All posts tagged: Spokane

What is Separate Property and What is Community Property in Spokane?

The issue of labeling for categorizing property, into either community property or separate property, often arises in divorces in Spokane County. This categorization of property can make a substantial difference on how the court will allocate assets and liabilities to the parties who are seeking a final dissolution or a legal separation from their spouse.
The law in Washington states that all property acquired prior to the marriage, and its rents, issues, and profits, is considered separate property. In addition, property that is acquired during my marriage from gifts, inheritance and its rents, issues, and profits will be considered separate property. The issue with this is that often the parties will commingle community property with separate property. Then would be unable to tell which property or asset is completely 100% separate at the time of the divorce. Community property in Spokane is categorized the same way.
If they are able to show that the character of the property never changed (i.e. a bank account that was never touched), then the asset will continue to be separate property. This often causes issues because typically parties will take their savings and invest into a community investment, and thus most likely commingling the funds and rendering the entire investment a community asset.
One defense to commingling is the direct tracing theory. As noted above, if a party can show, with bank statements, testimony, checks, and or other writings, that the funds were never mixed, that party may be able to keep the asset or the value of the asset from distribution.
To make matters worse, in a Spokane County and the entire state Washington, a Superior Court judge has the ability to the label property (community or separate property) and then distribute the assets in a just and equitable manner. Community property in Spokane thus must be categorized by a Superior Court judge, then divided as the judge deems fair and equitable.

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Non-compete and non-solicit clauses in Spokane: Let the worker beware

Washington is a “right to work” state, but that doesn’t necessarily give you the right to work anywhere you choose — especially not today, it seems.
In these tough economic times, the job market really is a buyer’s market. With a glut of labor trying to fill relatively few open positions, employers seem to be demanding more from the workers they hire — such as requiring them to sign “non-compete” and/or “non-solitication” agreements.
Spokane Washington Non Compete Agreements
Agreement and clauses not to compete are enforceable
These agreements, often buried in the employment contract, should wave a red flag in the face of anyone asked to sign them. They protect the employer, but can actually harm the employee.
Signing a non-compete agreement or a contract containing one means that you, the employee, cannot compete against your employer for a period of time after leaving the company where you work.
These clauses can not only prevent you from opening a competing business, but also may stop you from accepting a job with a company deemed to be in competition with your employer. If you work as a bank teller with Bank A, you might not be able to take that manager’s job at Bank B.
Clauses like these do offer the employer some protection against company secrets’ being divulged to the competition. Non-compete clauses are quite common in sales, for obvious reasons: Salespeople with inside knowledge of a company’s products as well as upcoming promotions, information the employer deems confidential. Having a sales representative take a job with a competitor increases the likelihood that the competing company will gain access to information that could hurt the original employer.

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Photography | Photographer Contracts in Spokane Washington

Photographer Contract

A written contract is the best way for any given business AND for a client/customer to ensure the agreement protects both parties. A contract must be obtained with full disclosure and it must be fair (it cannot be obtained by deceit, fraud, and/or misrepresentation).
In Washington, oral contracts are also enforceable (with a few exceptions). An oral agreement which contains an offer, an acceptance, and legal consideration paid by both parties can be fully enforceable and award damages against the party who breached the agreement.
The main issue with an oral contract is that often, it is very hard (if possible at all) to prove the terms, duties, and considerations of the contract. Although the parties can attempt to prove the important terms of the agreement, it is up to the party enforcing the contract to show, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the term was entered into and breached by the other party. This legal standard is usually difficult to overcome as evidence can be disputed and witnesses can be brought in to rebut any allegation.
Local business owners in Spokane, Washington should have their contracts in writing. Clients and customers should also procure a contract when having any given transaction that is important to the client/customer. A contract does not have to be complicated or several pages in length. However, it should outline the duties and responsibilities of each party including delivery times, payment amount, payment terms, warranties, refund/return policies, etc.

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