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Yakima Family Law Blog

Will a high asset wedding lead to high asset divorce?

If every Washington resident who is married answered a survey regarding why he or she chose a particular spouse, answers would greatly vary. On the flip side of that coin, if questions pertained to why people get divorced, likely no two responses would be exactly the same. However, studies show there are certain risk factors that may signal a strong propensity toward divorce. One of those has to do with how much money was spent on a wedding; apparently, a high asset weddings often leads to high asset divorce.

Many married couples struggle to make ends meet. If a spouse reluctantly forked over major money for a wedding celebration, it may ignite negative vibes from the get go, even if they are not immediately apparent. In fact, studies show those who spend in excess of $20,000 on their weddings triple their risks for divorce. Frugally speaking, those who simplify wedding celebrations by spending no more than $1,000 are less likely to end their marriages in court.

Protecting Washington business assets in divorce

It is highly unlikely that you entered marriage thinking that you'd someday wind up in divorce court. That doesn't mean, however, that you weren't thinking logically about the possibility of such, given national statistics on the topic. Perhaps you addressed the matter by signing a prenuptial agreement to protect your Washington business assets, just in case.

Now that more than a decade has gone by, and you've come to terms with the fact that your marriage is indeed headed for divorce, you may have many questions regarding property division issues that extend beyond your immediate concerns about the business you own. If you are one of many residents throughout the state who entered marriage with no signed pre-nup, your current situation may have you feeling a bit uneasy. Washington is one of only nine community property states in existence, meaning all your marital property will be divided 50/50 in divorce.

When divorce unexpectedly becomes part of a retirement plan

Many Washington residents understand what it is like to work long, hard hours for many years to provide for a family and hopefully set aside enough money to cover any expenses that arise in their Golden Years. Planning for retirement often includes selling a home and moving to a restricted community where are residents are over age 55 or so. A marriage analyst has questioned whether this type of living might actually be a causal factor in the increased numbers of late-in-life divorce seen throughout the nation.

Does living location impact marital relationships? Some say when the location is a retirement community, it may actually increase the chances of divorce beyond age 50. Late-in-life divorce is definitely a noticeable rising trend throughout the nation. Whether living in residential communal retirement areas prompts people to sever their marital ties is debatable; however, those who believe it does say it is because of the social nature of human beings, and a tendency to mimic the behaviors of those around them exists. Therefore, if retired couples see many of their friends getting divorced, they may be more likely to do the same.

Divorce dispute centers on pampered pet bulldog

When a Washington couple decides to call it quits, there are a number of topics that might be a source of disagreement. Those debates often continue even after the divorce is made final, and many couples end up returning to court to settle arguments over how the terms of the settlement are being met. An example is found in the case of a pet owner who claims that her former husband has neglected to make good on his promise to help support their beloved English bulldog, named Lola.

In the couple's divorce agreement, the wife was to assume physical control over the dog, while the husband agreed to pay for the cost of her care. Specifically, he agreed to pay a monthly amount of $200 per month, and to cover all of Lola's feeding expenses and half of any veterinary care. According to his former wife, however, those obligations have gone unmet.

Don't let the nest egg crack in divorce

Setting money aside in savings is definitely no small task for most average Washington residents nowadays. In fact, throughout the nation, a fragile economy has created many financially challenging situations, some more difficult than others to overcome. For those currently navigating divorce, financial matters may be high priority, especially when it comes to answering questions regarding 401k funds and other savings and investment issues.

Some spouses go to great lengths to try to keep their former marriage partners from obtaining any portion of their savings for retirement. There have been incidents where people have actually hidden assets to keep them from being subject to property division laws. This type of behavior is not only rude, it's illegal.

How are child support laws enforced in Washington?

When a married couple in Washington who have children together gets divorced, any number of problems may arise. Disagreements regarding child support, custody or visitation often present challenges that may seem insurmountable at times. With regard to child support, state laws govern such matters, and concerned parents are often able to overcome obstacles by seeking clarification of the laws ahead of time and proactively addressing problematic issues in court.

Either custodial or noncustodial parents can be ordered to pay child support. It is typically the parent who spends less than half the time with the children who is mandated to provide supplemental financial support. Even an unemployed parent (if he or she refuses to work to avoid paying child support) can be held legally accountable for payments.

How might Washington property division laws affect retirement?

Washington is one of nine states that handles property division issues somewhat differently than the other 43 states when it comes to divorce. These nine states are governed by community property division laws, meaning all community property gained during the marriage is owned equally by both spouses, subject to equal division in divorce. For some, this creates tremendous concern regarding their retirement plans.

Unless retirement funds were accrued before marriage, they are considered marital property; thus, the court will include such funds when considering the division of community property between both spouses in divorce. Many people opt to hire a third party to value their retirement assets before heading to court. It may be possible to exchange assets of equal value, such as agreeing that one spouse will get all retirement funds while the other keeps the house (if the values are equal).

Equitable division not an option in Washington

One of the most common sources of contention in the divorce process has to do with property distribution. Washington spouses often fight over who gets the house, the boat, the vacation time-share and any number of other big-ticket items, as well as minor assets that are more sentimental in value rather than monetary. Something every person considering divorce in this state should know is that the concept of equitable division does not apply here.

Washington is one of nine states in the nation that govern the divorce process under community property laws. Whatever belongs to both spouses in marriage is to be divided 50/50 when marital ties are severed. It's not only your assets that get evenly split in divorce; it's also debt.

Rap star gets arrested twice for failure to pay child support

Some parents in Washington may relate to a current problem in another state involving rap music star, Juvenile. The entertainer is facing serious issues regarding failure to pay child support. In fact, he was arrested twice in one week in unrelated cases.

Juvenile is the stage name for Terius Gray, who had just finished performing in Jefferson Parish when police took him into custody. The 42-year-old then spent several days in jail but secured his own release by paying $10,000 toward an apparent $150,000 delinquent child support account for his 18-year-old son. Gray claims he's very active in the young man's life and said he recently purchased a car for him and gave him all the money he needed to attend his high school prom.

In a Washington divorce, you're bound by community property law

In addition to being known for its beautiful hemlocks and rhododendrons, Washington state has another claim to fame. It is one of only nine community property states in the entire nation. If anyone reading this is preparing to divorce, that might raise a few concerns.

Community property law dictates that all marital property must be divided 50/50 in divorce. The 41 states that do not govern themselves by this law instead use an equitable division process, meaning the court determines how to divide marital property fairly, albeit not always equally. Those preparing for marriage in Washington often choose to use prenuptial agreements as means for retaining separate ownership of certain assets expressly so said items are not subject to community property division should divorce occur down the line.

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