Going through a divorce is no easy feat. In addition to dealing with all of the emotions associated with a marital separation, you must negotiate issues, such as child custody and  visitation. One of the most difficult topics to tackle may be property division. It is hard to part with possessions, property and assets that you have collected throughout years of marriage. It is critical to understand what marital property entails so you can be sure to get everything you are entitled to in the divorce settlement. 

Washington is a community property state, meaning all marital property is divided equally in half between spouses. When thinking of marital property, the family home, property and vehicles, may come to mind. Yet, there are other, less common types of marital property, including the following: 

  • Frequent flyer miles and travel rewards points 
  • Lottery ticket winnings and tax refunds  
  • Term life insurance policies, 401k plans, pensions, retirement accounts and stocks 
  • Expensive collections, such as art, antiques, classic cars, wine and coins 
  • Memberships to exclusive country clubs and golf courses 
  • Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights 

Any gifts spouses give to one another during the marriage are also considered marital property and can be divided in a divorce settlement. Furthermore, any property or assets loaned to others during the marriage can be divided once the property and assets are returned. 

It is important that both parties disclose all marital property in their possession to be sure everything is separated fairly. In some cases, the judge presiding over the case may use certain factors to determine who receives what in the final divorce settlement. 

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.