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I was married for 30+ years and filed for divorce for a multitude of reasons. We both agreed earlier this year not to use attorneys but later I found out the other party was using an attorney almost from the onset. Since the beginning of this year until now I've done everything within reason to make this a smooth transition. Regardless, the other party and attorney are asking for almost 70% of everything in addition to maintenance. During this time, my paychecks have been put into the checking account to pay the normal bills but a great deal of money ( over 25,000) is missing from other joint accounts in addition to the other party not disclosing all of her own personal accounts. I've asked thru her attorney for this information, promised it, but never received it. Regardless, their proposal is asking for 70% of everything, maintenance, and for me to assume all debt. I make approximately twice what she does but she also has a large inheritance ( 600,000 plus a house) that it no being used in the financial equation. I live in clark county Washington and assumed it's a community property state. Her attorney wants to meet later this week to see if an agreement can be reached prior to court hearing. Please advise if it's even reasonable to consider paying maintenance now or being able to defer so I can have time to pay off the debts etc. She has ample resources to draw from that would not require maintenance for at least several years without changing her life style. Response 1: Their request is not equitable and reasonable and the Court is not going to go for it. So, do not agree to it. She would be awarded alimony/spousal support/maintenance in such amounts and for such periods of time as the Court deems just, without regard to misconduct, after the Court considers all relevant factors. Some of those factors are: (1)The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including separate or community property apportioned in the settlement agreement, and the ability to meet his or her needs independently;(2) the standard of living established during the marriage;(3) the duration of the marriage (3) the age, physical and emotional condition, and financial obligations of the spouse seeking maintenance. See Revised Code of Washington, Title 26, Chapter 26.09, Section 26.09.090.
All marital assets would be divided 50/50 regardless of who acquired them because you live in the community state of Washington. Also, any missing assets or her refusal to account for joint assets would be counted against her in the division. See RCW Title 26 Chapter 26.16 Section 26.16.030 and Chapter 26.09 Section 26.09.080
Thank you for your response and references to state law. How do I get them to get to the 50/50 range on an agreement without going to court which is costly? Any phrases or words I can use to help in this regard?
Response: Hello Steve: You should simply cite the state law that I provided to you. You need to make it clear to the Attorney that you know what your rights are and are not going to be intimidated by him/her. If joint assets are missing, she must account for them or those assets should be charged against her. That you are willing to let some personal properties such as household furnishings go to her without 50/50 division.
While you try to avoid going to Court, you must get a fair settlement. So, you are looking for something that is fair. Asking you to pay 70% of maintenance and assume all debts is not fair. So relevant phrases and words would be citation to the relevant statutes that I provided you. Using the words like “fair” and “reasonable.” Volunteering to let go of some household furnishings.
Thank you very much for your help. I appreciate you clarifying the salient points of the discussion I will have this Friday and being able to cite some Washington law. Thank you again.
p.s: I'll give you a 10!
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