Community property division rules apply when a person files for divorce in Washington. This typically means that both spouses own equal shares of all marital property and that the judge overseeing their divorce will split assets 50/50. This state is one of only nine in the nation that operate under community property regulations.

Asset protection is a high priority for many people who are going through a divorce. If a spouse has maintained a separately owned bank account since before getting married or established a prenuptial agreement with his or her spouse before the wedding, then separate ownership of funds may be recognized by the court. Establishing financial independence is often the first logical step to take to protect one’s financial interests in divorce.

Establishing a formal date of separation is helpful, especially in community property states. Once a spouse has established a separation, the other spouse no longer has claim to half of his or her income. This can definitely come in handy when the ultimate goal is to lose as little money in divorce as possible.

If a Washington spouse has questions regarding assets or state laws about community property division proceedings, he or she can request a meeting with an experienced family law attorney. A family law attorney who is well-versed in all divorce-related issues can provide guidance and support throughout the entire process. It is also helpful to have an experienced attorney by one’s side if any type of dispute arises between spouses that would result in them having to go to court to resolve their issues.