Seattle couples dealing with divorce often face the task of dividing assets. This process involves transforming what a couple once shared into individual ownership.
This task becomes particularly complex with certain assets.
1. The family home
The median value of an owner-occupied home in Seattle is $879,900. Determining who retains the family home can be a hurdle. Judges often consider the parent with primary custody of the children, if applicable, but this is not a guaranteed outcome. The emotional and financial ties to the home make this decision a focal point of contention.
Contrary to common belief, vehicle distribution is not solely based on title ownership. Even individually owned vehicles could be marital property. Valuing the vehicles accurately is important, and the misconception that sole ownership guarantees possession can lead to disputes.
3. Household items and collectibles
While seemingly trivial, the division of household items and valuable collectibles can become surprisingly volatile. Emotion can charge the decisions surrounding who gets the antique furniture or cherished family heirlooms. Agreeing on a fair distribution without external intervention is important.
4. Retirement benefits
Retirement benefits are not necessarily individual property and can become a source of contention. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order can help with the division of benefits.
5. Family businesses
For couples with jointly owned businesses, the division process becomes especially intricate. Assessing the present and future value of the business is necessary. Couples can explore options such as buyout agreements or separation clauses, but finding an equitable solution often demands careful consideration.
Couples navigating divorce in Seattle should be aware of the unique considerations in their state to ensure a smoother asset division process. By understanding the challenges, couples can better prepare for this difficult task.