you have traced -- or go back and trace -- any contributions you have made to the marriage using inherited money. For example, did you pay for a home remodel during the course of your marriage using inherited money? If so, can you prove it? If you cannot trace your separate assets, then you may lose out when it comes to dividing property in a divorce.
A Washington State Divorce Attorney Can Help You
To help trace your assets and negotiate a fair property and asset division settlement, it is best to turn to a legal professional. At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, our divorce attorneys are ready to get to work on your case today. You can call us today at 425-460-0550 or contact us online to schedule your first consultation with our lawyers. Throughout the course of your divorce proceedings, we will provide you with the counsel and support that you need to ensure your best interests are protected!