The following is a summary of Washington property division laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Washington Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Property Division Guidelines.

The court shall, without regard to marital misconduct, make a division of the property and the liabilities of the parties, either community or separate, as shall appear just and equitable after considering all relevant factors including, but not limited to:

  1. The nature and extent of the community property;
  2. The nature and extent of the separate property;
  3. The duration of the marriage; and
  4. The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to a spouse with whom the children reside the majority of the time.

-From (RCW 26.09.080)

What is Considered Community Property.

All property acquired during the marriage is community (marital) property, except property and pecuniary rights owned before marriage and that acquired afterwards by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and the rents, issues and profits thereof.

“Quasi-community property” means all personal property wherever situated and all real property

  1. Situated in this state;
  2. Situated outside this state if the law of the state where the real property is located provides that the law of the decedent’s domicile at death shall govern the rights of the decedent’s surviving spouse to a share of such property; and
  3. Leasehold interests in real property described above, if it is not community property and was heretofore or hereafter acquired:
    1. By the decedent while domiciled elsewhere and that would have been the community property of the decedent and of the decedent’s surviving spouse had the decedent been domiciled in this state at the time of the acquisition; or
    2. In derivation or in exchange for real or personal property, wherever situated, that would have been the community property of the decedent and the surviving spouse if the decedent had been domiciled in this state at the time the original property was acquired.

-From (RCW 26.16.010 through RCW 26.16.220)


This information has been summarized from the Washington statutes. You can find the full-text version of these and other Washington divorce statutes online here: Washington Divorce Laws.




IMPORTANT: Help Yourself Divorce is a paralegal service, not a law firm. Please don’t rely on this information for legal advice. Seek help from an attorney if you need legal advice.


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