Should I get a part if we both paid the mortgage? My spouse bought the house prior to our marriage

A house that owns before the marriage by one spouse is generally estimated separate property and is not subjected to division. There are some exceptions to this scenario, however.

During your divorce in Washington, property and all debts even those one spouse have separate from others will divide and grant to one partner or the other through mutual agreement or with the help of the court. The term “property” involves house and all other real estate, personal belongings, stock options, vehicles, retirement benefits, funds in bank accounts or trusts, investments, pensions, debts, and business interests. Oftentimes, the division of houses in Washington becomes the most contentious aspect of a divorce.


If both parties pay mortgage together and whether your spouse divide house through negotiation or have a court decide the division in court, the process will likely be very similar:

First, the house will characterize as separate or community after examining the mortgage payment.

Second, the house value will be estimated. This process can be done by item selling, having it evaluated by an expert, using the actual monetary value, or confirming to a valued; and

Third, the house divides between the parties.

Distinguishing a spouse’s non-marital property (personal property that owns by either partner before the marriage) is one of the more complex aspects of separation. While particular precepts do exist about the other partner’s right to a division of such assets, they direct to be subject to the exceptions and other rules. Premarital property refers wholly to the spouse who produced it into the marriage and the other party has no right to it – unless specific other factors involved.

Your Spouse’s “Separate” House is Part of Division


The first concern the judge will address when determining a fair division of your house is to define the nature of all your property and assets. Washington is a community property state where all income earned and property obtained by either spouse during the marriage, consider community property. It awards to both parties so it must divides equally between the parties as separation.

Likewise, all incurred debts during the marriage consider community debts and belong to both parties equally. If you want to divide the house equitably–you can get your partner to negotiate with you – then the two of you can choose what’s fair in a separation agreement. If your partner can’t consent or if there are some specific assets in dispute, then you can still get the split you prefer, or near to it, by persuading the court that there is a solid and equitable ground for doing so.

In Washington, the court possesses the right to add a separate property in the property division. The court determines whether that exception implements and how all the property should split after considering the factors below.

Factors For Division Of House

The court distributes the house based on the house value, mortgage amounts, the length of the marriage, duration of the paid mortgage, and each partner’s economic reality at the time of the separation. If you left your career opportunities to assist your spouse to become a successful person, for example, then the court might agree to balance out the variation in your incomes by giving you a good share of the house. Also, you have a favorable chance of keeping the family at home, or at least the advantage to remain in it, if both of you have children and they live with you.

Washington State has a no-fault standard for separation. Under Washington state law of no-fault, even the obvious mistakes of your spouse, such as having an affair, have no effect on the final divorce settlement. The only time a judge will assess misconduct in dividing house is where one partner spent an exorbitant payment in support of this bad habit– by doing something, for instance, draining the good amount of savings to support a cocaine habit. The court can examine such wastefulness when sharing the property.

How Does The Court Decide Who Gets What?

Washington law dictates that the court’s distribution of house be “just and equitable”. Equitable does not refer to equal. Instead, it usually intends fair under the conditions. In other words, this may state a bigger house award for a partner with less capacity to make a livelihood in the future. The court usually does not consider any marital “fault” when splitting your house.

When determining how to build a fair division, the court may recognize the following:

  • The extent and nature of the house;
  • The time duration of the marriage;
  • The duration of the mortgage; and
  • The economic conditions of each partner at the time the division of the house is to become effective.

The court will most concerned about the financial circumstances of both spouses that will leave with when the marriage ends.

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