Non-Contested Divorces in Spokane: a Good Solution to an Expensive Problem
Non-contested divorces in Spokane are common. It is important to remember that just because you both agree, it doesn’t mean your divorce will be a snap.
An amicable divorce will almost occur faster and at a lower cost than one in which the parties fight over dividing assets or a parenting plan for children. A non-contested divorce in Washington State can take 90 days — the minimum time required by law — as opposed to six months or even a year (and in more complicated ones even more) when the parties are in dispute.
Getting a non-contested divorces in Spokane also tends to lower the price tag for divorcing couples. Mediators, arbitrators, repeated filings and protracted court battles can bring the cost of divorce up to $10,000 or even $15,000 per party. When spouses reach agreement among themselves, however, the price can be as low as $2,500 — total (sometimes less depending on the parties assets, liabilities, retirements, and other factors).
Non-contested divorces in Spokane: Why this could be a good idea
No matter how friendly you are, though, it’s neither prudent nor preferable to enter into the divorce quagmire without a reputable attorney. For one thing, what you agree to do may not be what’s best for you or even legal. Feeling guilty for having an affair, for instance, may incline you to give up rights you’ll regret losing in the future.
In Washington State, every divorce is automatically “no-fault.” That means the courts don’t care why you’re splitting up. A judge’s only concern will be that property, income, child custody, and other relevant matters be handled in a manner fair and equitable to both parties.
An attorney can help make sure your arrangement is fair and equitable, and may include factors that haven’t even occurred to you. Non-contested divorces in Spokane could properly outline the agreement between the parties, but the court may not sign it. A lawyer can help you ensure that the final paperwork represents the agreement of the parties and that the court will accept it.
One of my clients, a woman, had been married 26 years. During that time, she stayed home and raised the couple’s children, and took care of domestic matters. He left her to live with another woman.
Did the courts care about the fact that he’d committed adultery? Not at all. They might care, however, about the other woman’s income. Some judges would count it as part of the man’s total household income when determining the amount of spousal maintenance he must pay to his ex-wife. She’d never considered this, and was glad she’d hired me to represent her.
I had to do a lot less work for another couple who came to me with substantial in assets. They’d sat down and listed everything they owned, together with each item’s value, and had agreed on how to divide their possessions equitably. This was a fairly easy and inexpensive divorce.
Agreements such as there are rare, however. Many people don’t realize that Washington is a “community property” state. That means everything a couple acquires during the marriage is considered to be jointly owned by both parties, even if one person worked and the other person didn’t. All income and wages acquired are community property. Even a house owned by someone before marriage becomes community property if it’s sold and the income used to buy another house — or anything else — jointly with the spouse.
What about a house owned by one spouse and rented out? The income from that rental would belong to the owner alone, unless the non-owning spouse contributed to the property with money or work. Then a judge may order reimbursement to the non-owner spouse, or may decide the rental is now community property and must be divided between the two.
Non-contested divorces tend to work best when a couple has been married for a fairly short time, say, less than five years, because there usually isn’t much joint property to divide. But exceptions exist to every rule. In either case, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and ask an attorney what rules apply to you. At the very least, you’ll need a lawyer to file all the paperwork Washington requires.
No matter how simple and amicable your divorce may be, having a good attorney is key to its success. If you have questions about Non-contested divorces in Spokane or you are considering one, call the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC today to find out what we can do to help you. Our number is (509) 927-3840.
Non-Contested Divorces in Spokane | Copyrighted Material of the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC